June 11, 2007

Gardiner looking for Spartan offer

It is a great year for linebackers in Ohio. Some are saying this class of linebackers could eclipse the class of 2002 which produced A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Mike Dandrea, Bryan Andrews and John Kerr. One of the reasons the linebacker class is so good this year in Ohio is because of players like Steve Gardiner of Dublin-Coffman High School. SpartanMag.com caught up with the 6-foot-1, 205-pound linebacker the other night and he gave us some details about his recruitment and his thoughts on Michigan State.

Gardiner has seen his scholarship offer list expand rapidly the past few weeks. "Indiana, Pittsburgh and Oklahoma State are the schools that have offered me most recently, he said. Those offers coupled with the ones he previously have, push his total number of scholarships top the double-digit range.

Two of the schools that have yet to offer, but could offer in the coming weeks are Michigan State and Ohio State. Gardiner will be camping at both schools in the near future and talked about each school.

"I am going to Ohio State's camp. They have been in-touch. I know they don't have al to of scholarships this year, but we will see what happens at camp. I will be at Michigan State on the 22nd. Coach (Mike) Tressel keeps in-touch with me. He said they are looking forward to having me up there. I think I have a better shot at getting a Michigan State offer.

Unlike Ohio State, which is extremely tight on scholarships, Michigan State will likely bring in a full class in Coach Dantonio's first full year recruiting. In addition since the staff only signed 1 linebacker last year they are likely to take 3 or 4 this year.

One of the things that has improved Gardiner's stock the past few weeks is teams realized that he has plenty of speed. "I ran a 4.44 forty yard dash at a combine in Pittsburg last month, which was the fastest time for my position."

This past fall Gardiner helped Dublin-Coffman to a 9-4 season. Gardiner played linebacker and running back for his team. On offense Gardiner rushed for over 1000-yards and scored 11 touchdowns. On defense he had over 100 tackles on the season. For his efforts Gardiner was named 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-District and Special Mention All-State.

At one point in time Gardiner anticipated on making an early decision, have things changed the last few weeks?

"Right now I am not set one when I will make my decision. I could make it before the season. It all depends on how things go. If I feel like I need more time, I will just wait, if I feel like a school is the right place I will make my choice.

No doubt if the Spartans offer Gardiner after his camp performance on the 22nd the Michigan State staff will be hoping that East Lansing and the Big ten is the sport for him.

SpartanMag.com will have more on Gardiner after his visit to Michigan State. Having watched Gardiner on film, we are reminded of former Brother Rice star running back/linebacker John Goebel from a size, speed and strength standpoint. Coach Dantonio swiped him out of Michigan to play in Ohio back in 2006; he may turn the table this year and bring an Ohio player into Michigan for 2008, stay tuned.

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