COACHES' BREAKDOWN: "Probably Ohio State's best guy on a team that struggled this year. Don't see him as an obvious pro prospect ... He played left centerback against us ... Don't think he's a pro prospect ... Didn't have the presence. His best shot is a left back ... He struggled this year against us. The whole team did.... Very disciplined, tactical. Good left foot. Best as a left back, but can also play CB and DM. Reads the game well, good possession player. Very smart defensive player, rarely gets caught in a bad spot. Lacks athleticism that's necessary for MLS - mostly pace. Excellent student, great leader ... Was a defensive mid against us ... Hard to say about him. No one on their team had potential to play ... Hard-working player."
COLLEGE: 2013: Scored a goal and added an assist in his senior season... Started in all 18 of the Buckeyes' games... Anchored OSU defense that recorded nine shutouts and allowed 18 goals... Second on the team in minutes played with 1,669... Second Team All-Big Ten... 2012: A third-year starter at left back, started all 19 games for the third-consecutive season... Led the team in minutes played with 1,754... Earned First Team All-Ohio laurels... Named First Team Academic All-Ohio, Academic All-Big Ten and OSU Scholar-Athlete... 2011: Started all 19 games for the second-consecutive season ... Helped Ohio State hold opponents to 20 goals in 18 regular-season matches, including just seven in the team's six Big Ten contests ... Picked up First Team Academic All-Ohio recognition as well as Academic All-Big Ten honors ... Also earned the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award ... Named an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete... 2010: Named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team after starting all 20 games at left back ... Saw 1,837 minutes of action on the season, the most of any Buckeye field player ... Helped anchor Big Ten-best defense that allowed just 0.72 goals-against average with 10 shutouts ... Earned Ohio State Scholar-Athlete recognition.
HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB: Four-year starter at Worthington Kilbourne ... Three-time All-Ohio Capital Conference honoree... First-team honors as a senior in 2009 ... First team district honors as a senior... Two-time team MVP... Member of 2007 and 2009 regional finalist teams... Team captain for Crew Soccer Academy ...Along with teammate Chris Gomez, captured the USL Super-20 national championship with Crew Juniors in July 2011.
PERSONAL: Son of Matt and Maria Gardner... Oldest of five children ... Siblings include Mary Frances, Ray, Jeanette and Blake ... Enjoys playing and watching football and basketball... Member of the youth group at St. Peters Church... Member of the National Honor Society and National Latin Society.