Notre Dame transfer said to be headed to Terrapins

Defensive back Gardner could be joining Maryland

College Football

September 14, 2004|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Although it's not official yet, Maryland's football team appears to be on the verge of landing a talented sophomore transfer from the University of Notre Dame.

According to sources within the Terps' program, Isaiah Gardner - a defensive back and kick returner for the Fighting Irish - was in College Park yesterday and exploring the possibility of enrolling at Maryland.

The South Bend Tribune reported last week that Gardner, who is originally from Virginia Beach, Va., was absent from practice for two straight days, and that speculation was he had asked Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham to release him from his scholarship. Willingham has declined to comment to the media about Gardner's status with the team, but as of yesterday Gardner was no longer listed on the roster on the team's official Web site.

Gardner, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound cornerback, was regarded as one of Notre Dame's best athletes after he ran a 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds during the spring, but he had not earned significant playing time with the Irish this season. Gardner played on special teams in Notre Dame's season- opening loss to Brigham Young, but did not see action on defense.

Maryland, which declined to comment yesterday, recruited Gardner in 2002 out of Salem High School, where he rushed for 1,068 yards and 18 touchdowns in seven games as a senior. Because of NCAA rules regarding transfers, Gardner would be required to sit out a year before playing for the Terps.

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