Buckeyes Give Gardner a Slim Chance
By Michael Chung
(Editor’s Note: This is the latest contribution to the-Ozone for Michael Chung. He has provided OSU recruiting information to several websites in the past, but will now will be exclusive to the-Ozone as we look to bring more football recruiting coverage in the coming months).
Standing 6-5 and a now-svelte 310 pounds, Timothy Gardner is quite often a man amongst boys – if only in appearance.
One of the biggest players in the class of 2013, Gardner is immediately noticeable in all of his video highlights. He became the 16th member of Ohio State’s 2013 recruiting class last month after the coaching staff challenged him to lose some of that weight before his senior season.
It was thought he had committed to the Buckeyes after attending a camp in June, but it was quickly revealed that an offer was only waiting if Gardner could fulfill his weight requirements.
Gardner put in the work, and he finally received a formal offer during Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp in late July.
A tackle in high school, Gardner will likely play guard for the Buckeyes, and he recently took some time to talk to the-Ozone.net about his recruitment.
Ozone: Urban Meyer, Ed Warinner and Kirk Barton said if you lost a certain amount of weight, you would receive an offer; what was their reasoning for asking you to lose weight?
Gardner: The previous year, I was 350 lbs., as a junior I was at 340 lbs., they wanted to see how committed I was and if I really wanted to be a Buckeye so I guess they were testing my dedication to wanting to be the best I can be.
Ozone: You camped at OSU on June 20th and FNL (Friday Night Lights) was July 27; how did you lose so much weight in a little over a month?
Gardner: Actually, I was going above the bar, if I had practice then I would stay after practice and run on the track for a mile or so after practice, and sometimes I would go into the weight room. I ate only 3 meals a day and cut out snacks. I started to eat right: lean meats, vegetables and fruit – tons of fruit. I increased my work out and decreased eating.
Ozone: How much did you lose?
Gardner: I am at 310lbs, so I lost about 30 lbs.
Ozone: After your commitment, what did the coaches say as far as your weight and training?
Gardner: The main thing is not how much I weigh; it is how well I move. If my weight hinders me, then I need to lose weight but if I can play fast at a higher weight then I am still fine. The weight loss challenge was mainly to test my desire. They want me between 310 and 305 pounds.
Ozone: What was behind your tweet after June camp that you had committed to Ohio State?
Gardner: It was a misunderstanding and miscommunication. I was told that if I lose weight then I would receive an offer, so I made it a goal of mine to receive the offer. My tweet ended up being misunderstood and I could have done better communicating more clearly that it was my goal to commit to Ohio State.
Ozone: What position will you play at OSU?
Gardner: Guard or tackle, but most likely guard.
Ozone: Do you know Dennis Finely out of Michigan and will OSU recruit another lineman?
Gardner: I know him and been in contact with him. He is interested – I’m not sure if he will commit but he is interested – and I am trying to recruit him to play with me. I believe OSU wants one more O-lineman and he is really good.
Ozone: How many of the 2013 class have you spoken to?
Gardner: I have talked to half the recruits, (Director of Player Personnel Mark) Pantoni gave me the rest of the classes’ numbers. I will get in touch with them.
Ozone: Tell me about your FNL experience at Ohio State?
Gardner: When FNL started, I was in awe as I was in the presence of ex-NFL players and Buckeyes. I spent most of my time with Orlando Pace and LeCharles Bentley. As camp went on, they taught me techniques and both helped me with pass sets in one-on-one drills. I contact LeCharles sometimes via Twitter.
Ozone: Have you done anything differently now that you have committed to Ohio State?
Gardner: I have been doing all kinds of stuff in workouts and will also workout with a personal trainer.
Quick Hitters with Timothy Gardner
What will your major be in college? Engineering
Do you have any hobbies? Help my dad build cars.
What is your favorite food? Seafood, sushi, crab.
Favorite TV show? Sportscenter
Favorite movie? Fast Five, sequel to the Fast and Furious
Anything else want to say? I am glad to be a part of Buckeye Nation and there is still a lot of work to be done.
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