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Good Day Sacramento conducts live interview with CV star running back Gardner
JaQuan earns special recognition
JaQuan Gardner had a highlight-filled career with Central Valleys varsity football program. He was interviewed on live television by Good Day Sacramento last month. - photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier file photo

Central Valley High School star running back Ja'Quan Gardner answered questions on live television while being interviewed by Good Day Sacramento on campus at 7 in the morning on Dec. 27.

Gardner was recognized for winning a national competition.

Ja'Quan Gardner was voted USA Today/Asics Ultimate Athlete of the Year.

"He seemed to enjoy himself," Hawks football head coach Jason McCloskey said. "At the same time, he didn't make a big deal out of it. He's a humble guy. He gives a lot of credit to those around him. He's one heck of a running back. He helped put Central Valley on the map. It's going to be real hard to top the all-round person Ja'Quan is."

Said Gardner: "It's pretty cool to get that recognition. A lot of people supported me. Hopefully, it helps with college recruiting."

McCloskey and Central Valley Athletic Director Greg Magni provided words of encouragement and calmed Gardner's nerves before the interview.

"It was pretty scary being on live TV," said Ja'Quan, a 5-foot-7 speedster. "There are no retakes. But it was fun. They asked some cool questions. It was a good experience."

A three-year starter for the Hawks, Gardner broke the Stanislaus District's career and single-season rushing yard records this season.

He totaled 2,467 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2013. Ja'Quan ranks first on the District's career rushing yards list (6,014). Gardner tallied a program-best 63 TDs.

He was also named Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player.

"I'm pretty surprised," Gardner said while talking about his dominance on the gridiron. "I never even thought about that (breaking records). I had a good offensive line every year."

Gardner has yet to receive any college scholarship offers. McCloskey believes it might be because of his size.

"I don't know what the big deal about the whole height thing is," McCloskey said. "There are a lot of guys that are not very big but are very talented. He's that guy. He's an elite football player that deserves to go to college. He'll have success wherever he goes."

"It motivates me," Ja'Quan said.