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Ellijah Gardiner
2017-2018 Football Profile
Freshman - Wide Receiver
Season Profiles:  2017 | 2016
About Ellijah Gardiner
Home Town: Kemp, Texas
School: Kemp High School
Height: 6-5
Weight: 185
247Sports Scout Rivals ESPN 247Comp
3-Star #137 WR
3-Star #146 WR
3-Star NR WR
3-Star #133 WR
3-Star #172 WR
First-Team All-District

The Player
Gardiner is a 6’5” 185-pound wide receiver out of Kemp, Texas. He is rated as the No. 172 wide receiver prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings. He joins fellow Texans Baron Browning, Jeffrey Okudah, J.K Dobbins, Kendall Sheffield in Columbus.

The Comparison
His size reminds me of Binjimen Victor, as he is an inch taller but the same weight. As for his game on the field he reminds me a bit of Devin Smith. Smith had the over the top speed to break away from defenders for the deep ball and Gardiner certainly has that same ability. While he is raw in his route running, he will develop that in time while learning from Zach Smith and the other Buckeye wideouts. The Buckeyes have been looking for a possible deep threat since the departure of Smith, and Gardiner could most certainly fill that spot down the line.

The Fit
If you haven’t noticed by now, the Buckeyes are recruiting tall athletic wide receivers. With Trevon Grimes, Brendon White, and Jaylen Harris this year along with Victor and Austin Mack last year, all of these guys are 6’2” and taller. Gardiner fits the exact mold that they have been searching for.

The Depth Chart
Coming in with Trevon Grimes and Jaylen Harris along with converted defensive back Brendon White, he will likely not see the field in his first year at Ohio State. While I expect Grimes and maybe Harris to see immediate playing time, the timeline for Gardiner is probably to contribute around his junior year.  However if the guys that are on the depth chart ahead of him do not contribute, do not be surprised to see him suit up sooner. We saw this past season that the wide receivers had some problems getting open, and if the trend continues expect to see every available option thrown on the field.

The Future
The Buckeyes wouldn’t have offered Gardiner if there wasn’t a path toward a promising future at Ohio State. The Buckeyes do not just offer kids this late to make them feel good, they offer them because they have a need and a want for the kid to come in and be a valuable asset to Ohio State football. Gardiner may have not gotten much attention from Ohio State until a couple of weeks before signing day, but with some hard work and time in the weight room, he will be counted on to be a legitimate contributor to the Ohio State offense when called upon. — Ben van Ooyen

Coach's Comments (via ColumbiaTribune.com)
"He's 6-5, 195. He's a legit 4.4, 4.3 kid, so he's got speed to burn. He's a very quiet-natured kid but a very hard worker, a very, very tough, hard-nosed kid, loves the weight room, loves the game of football. Very, very fast, very good hands, very quiet hands.

"He's only been playing wide receiver for really two years. He's played corner for us this year. We've put him in the slot or in the jet sweep. We put him out wide, of course. He played some defensive end for us. We get in the playoff game, and our starting quarterback goes down, and he goes in at quarterback and rushes for 200 and throws for 220. He's just a very intelligent football player and a very good football player at that.

"He probably had over 800 yards receiving, but we were a run-first team. We run the triple option. I think he had over 450 or 500 yards rushing, six or seven touchdowns rushing. You can see that on his highlight tape. We had three other guys out wide that are getting looks, too, so we spread the ball around quite a bit, but he's definitely our go-to guy. He got a lot of double coverage and still got behind the defense. Corners are giving him 12-yard cushions, and he's still hitting fade routes on people. But roughly around 800 yards and seven or eight touchdowns."

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