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OU football: Receiver Courtney Gardner learned one lesson before starting summer classes

Freshman wants to move on from March arrest and concentrate on academics before fall camp begins in August
by Jason Kersey Published: June 3, 2012

NORMAN — Lesson learned, Courtney Gardner wants to move on from his March arrest on a misdemeanor obstruction charge in his hometown.

Gardner reportedly became belligerent with a police officer after the driver of the car in which Gardner was a passenger was pulled over on suspicion of DUI in Reno, Nev.

“It was a boneheaded mistake I made, and it was an immature thing that I did with the officer,” Gardner said in a telephone interview.

“The charges are dropped, and I'm looking forward to really getting this off my back. Now I'm just working on school and getting ready to go to OU.”

Gardner begins summer school Monday. Passing grades become all the more critical considering the recent news in Norman.

Gardner, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver with 4.4 speed, said he already expected to make an immediate impact for the Sooners in the fall. But with coach Bob Stoops' announcement that three experienced receivers are suspended indefinitely, Gardner is under increased pressure to adapt to the NCAA Division I game, master the playbook and play a significant role this fall.

“I've really got to come in and really learn the offense fast,” Gardner said. “I feel like I'm ready for the job, even though I didn't do spring and I'm not going to be there for summer. I feel like I can come in and make a big impact.”

Oklahoma co-offensive coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell both visited with Gardner after Trey Franks, Kameel Jackson and Jaz Reynolds were suspended last month.

“The next week, Coach Norvell came down and visited my school and we talked about it,” said Gardner, who had 1,099 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns last season for Sierra Community College in Roseville, Calif.

“Several of the other coaches called me. They let me know the situation and the type of impact they were expecting me to come in and make.”

But before any of that can happen, Gardner still must get his academics in order.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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