It was a different spring for Devin Gardner, from start to finish.

He entered with a new offensive coordinator in Doug Nussmeier, he had to work through a foot injury that limited his winter conditioning and he had to go through a real quarterback competition.

Unlike last season, when Gardner entered the spring as the unquestioned starter, the fifth-year senior split reps this spring with sophomore Shane Morris, freshman Wilton Speight and junior Russell Bellomy.

He said from day one that, regardless of how open Brady Hoke called Michigan's quarterback battle, the job was still his to lose.

But, at the same time, that doesn't mean that the competitive nature day in and day out hasn't made him a better player -- at least in his own view.

"Oh my goodness, it was amazing how much better (the competition) made me," Gardner said after Saturday's spring game. "I found myself just trying to be super perfect in everything.

"Obviously you can't be perfect, but you have to play as best as you can when there's guys behind you competing and wanting to play. It puts a sense of urgency on you."

The competition pushed Gardner this spring, he's more than willing to admit that.

But is he willing to admit whether or not Morris, Speight or Bellomy gained any ground on him in the race for the No. 1 job?

"No," he said with a smile. "I think I did just fine."

Michigan closed spring practice as most expected it would from a quarterback standpoint, with Gardner firmly looking like the team's No. 1 signal-caller.

No quarterback performed overly well during the spring game itself, but Michigan coach Brady Hoke repeatedly said during the closing portion of spring drills that if the season began today, Gardner would be his starter -- and Morris would be behind him on the depth chart.