The inaugural edition of Friday Night Lights is living up to expectations. Early Saturday morning, 3* (Rivals) Offensive Lineman Timothy Gardner (Lawrence Central, Ind.) committed to the 2013 class, bringing the grand total to 16 for Urban Meyer’s first full class. The massive presence of Gardner (6’ 5”, 315-320 lbs.) will help to bolster a thin offensive line going forward.
The lifelong Buckeye fan came to FNL with a singular purpose to walk away from the camp with a “committable” offer. After working with former Ohio State greats Orlando Pace and LeCharles Bentley, he did just that, and then some. This time, the husky gentlemen was not jumping the gun by committing. He knew he had a solid offer and took the chance to come to Columbus and play for a legend.
Holding offers from the major in state schools Indiana, Purdue, and Notre Dame; Gardner instead chose to commit to Coach Kerry Coombs and bring his talents to the team he has followed since he was a little kid. He’ll come to a University with a storied tradition of offensive lineman, not the least of which are the two with whom he worked out on Friday. Offensive Line Coach Warriner (who Meyer called the 2nd most important coach on the team, along with Defensive Line Coach Mike Vrabel) will have his work cut out for him in molding this raw talent into someone who can step into the exterior line and push around some monster B1G ends.
If his highlight video is any indication, he should have no problem. He’ll have plenty of time to hone his craft under Warriner, and his body under Marotti, which was apparently a concern for the coaching staff a couple of months ago when Gardner originally tried to commit. He’s slimmed down now, and once he steps on campus, you can believe that Mickey will have him lean and mean, ready to stand his ground and keep Braxton Miller on his feet.
Various sites list him at various positions along the line. Some say he’s a guard. Others state unequivocally that he’s a tackle. Regardless of where he plays along the line, he’s got the sheer mass to make holes in defensive lines. Check out the video below to see what I’m talking about.