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6 PLUS 1 DAYS TO (TENTATIVE) 2020 KICKOFF: Justin Gardner

In which BracketCat counts down the seventh day until the 2020 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State defensive back Justin Gardner.

#6 Johnathan Durham
The graduation of safety Johnathan Durham (6) has left his jersey number available for incoming JUCO transfer defensive back Justin Gardner.
Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

Disclaimer: As the 2020 football season still is “technically” scheduled to proceed as planned in Manhattan, with the recent delay of our season opener until Sept. 12 against Arkansas State, we will reset and continue this Countdown for just a little bit longer...

Goal No. 6: SELF-DISCIPLINE. Do it right; don’t accept less.

#6 Justin Gardner

Redshirt Junior | 6-2 | 191 lbs. | Charlotte, North Carolina
Justin Gardner
Justin Gardner
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive Back
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Second-String
  • Status: On Scholarship

Justin Gardner (b. Oct. 11, 1999) is a fast, experienced, taller cornerback who transferred in from Hutchinson Community College this spring. He has two years left to play two seasons.

Gardner played under head coach Ryan Andrews at Shiloh High School in Snellville, Georgia, where he earned honorable mention all-region honors from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution following his senior season, when he registered 29 tackles and three interceptions for the Generals. He also was an honorable mention all-county pick.

Gardner committed to and enrolled at Oregon State, where he redshirted the 2017 season.

He then played in two games during the 2018 season for the Beavers, including the Southern Utah game in which he carded a pair of tackles, but he then elected to transfer.

Gardner enrolled at Hutchinson and played one year for the Blue Dragons under head coach Rion Rhoades. He was viewed as the 18th-best community college cornerback in the Class of 2020 by both ESPN and 247Sports, earning second-team all-conference honors.

Gardner totaled 19 tackles last season to go along with three tackles for loss, one interception, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He had a season-best four tackles against Coffeyville, while he had two tackles for loss against Garden City.

Gardner’s interception was against Dodge City, while he had two of his three forced fumbles on the year at Fort Scott. He played with current Wildcat Kirmari Gainous.

In his second college recruitment process, Gardner selected K-State over offers from Akron, Arkansas State, Central Michigan, Florida International, Houston, New Mexico, New Mexico State, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Texas State, Utah State and Western Kentucky.

His chief recruiter was K-State assistant head coach, passing game defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Van Malone, his new position coach.