Devin Gardner, Film Critic

Michigan redshirt junior quarterback Devin Gardner is preparing for this fall by watching countless hours of practice film. Gardner explains his reasons for such avid study. Also, he talks about being just a quarterback this season and his leadership by example.

Redshirt junior Devin Gardner is quickly learning what it takes to be the starting quarterback at Michigan.

And it starts in the film room.

"A lot," Gardner said on his avid film watching. "I watch every practice twice for sure. Sometimes I watch a little more when I get a chance to watch it with (offensive coordinator Al Borges). But myself, I watch practice twice."

Why twice?

"Just to make sure you don't miss anything," Gardner explained. "Cause there is a lot things (you could miss). Like if you watch a movie, you don't particular see everything, you might be laughing during something or something like that. I just try to watch it as many times as possible before we get with coach Borges."

Gardner watches practice at home on his laptop or at Michigan's practice facility. He is putting in the work to be a success next season. It has already paid dividends in practice so far.

"Definitely," Gardner said on his success in practice. "I sometimes see what the (defenses) are doing before they do it. I don't think (defensive coordinator Greg Mattison) is happy about that."

Just Playing QB

Last spring, Gardner was adjusting to playing two positions on the Michigan offense. Now, the focus is squarely on playing quarterback.

"It's a little different," Gardner said. "because last spring I split a little time playing receiver an playing quarterback. I can tell you one thing for sure—I'm not as tired."

With playing quarterback primarily, Gardner has used the opportunity to prepare against one of the best defenses in the country—Michigan's defense.

"I mean, definitely, for spring it's more so for watching my game and what our defense is going to do, just to prepare other teams," Gardner explained. "Because this is probably the best defense we're going to see. You know, the most NFL similar defense. From here I feel it will be easy to decipher other defenses."

Leader by Example

Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Gardner is a "football junkie" after Tuesday's practice and is growing into a leader of the team.

"Devin, I'm proud he is figuring out what it means to be a Michigan quarterback is something special," Hoke said of Gardner's new attitude this spring. "I think his work ethic, his intelligence and all those things. He is a football junkie. He's done a nice job of wrapping his arms around his responsibility.

On the field, Gardner has displayed his leadership by being more vocal with teammates and a leader by example.

"Just the way I attack workouts and even gassers after practice when we lose competitions or something like that. (I) try to be first and do things like that. I help bring the young guys along with us," Gardner said.

While Gardner is most likely going to be the starting quarterback come fall, he has yet to be named the No. 1 QB on the depth chart. However, he has prepared to be the starter from day one.

"Whether they said I am going to be the starting quarterback or not—I was going to prepare like I was," Gardner said. "It really didn't change my mindset really much. I just have been working hard and trying to make this my team."

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