« Football 2014

Devin Gardner

Afro-American and African Studies


After graduating high school early and enrolling at Michigan in the spring, Gardner earned his bachelor’s degree in Afro-American and American studies in just three years. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Social Work program and is expected to graduate in December.


Gardner has displayed high character on and off the field, setting a good example for the children he works with regularly. He was selected to wear number 98, a Legends Jersey honoring 1940 Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon. Gardner is one of four Wolverines to wear a Legends Jersey, which honors the legacy of formerly retired numbers, in 2014. Gardner was selected based on his performance and character to represent the legacy of Michigan’s first Heisman Trophy winner. In 2012, he earned U-M’s Frederick Matthaei spring award for the junior-to-be who has displayed leadership, drive and achievement on the athletic field and in the classroom.


Gardner is one of Michigan’s most active student-athletes in the community. He takes weekly visits to the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, where he has developed many relationships with patients and their families. Gardner was the main participant as Michigan football became the first college program to partner with ESPN and Make-A-Wish for the annual “My Wish” series on SportsCenter this past summer, hosting a young man who had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in March of 2011 as a recruit. Gardner was with the group all day, meeting the family for breakfast and then began the day by touring them through Schembechler Hall before meeting with coaches. Gardner and his teammates then took the family to lunch before surprising him by having him lead the team out of the tunnel onto the field at Michigan Stadium. Gardner also regularly visits schools to interact with and read to classes, speak at school graduations and assist with field days. The past summer, Gardner spent six hours daily volunteering at the Peace Neighborhood Center, an Ann Arbor institution that provides programs for children and families who are affected by social and economic problems. Gardner also has participated in U-Meet the Athlete Clinics, Food Gatherers Food Drive and a Michigan ACES event.


Gardner has been named to watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Manning Award this preseason. He earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten acclaim last season after accounting for 32 touchdowns and more than 3,000 all-purpose yards. He broke U-M single-game records for passing yards and total offense yards by piling up 503 and 584, respectively, in the 63-47 victory over Indiana. He finished the season 208-of-345 passing for 2,960 yards, the second-highest single-season total in U-M history, and 21 touchdowns and rushed 165 times for 483 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a redshirt sophomore during the 2012 season, he appeared in 13 games, beginning the season as a wide receiver before playing the final five games at quarterback. He completed 75-of-126 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns with five interceptions, rushed 47 times for 101 yards and seven touchdowns and also caught 16 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns. He was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week twice. In his career, Gardner is 301-of-504 passing for 4,440 yards and 34 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 658 yards and 20 touchdowns on 244 carries and caught 17 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns.