June 4, 2012

Gardner: “I loved it from the start”

After talking with his parents Bailey (NC) Southern Nash offensive tackle Cameron Gardner made Jonathan Himebauch's day this morning when he told the Wake Forest offensive line coach he wants to be a Demon Deacon.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Gardner, who is Wake's first commitment for its 2013 recruiting class, said Himebauch was ecstatic.

"I had gone [to Wake] maybe a few weeks ago," Gardner said. "I love the campus. I love the coaches. It is just a great place. A couple of days ago [Saturday, June 2] I went back. I had my wisdom teeth taken out, so I couldn't compete in camp. I saw Coach Himebauch the offensive line coach, who will be my coach. I saw him instructing kids out there. He's a great instructor and they play [in the] ACC and they have a great education. I don't see why I would want to go anywhere else, [or] see any place else. I loved it from the start."

He said his commitment is "pretty firm." Gardner added he will not be visiting other schools.

Gardner also claims scholarship offers from East Carolina, Gardner-Webb, North Carolina A&T and Old Dominion, while Duke, NC State and Virginia Tech have shown interest in him. Duke, ECU, G-W, NC A-&-T, NC State, ODU, UNC-Charlotte, Va. Tech and William & Mary have visited Gardner. He has been to Duke, ECU and Va. Tech.

Himebauch, who is recruiting Gardner for the Demon Deacons, quickly built a strong connection with the rising senior lineman.

"He came to school one day after school had ended," Gardner said. "I was kind of working out. It was like a month ago, and he had just seen me do some drills and then I went outside and did some one-on-ones. Later that night I called him, and we just talked a little bit."

"He would send mail. He e-mailed me a few times, and I would try to call him at least once a week."

Gardner added Himebauch told him with his skill-set he can play offensive guard or offensive tackle in college.

"They [college coaches] just like the way I move," Gardner said. "I can move pretty good for a big guy. I'm only 16. I'm kind of young for a player, so I think I can improve a lot."

He does not turn 17 till September.

"As a kid I never really paid much attention to football," Gardner said. "I just started playing like two years ago. I wasn't really into sports until I met Southern Nash head coach Brian Foster. He said you're a big guy. You should try football. I said okay. I love it [football]."

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