Ever since Devin Gardner stepped foot on campus at the beginning of the year, the hope from fans has been that he would spend the 2010 season redshirting. That's not because fans didn't want to see him on the field or anything, but rather they wanted Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson to be able to hold down the quarterback position this year. Also, a redshirt would give Gardner some separation from Forcier and Robinson eligibility-wise, giving Michigan an extra year with No. 7 after the other two QBs graduate.
While the plan of redshirting Gardner sounded nice, Rich Rodriguez has a different plan for the true freshman quarterback: playing him.
Rich Rodriguez says all three QBs may not play in opener, but can see all three playing during the year. Devin will probably not redshirt.
The possibility of Gardner playing, to me, has more to do with his talent than anything else. I still expect Robinson to be the starter this week, and it's likely that Forcier will get some playing time as well. For Gardner to see the field, though, it will be because he's too talented to not play considering Michigan has two serviceable quarterbacks in Robinson and Forcier.
While I would still prefer that Gardner redshirt just so Michigan can get another year out of him, if he's talented enough to play now, then he should see the field if a situation presents itself where he is needed. It's unclear right now if that situation will be an injury, a package to mix up the offense or just letting him take the reins as the starter, but in Rich Rodriguez's eyes, Gardner is too talented to not play at some point this season.