One reason why Oklahoma’s 2012 receiving class has a chance to be the best in school history is Courtney Gardner, who some would argue was the top junior-college wideout in the country last year. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Gardner hauled in 61 passes for 1,099 yards and 13 touchdowns at Sierra (Calif.) College. He was also a two-time Nevada state champion in the long jump in high school.
Gardner, who is still in California finishing up some classwork he needs to complete before he can enroll in Norman, spoke with SoonerNation over the phone about a host of issues, including his new jersey number, the academic hurdles that remain and what he makes of Bobby Petrino’s firing at Arkansas, the other school that recruited him. Read the first part of his Q&A with SoonerNation here and for more with Gardner, check out the Sooner Intel.
SN: I read somewhere that you had to relocate in high school because of Hurricane Katrina?
Gardner: Yeah, I grew up in New Iberia (La.), and moved to Reno, Nevada. I had some family on the west coast, and my grandma lived in Reno.
SN: Was going from Louisiana to Reno a culture shock?
Gardner: It was a big culture shock, I was used to being in the country, and all of a sudden I was in the lights. The food was very different.
SN: Because you’ve bounced around so much, how much are you looking forward to getting to Norman?
Gardner: It’s been crazy these last couple years. I’m really looking forward to being at OU. I won’t be satisfied until I get to OU. When I get down there, it will all pay off.
SN: If for some reason you couldn’t go to OU until after the fall, would you look at other schools again or stay committed to OU?
Gardner: I’m going to stay solid at OU. If that happened, I’d just go in after football season.
SN: Given that you missed the spring and are going to miss a decent chunk of the summer, what is your expectation for this season?
Gardner: I think my expectation is to contribute to the team in many different ways. Whether it’s in special teams, or helping the team on offense. But I’m looking to be an impact wide receiver. I’m really going to fight for playing time from day one.
SN: Did you learn anything from that incident in March (misdemeanor arrest for obstructing a peace officer)?
Gardner: I was with the wrong people at the wrong time. I made big mistake talking to cop. Next time I’ll know to be quiet, and let the officer talk to who he’s talking to you.
SN: Have you discussed it with Jay Norvell?
Gardner: When he was down here, he called the courthouse. I had to miss a couple days of class because I had several different court dates. He got the court people on phone and straightened out those dates so I wouldn’t miss class. He understands what happened, but he told me that stuff won’t be tolerated. I told him I shouldn’t have ever said anything, and that he won’t be getting any more trouble from me.
SN: Will you be running some extra stadium steps once you get to campus?
Gardner: Most likely; I could see it in his eyes. He might be giving me a few extra drills to wake me up.