"I sat down with Coach Borges and we obviously saw that the receiver depth wasn't as plentiful as we like so I was just coming in to help the team and as the weeks went on I got better and better at it," said Gardner of the move.
The transition from full time quarterback to part time quarterback, part time wide receiver is a challenge not many college athletes have taken on. Minnesota quarterback Marquise Gray is in some ways a model for what Gardner is undertaking for the Wolverines as Gray, himself has split time catching and throwing in practice.
"It's not really hard," said Gardner. "I just want to help the team. I'm a team player first before I'm a quarterback. I just want to help the team and do my best and I'm a competitor so whatever position I'm at I'm going to do my best."
What started as a bit of an experiment for Gardner and the Wolverines has quickly, and now publically, become more of a permanent move. After being unsuccessfully targeted several times against Alabama Saturday night, Gardner made a tremendous adjustment to the football and came up with a 44 yard receiving touchdown from senior quarterback Denard Robinson.
"It felt great," said Gardner. "It was my first catch, I mean first catch down the field was a touchdown so you got to feel great about that."
Spending the entirety of the game at the wide receiver position, Gardner had the pleasure of lining up across from Alabama junior cornerback Dee Milliner who stands at 6'1 and a solidly built 200 pounds and gave Gardner everything he could handle on the outside.
"He's a really big corner, physical," said Gardner. "And he's a really good player."
"Its probably the best defense we're going to play so I can learn a lot from that," added Gardner. "My tempo, my speed in and out of breaks a little faster and things like that."
Michigan is hoping Gardner can find his tempo as quickly as possible and with the home opener against Air Force coming up this Saturday, Gardner and the Wolverines have already turned the page after the disappointing 41-14 loss at the hands of the Crimson Tide.
"I feel like we've begun to do it," said Gardner. "Yesterday, the day after the game, I saw a lot of guys in watching film. A lot of upper classmen, as they should be cause I was a freshmen once and as a freshmen you don't really understand that you got to get the film in and put it behind you for the next team."
Beyond Air Force and even the 2012 season, Gardner still has the mindset of a quarterback and has every intention of competing to take the first snap under center in 2013 for the Wolverines.
"I'm definitely a quarterback, so that's without a doubt," said Gardner of his intentions to play quarterback next season.
To watch video of Gardner from earlier today, click play below.