Iowa Western Wins Opener as Fitzroy Gardner Shines on Defense

Pig Trail Nation

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Iowa Western Community College opened the 2019 season with an impressive 36-14 win over Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College on Thursday night.

Among the top players for the Reivers was defensive end-outside linebacker Fitzroy Gardner, 6-3, 225. He finished the game with five tackles, all solo, three for loss, a sack, two forced fumbles and a pair of recovered ones.

Gardner is a redshirt freshman from Tampa (Fla.) Armwood who holds offers from such schools as Arkansas, Mississippi State, Houston, Arkansas State and others.

He was offered by Arkansas on Aug. 1. He later talked to about the offer.

“It meant a lot to me,” Gardner said. “I have been looking at Arkansas since I was in middle school. They just surprised me out of nowhere when they gave me that offer.”

He’s capable of being a similar player to Randy Ramsey when he was at Arkansas in that he’s a versatile defender.

“They want me to play either D-end or outside linebacker,” Gardner said.

Gardner talked about this strengths at both defensive end and outside linebacker.

“My strength at end is I am quick off the ball,” Gardner said. “My get off is very good. At outside linebacker, I am big and I can cover and I’m fast. I can do both.”

Gardner and Iowa Western will return to the field on Saturday, Aug. 31, against Iowa Central.

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