Saskatchewan Roughriders sign former Michigan Wolverine, Japanese X League QB Devin Gardner

The Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, have signed QB Devin Gardner from the University of Michigan. Gardner has spent the last two seasons playing in Japan’s X League with the Nojima Sagamihara Rise

The 6’4″, 220 lb Gardner, a native of Detroit, Michigan, led the Rise to the X League quarterfinals in 2017. He threw for 1,286 yards and 16 touchdowns in six regular season games leading his team to a 4-2 record. In his first season in Japan, he finished second in the league with 1,429 passing yards and tied for seventh in rushing with 349 in 2016. The Rise finished with a 1-5 record that first year but all five defeats were in one-possession games, and three were by three points or less.  For his efforts, he was awarded the 2016 X-League Rookie of the Year award.

After going undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft, he was signed as a free agent by the New England Patriots and released not long after. He then was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers who played him at wide receiver until they released him in August 2015.

Gardner spent five seasons with the Michigan Wolverines, playing in 50 games. He started at quarterback for his final three seasons completing  475 of 787 pass attempts for 6,336 yards and 44 touchdowns and added 342 carries for 916 yards and 24 touchdowns. Early in the 2013 season, Gardner was awardeTom Harmon‘s Michigan Football Legends jersey, becoming the first Michigan player to wear No. 98 in over 70 years.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have opened the CFL season with a 1-2 record. Gardner joins the Roughriders‘ two other quarterbacks Brandon Bridge and David Watford. 

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