After months of anticipation and speculation, junior quarterback Devin Gardner has been granted a redshirt for the medical hardship during his freshman year in 2010. This means Gardner will be entering 2013 as a redshirt junior and will finish as a redshirt senior in 2014.
Via mgoblue.com (Michigan's athletic department website):
The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced today (Tuesday, March 5) that senior/junior quarterback Devin Gardner (Detroit, Mich./Inkster) has been granted a medical hardship for the 2010 season and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Gardner appeared in three games in 2010 as a true freshman before suffering a season-ending back injury.
The athletic department also released a video with some Gardner highlights where he discusses his medical redshirt. (Unfortunately we can't embed this until a gracious someone decides to upload it to Youtube.)
Rich Rodriguez had attempted to get a medical redshirt for Gardner towards the end of the 2010, but all indications were that it wasn't going to fly.
In November 2012, Brady Hoke thought he'd take a crack at the getting the redshirt, and he seemed pretty confident it would happen:
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Monday he expects Gardner's medical hardship waiver to be accepted, which would grant the junior a redshirt for an injury-shortened true freshman season.
That means Gardner would have two years of eligibility remaining instead of one.
"I would expect that would go through," Hoke said. "I think all the documentation and everything is being sent to the Big Ten."
The Michigan blogosphere is obviously very excited about this.
Via Brad at Maize and Blue Nation:
A year ago, this was seen as a long shot. Then, somehow, over the course of the 2012 season, it slowly became more and more of a possibility. Now, it's done. Devin Gardner will be a redshirt junior this season.
I don't think I need to tell you how absolutely huge this is. It's 100% more Devin than we expected to have left going into the 2013 season. His redshirt is for the 2010 season where he only saw limited action in 3 games while dealing with back issues. Hoke seemed to expect that Devin would receive a medical redshirt when Michigan applied for it last year.
And of course Brian at mgoblog:
Getting a fifth year out of any starting QB is big time, especially one with as much upside as Gardner. Since he's pretty raw right now, he should use it unless he absolutely blows up in 2013—a problem I will take if it goes down like that.
Bottom line: Gardner has two years of eligibility remaining, and that's huge.
If he stays to 2014 that means that Michigan will have an experienced quarterback, a veteran offensive line, and a couple capable running backs. Plus it takes a lot of the pressure off Shane Morris.