FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas extended an offer to Iowa Western’s Class of 2020 outside linebacker-defensive end Fitzroy Gardner on Thursday.
Gardner talked about the offer from Arkansas and what it meant.
“It meant a lot to me,” Gardner said. “I have been looking at Arkansas since I was in middle school. They just surprised me out of nowhere when they gave me that offer.”
The talented Iowa Western defender has numerous offers and talked about the position Arkansas wants him to play if he signs with the Hogs.
“They want me to play either D-end or outside linebacker,” Gardner said.
Gardner is 6-foot-3, 225-pounds. He is capable of playing end or outside linebacker at the next level. He was dominating at Seffner (Fla.) Armwood High School. In his final two years of high school football, Gardner had 217 tackles, 56 for loss, 25 sacks, three pass breakups, five forced fumbles, one recovered, an interception and two safeties.
On Saturday, he talked about what kind of season he’s hoping to have in junior college this fall.
“We’ve got a lot of new players in and good freshmen so hopefully we have a good season,” Gardner said.
Gardner talked about this strengths at both defensive end and outside linebacker.
“My strength at end is I am quick off the ball,” Gardner said. “My get off is very good. At outside linebacker, I am big and I can cover and I’m fast. I can do both.”
Do you have a preference to play either outside linebacker or defensive end?
“No sir,” Gardner said.
He has a long list of schools after him. In addition to Arkansas, Gardner named a few of the colleges he’s interested in.
“Mississippi State, UCF, Troy, Texas Tech and a lot more,” Gardner said.
It appears Arkansas will get a visit from Gardner.
“Most definitely,” Gardner said. “I will either come bye week or after my season.”
The Reivers open the season on Thursday, Aug. 22, against Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. Gardner’s bye week would fit with Arkansas’ schedule since on Sept. 14 the Razorbacks will be at home taking on Colorado State.
“We’re in camp right now,” Gardner said. “I’m very excited to get the season started. I’m hyped.”
With Arkansas and Mississippi State among the SEC schools recruiting him Gardner talked about growing up thinking of playing in what is generally considered the nation’s best conference.
“It would be really big to play in the SEC,” Gardner said. “I feel like any college you can show pros what you’re made of.”