Gardner's A Razorback
Already in the mix for the nation's top high school receiver in Dorial Green-Beckham, Arkansas has just landed one of the best one in the junior college ranks as well.
Rocklin (CA) Sierra College wideout Courtney Gardner (6-3, 215, 4.4) publicly confirmed Thursday a decision he made the day before – he'll be a Razorback.
Gardner chose Arkansas over Florida State, Pittsburgh and several other schools wanting to land the big-time playmaker.
"I sit down with the Arkansas coaches and we went over everything and it was just great," Gardner said. "We went over all my likes and – I'll be honest – there were no dislikes. I know that Arkansas is the place that I need to be."
Gardner caught 61 passes for over 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns last season for Sierra.
"I feel like I can come in and make big plays right away and team with the other guys to keep the offense going strong," Gardner said. "I love what Arkansas does with their offense and I know they will develop me just like those three that are about to go to the NFL."
He visited Arkansas officially on Dec. 9-11 and then eliminated Pitt on Wednesday when Panthers head coach Todd Graham left for Arizona State.
"Everything about the Arkansas campus and the football program and the school was just amazing to me and I just really enjoyed being around the players and the coaches," Gardner said. "It is truly a place that I believe I can be comfortable on and off the field."
Gardner said that he will still visit Florida State on Jan. 13-15 on the advice of his coach.
Gardner joins an Arkansas wide receiver commitment list that also includes Arkansas' Jalen Cobb (6-1, 180), Oklahoma's Keon Hatcher (6-2, 205), Mississippi's D'Arthur Cowan (6-3, 180), and the Texas duo of Nate Holmes (6-1, 185) and Eric Hawkins (6-0, 170).
They also would love to add Chandler (AZ) High's Javon Williams (6-5, 180) and Green-Beckham (6-6, 230) – regarded as the nation's best prep wide receiver.
"Arkansas has three guys going to the NFL this season, but I don't think the Razorbacks are going to miss a beat," Gardner said. "The best thing is that they said I can have the number six. That's my number and it's available."
Arkansas is hosting five official visitors this weekend including four players that are committed elsewhere.
Those five are the Eastern Arizona cornerback Mohammed Seisay (6-2, 200), the Arizona Western duo of middle linebacker Steffon Martin (6-2, 235) and running back Damien Williams (6-1, 207) and tight ends Sam Grant (6-6, 240) of North Royalton (OH) St. Edwards and Caleb Smith (6-7, 248) of Renton (WA) Kentridge.
Seisay has visited Nebraska and just finished up a trip to Ole Miss.
Martin is committed to Purdue, Williams – a first-team Junior College All-American - to Arizona State, Grant to Boston College and Smith to Oregon State.