September 30, 2009
Gardner enjoys his trip to Baylor
There's no questioning the talent at Steele High School in Cibolo, Tx. From Oklahoma commit Sheldon McClain to 2011 star Malcolm Brown to junior wide receiver Blake Gardner who has really popped up on Baylor's radar
Gardner and his Steele teammates took on San Marcos last week at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos. The Steele Knights defeated the rattlers 44-20 and put them back on track to compete for a state title after falling to Southwest High School the week before.
"We just had to do our job and bounce back from the loss we had against Southwest," said Gardner. "They have great athletes at San Marcos, and we had a lot of people go down, but we also had a lot of people step up."
With an electric running back like Brown, the receivers at Steele not only work on their route running and catching, but they also have to be well rounded player and they take pride in their blocking.
"Blocking is big here at Steele," said Gardner. "Here at Steele we do everything, plus we've got Malcolm and we've got to block for the big boy."
The San Antonio are star and his family made this trip up to Waco recently for the Bears' game against Connecticut. This was a return trip for Gardner because he also attended one of Baylor's summer one day camps.
"It was great there. I got to see all the guys, and I really look up to Kendall Wright a lot. I like his game," said Gardner. "It was really fun up there and I like Baylor a whole bunch. It was sad to see them lose, but that stuff happens sometimes."
Wright is a receiver that Gardner sees as a similar player to himself.
"I watched Kendall Wright the whole time because I'll probably be playing slot in college. I just focused on him the whole game," he said.
They didn't get to take the full tour, but Gardner came away very impressed with what he saw of the campus and what Baylor has been building.
"It was great. They just got new jerseys, new weight room, and I haven't seen the new indoor facility, but I want to," said Gardner. "I saw that on a little video they showed us, but everything is brand new and they're kinda making new traditions and I like that a lot."
One of the biggest reasons for his early interest in the Bears is his relationship with the Baylor coaching staff, and in particular his area recruiter Chris Achuff.
"I got to talk with coach Achuff. He's really, really one of the coolest coaches I've ever talked to," said Gardner. "He sends me a hand written letter every week, and I really appreciate that. I don't get that from other coaches."
Gardner receives a letter from Baylor often, but they're not the only school that is showing a lot of interest. He is also receiving letters from many of the top schools in the Big 12.
"Baylor is probably sending me the most mail, but there are some other schools like Nebraska, Texas Tech, SMU, and a lot of other ones that send stuff, but every week I know I can expect a letter in the mail from Baylor," said Gardner.
There is still a long time until any of the 2011 class has to sign a letter of intent, but the 6ft, 160lb receiver already has an early leader.
"Right now they're (Baylor) probably number one because they show me the most love. That's how I see it," he said.
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