Michigan's Devin Gardner granted medical hardship, earns fifth season of eligibility
Now, the senior-to-be is going to get a full extra season of eligibility to thrill.
Michigan announced Tuesday afternoon that Gardner has been granted a medical hardship for the 2010 season and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Gardner played in just three games as a freshman in 2010 before being sidelined by a bad back. He didn't play again, finishing the season 7-of-10 passing for 85 yards and one touchdown.
The Wolverines applied for the medical hardship waiver last year, and coach Brady Hoke said he expected Gardner to receive the fifth season.
But it was never a certainty -- until now.
"I feel great about it," Gardner said in a video posted by the team's website. "I'm just happy to be able to help the team as long as I can.
"This is a great place to live and go to school. I'm happy about that -- but that's not really the big issue. We have a season this year, and spring ball is about to start, and I'm really focused and ready to play this season first."
Gardner was the nation's No. 1 dual-threat quarterback when he signed with Michigan out of Inkster High School in 2010. He backed up Robinson for two seasons before moving to receiver last year.
He moved back to quarterback after Robinson suffered an elbow injury Oct. 27, and played the final five games as Michigan's primary quarterback.
Gardner started fast, earning Big Ten offensive player of the week honors in two of his first three starts, and never looked back. He finished 75-of-126 passing for 1,219 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.
He matched a single-game school record with six touchdowns against Iowa, and finished with 18 overall in the five games.
Now with 2014 solidified, Gardner is turning his focus to 2013. Spring camp begins March 16.
"We've had a great winter," he said in the video. "I've led, and I've done things that I'm not ordinarily accustomed to doing. I feel like I'm stepping outside of myself and being the leader I should be.
"I usually don't talk much in workouts. I just try to get myself through it. But I've been helping my teammates get through it and working really hard."
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