2B - September 10, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
28 - September10, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Devin Gardner: QB or WR?
Michigan shuts out
Oakland on the road
It's all been stripped away
Two years ago, Devin
Gardner was the future of the
Michigan football program, a
five-star quarterback from Ink-
ster, Mich. with a rocket arm and
4.57 speed to burn.
He had the charismato be
Michigan's poster boy at quar-
terback - the alpha position in
America's alpha sport - and a
smile to rival that of Michigan
quarterback Denard Robinson.
Scout.com analyst Berry
Every labeled Gardner's talent
as "almost limitless" as a.high
school senior in 2009.
"He could be a major terror
for defensive coordinators at
the next level," Every said at the
time. "Gardner should be a two-
to three-year starter with all-
conference and NFL potential."
Junior wide receiver Devon Gardner is Michigan's leading receiver through two games this season.
ing to plan.
hasn't by any
challenged for th
terback spot, strt
season, behind a
he's not even
ess in a press
Gardner was rep
to as "Old Devin,
a smirk to his fac
his name isn't De
ess!" Gardner sai
Then, to either
assent - no one c
his role at Michii
way he had never
receiver. To ever
Devin Gardner, t
"I definitely st
myself asa quart
ner said Saturday
insulted at the qu
happen to be able to play wide
receiver to help the team."
But he's the only one saying it.
"I would say he's a wide
receiver first, and then a quarter-
back depending on where you're
STEPHEN J. at in the game or the week,"
NESBITT Michigan coach Brady Hoke said
Gardner has hauled in six
passes and two touchdowns in
e starting quar- two games at receiver this sea-
uggling in occa- son - two touchdowns more
es as Robinson's than anyone else in the receiving
fell to third on corps. The 6-foot-4, 203-pounder
depth chart this has quickly become Robinson's
n unheralded favorite target.
He looks like a receiver - and
great one at
tO But Gardner
play (QB) at the doesn't view
University of t"s as1A and
Michigan." He's been
that there is a
eatedly referred is a quarterback first, a receiver
"which brought out of necessity.
e. ("Funchess - His insistency has been almost
yin, it's Funch- unnerving. You'd expect a talent-
d.) ed athlete to tout his multi-facet-
r his chagrin or ed skills equally. But Gardner has
an really tell - almost pooh-poohed his receiver
gan changed in a prowess, saying again and again
r imagined. he fully intends to be a quarter-
r is a wide back.
yone not named Saturday, he was faced with
hat is. the question of whether he
ill think of could foresee coming to a point
erback," Gard- where instead of moonlighting
, looking almost at receiver, he would go full-bore
estion. "I just at receiver to see guaranteed
By ALEJANDRO ZUNIGA
Daily Sports Writer
ROCHESTER, Mich. -
Sophomore forward Christina
Murillo's first career goal high-
fighted a first-half onslaught by
the Michigan women's soccer
team, and the Wolverines relied
on solid defense down the
stretch to defeat Oakland, 1-0,
afternoon. OAKLAND 0
Michi- MICHIGAN 1
the Golden Grizzlies' back line
early and often, and they were
rewarded with Murillo's fifth-
minute goal. Standing near the
edge of the 18-yard box, the
sophomore received a crisp pass
off of junior defender Shelina
Zadorsky's corner kick. Murillo
took a touch, looked up and fired
a sizzling shot past Oakland
goalkeeper Shannon Coley.
"It was awesome to have
finally scored a goal," Murillo
said. "It meant so much that we
were able to win off of it."
The victory was Michigan's
first win away from the U-M
Soccer Complex this season.
Despite numerous promis-
ing opportunities for both sides,
Murillo's goal proved to be'the
winner for the Wolverines, who
improved their record to 6-2.
Murillo almost scored again in
the second half, but Coley man-
aged to deflect the wicked head-
er over the bar.
Michigan coach Greg Ryan
recognized Murillo's talent
even as a freshman, starting her
in every game of the 2011 cam-
paign in which she was named
to the Big Ten All-Freshmen
team. Now that she has returned
from representing Mexico in the
under-20 women's World Cup in
Japan, Ryan said he was awedby
the young star.
"She's going to get a lot more
goals," Ryan said. "Honestly, I
don't see many college players
playing the way she is right now.
She's not playing like a college
student. She's playing like a pro."
The Wolvefines dominated
the Golden Grizzlies in the first
45 minutes of play. They pep-
pered Oakland's goalkeeper,
outshooting the opposition
13-1, and took fourcorner kicks.
Coley rejected shot after shot,
but couldn't prevent Murillo's
effort from reaching the back of
the net. After 90 minutes, Mich-
igan had taken 17 shots and nine
Oakland didn't test Michi-
gan senior goalkeeper Haley
Kopmeyer until the second
half. When the Golden Griz-
zlies did get through to her, the
program's all-time saves leader
came up -big. In the 82nd min-
ute, a long cross into the box was
one-timed out of the air by Oak-
land midfielder Nicole DeLuca.
Diving toward the far post,
Kopmeyer corralled the short-
range shot without allowing a
Five minutes later, DeLuca's
beautiful 25-yard strike almost
found the upper-90, but the ris-
ing shot sailed inches over.the
The Wolverines' 1-0 vic-
tory marks their fifth shutout
of the season, and second- in as
many games. Through its entire
slate, Michigan allowed just
four goals; Zadorsky, one of the
Wolverines' defensive leaders,
praised the back line's effort.
"We worked hard as a unit,
with a lot of communication,"
Zadorsky said. "We executed
Ryan praised Michigan's
defense as the deciding factor in
such a close game.
"The defense held us togeth-
er today," he said. "The team
defense was great."
The Wolverines look to
remain undefeated at home
when they open the conference
schedule against Indiana on
Gardner, the quarterback, hands the ball off against Minnesota last season.
playing time or take a shot at the
NFL. Gardner paused, shifting
his gaze across the room before
"I feel like every kid has a
dream," Gardner began. "My
dream i§ to play quarterback at
the University of Michigan and
go onto the next level to play
quarterback. If that opportunity
presents itself, we'll have to cross
that bridge when we come to it."
In 11 months, we'll be discuss-
ing a true quarterback battle at
Michigan, something we haven't
seen since Denard Robinson vs.
Tate Forcier two years ago, when
Robinson earned the job and
exploded onto the national scene.
But who's going to be part of
this one? Gardner will be in the
discussion, at least at first, as
will sophomore Russell Bellomy
and five-star quarterback recruit
It's hard to predict. At one
point last season, Robinson said
Gardner "will probably be one of
the best quarterbacks in the Big
Ten, once he gets to start." But
will Gardner ever get that chance
to start a game as quarterback
at Michigan, or will his dream
be dashed and a future at wide
I must not have a green thumb,
because I can't figure this Gard-
ner thing out.
- Nesbitt can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org or on
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No.t19Michigan (-20) vs. Air Force
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No. 4 Oregon (-30) vs. Fresno State
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No.15 Virginia Tech (NS) vs. Austin Peay
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No.18 Oklahoma State (-13.5) at Arizona
No.20 TCU(NS) vs. Grambling State
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