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Friday, May 17, 2013
Borges fine with Gardner and his guru

By Michael Rothstein

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Devin Gardner has spent some time over the past few weeks working with a private quarterbacks coach, George Whitfield Jr.

As long as he doesn’t come back with any poor habits, Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges is fine with that.

“I don’t really encourage it or discourage it,” Borges said. “I don’t want too much of it. Once they are here, we want them coached by the guys who are going to coach them.

Devin Gardner
Devin Gardner is working with private quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr.
“But guys are using that in the offseason because we can’t coach them.”

Borges knows Whitfield -- although he has not talked to him about Gardner -- and that has made him more comfortable with his starting quarterback staying fresh by working with an off-site guru.

Part of why Borges is fine with Gardner working with someone else comes from the fact that Borges can’t work with him at all right now because of NCAA rules. Meanwhile, Gardner wants to stay sharp as he enters his first full season as a starter.

Hence the trip to work with Whitfield.

“I don’t blame him,” Borges said. “His ambition is exciting.”

Borges has much to be excited about these days. He gets his second healthy scholarship quarterback on campus next week in freshman Shane Morris. The Warren, Mich., native has had the playbook for a while and has been to many Michigan practices since his commitment almost two years ago.

He has also worked with Borges at various camps over the past two seasons, which has given Morris a sliver of an idea of how he’ll be coached at Michigan.

“He’s not a complete neophyte,” Borges said. “But by the same token, he has not played college football and there will be some growing pains with that.”

But will Michigan find a third scholarship quarterback? The Wolverines are still looking but it appears to be less likely than before.

Borges, speaking after an hour-long stint on the Mott Hospital Takeover on WTKA-AM in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Friday, had a laundry list of things any sort of quarterback transfer would have to do to even reach Michigan. Graduation. Fitting in chemistry-wise. Having played in a similar system -- even if verbiage is different -- is also paramount.

There aren't many quarterbacks who can fit that description, especially ones who must understand the chances of them starting is minimal.

“At the end of the day,” Borges said, “that likelihood isn’t that great.”