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July 6, 2013In a video that first appeared back in April, quarterback Devin Gardner completed a pass to receiver Jeremy Gallon with his eyes closed. Interviewing both players for The Wolverine Football Preview, which hit bookshelves this week, the two explained how the video came to be.
Gardner pass with eyes closed
The chemistry that exists between the two actually started years ago, when neither was playing much on Saturdays and they were determined to put in the extra work to both improve and catch their coaches' attention.
Gallon: "I'd run routes for hours until both of us just had nothing left, and then we'd get up and do it the next day.
"We want to win, want to get better, and when we first started doing it, we weren't playing much but we wanted to help the team anyway we could, and wanted to be ready when called upon.
"I was pushing him and he pushed me, and the coaches saw that, we earned their confidence and respect, and they gave us a try."
Gardner: "It's sort of become second nature for us. We finish what we need to with the team, and then it's our turn."
Sometimes the lights would get turned off inside Al Glick Fieldhouse, so Gardner and Gallon would drive a mile to Ann Arbor Pioneer High School and throw on its field.
Gallon: "There were times we didn't go home until it as dark. We spent every hour in our practice facility until they kicked us out and then we'd practice over at Pioneer until we couldn't see the ball anymore."
Their work together paid off last year when Gardner became the starting quarterback Nov. 3. In five games together, the two were responsible for 31 completions, 511 yards and three touchdowns.
The video actually emerged from Gallon and Gardner telling teammates they needed to put in additional work to develop the same rapport.
Gallon: "It can't just be me that Devin looks to because teams can do some things to take one guy away. This is an entire team effort, and it's my job to make sure the younger guys are on the same page with Devin, and to give them any advice they need, and any instruction, because we need them.
"We're not going to lose our chemistry. Devin knows he can count on me, and I know where he needs me to be to make a play, but two guys alone aren't going to get it done for our offense."
Gardner: "We were out throwing one day, doing what we always do, and some of the guys were around, and I told them if they were willing to work, they could have the kind of bond that Gallon and I had, and then our offense would be unstoppable.
"They were kind of listening, but kind of not, so I wanted to do something dramatic to get their attention so I told them I could throw a square out to Gallon with my eyes closed. They all sort of laughed at first so I told Gallon to run his route, and we did it.
"All of a sudden it was like the light went off for them. I'm just glad I completed the pass."
Gallon: "I was actually a little worried because I was a little slow out of my break, but Devin threw it right on the money.
"Even though I was confident Devin could throw it with his eyes closed and I'd be there, that was our first time trying that stunt.
"We were talking to Ondre Pipkins and he was asking why our chemistry is so perfect. We told him we're best friends and we practice every day and he said if we practiced this much that we should be able to do it with our eyes closed. Devin didn't back down at all."
To order the 2013 Football Preview, call 800-421-7751 or visit Ann Arbor area bookstores.