by Mark Clements
September 23, 2010 – Linebacker is undoubtedly one of the toughest transitions to make in the collegiate level.
One young athlete looking forward to the challenge is Tara High School senior Jeremy Gardner.
Gardner, a 6-foot, 225-pound linebacker, also formerly played basketball for his Trojans for two years. He said he dropped the sport so he could focus primarily on football.
“I don’t know I just saw myself playing football,” Gardner said. “I think I liked it more and wanted to put more time into football to go to college and get to a collegiate level.”
Benching 315, squatting 450 and cleaning 295, Gardner is preparing his body for the big leagues. He said he has gotten calls and visits from a few schools, including Oklahoma State, Minnesota and Louisiana-Lafayette.
Gardner said LSU would top his list if he were to hear from the Tigers, but in the mean time the Golden Gophers are looking good in his eyes.“I like Minnesota and I like the energy they have,” Gardner said. “From when I first started watching Minnesota I was in middle school and I like the energy that I see and how the players are.”
Being a linebacker, Gardner said naturally he’s a Baltimore Ravens fan. With the Raven’s history of tenacious defense, Gardner said he looks up to their line backing corps.
Gardner said his favorite team to play each year is McKinley High School.
“It’s a rivalry,” he said. “My ninth grade year and my tenth grade year it was a close game. Last year wasn’t a close game but they’re going to come back better this year, I’ve been seeing it. It’s just a big game and a lot of people come see it because it’s our last game.”
Off the field, Gardner said he likes to visit Houston, Texas because of the variety of places and things to do.
“It’s live out there,” Gardner said. “There’s a lot of different places you can go to out there.”