Gardner Has Big Goals In 2017
Starkville wideout Cameron Gardner likes to watch Clemson’s Mike Williams, Washington’s John Ross and Western Michigan’s Corey Davis. Each of those guys are slotted to be drafted in the upcoming NFL draft.
The rising senior enjoys following each of those guys because of their explosiveness and how they are so good overall. Needless to say, Gardner has his own idea of what makes a great wideout.
“Explosive, good feet, a little bit of speed to run away from defenders, good hands, good at route-running and using your size,” Gardner said to describe the ideal receiver.
Last season the 6’4 pass catcher showed potential in each of those areas. He caught touchdown in three separate games. Against Oxford he hauled in four passes for 112 yards and a score. Then he hauled in nine passes for 41 yards versus Madison Central, en route to leading the team in receptions.
He plans to flash that potential against at the Fortius Project this year, alongside many of his teammates.
“I saw all my teammates going so I decided to attend and compete against some of the best players in Mississippi,” Gardner told SES Mississippi.
“I think my explosiveness and deep ball ability, plus my hands, will shine the brightest. I also think my catch radius, my size and my speed will stand out.”
This offseason is crucial on the heels of his final season for the Yellow Jackets. He is looking to put forth a great season on his way to playing on the next level. So improvement is heavy on his mind, and he has a few areas that is focusing on.
“Route running, going hard and just consistency,” He explained. “I’m driven by the doubters and unbelievers, and trying to provide for my family.”
Gardner began playing organized football at the age of six. After just a year of playing he was in love with the game. According to him, it’s the best sport to play.
“The crowds, the fans, the atmosphere. I love everything about football,” He said.
In addition to personal improvement this offseason, Gardner also knows overall team improvement is key. Last season left a bad tasted in the mouthes of he and his teammate.
“We didn’t want last season to end like it did. We can learn from our mistakes and work even harder to reach our goal, to win state,” Gardner stated. “I didn’t perform like I wanted to, because I was too inconsistent. My goal is to have 75 catches, 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.”
“I believe if we come together as one next season, and play consistently, we can be one of the best offenses in the state.”
The Fortius Project could serve as building block this offseason for Starkville to return to the top of 6A in 2017.
**Photo by Thomas Brown.