Name: Ernest Gardner
Q: What goals did you accomplish heading into your final collegiate season?
As a team, we won our conference. We also had the number 1 pass defense in the country. Personally, I did not allow a single catch the entire season in man coverage. I also made it to a D1 FCS Senior Bowl and started.
Q: What would your coaches say about the type of player you are?
Coaches would say that I am respectable on and off the field. Also, they would say that I am a playmaker and have great work ethics. They would also say that I am very dedicated and passionate about football. Additionally, Coaches would talk about my coverage skills and ability to come up and tackle.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
I look at the plays that could have been better more than my great plays. When I watch film, I look at my technique and how I can improve. I also look for offensive tendencies, especially in WRs. I believe that picking up on tendencies and knowing what will happen before it does, makes me play faster and puts me in position to make plays.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
Defensive backs are known for coverage skills typically. As good as I can cover is as good as I can come down in the run game. I am very physical. I look forward to tackling.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
I will be training at Tom Shaw Sports Performance in Orlando, Florida 6 days a week. 7 out the 10 fastest NFL combine 40-yard dashes have came from players training at this complex. Everything I need is here, from improvement in speed, to strength, to agility, etc. As far as DB specific training, I will be working with 12 year Pittsburgh Steeler and highly decorated vet Ike Taylor.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
I truly believe my energy is contagious. On the field and off the field. Off the field, I encourage my teammates to act appropriately. Getting in trouble off the field is never a good look for the program. On the field, the plays that I make generate hype throughout the team and can change a game.
Q: What is your final pitch or sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
I feel great and my film shows my ability. I’m ready to compete against anyone. I am very confident because I know I put the work in on the field and off the field.