Michigan expected to enter spring practice with its most dynamic offensive player still on the mend.

Instead, Gardner surprised Michigan coach Brady Hoke and a slew of teammates Tuesday by fully participating in the team's first spring practice of 2014. Moving forward, Gardner says he expects to have no limitations and hopes to be a full participant throughout the spring's 15 practices.

He also says he's excited to be involved in a quarterback competition this offseason with Shane Morris, Russell Bellomy and Wilton Speight.

It'll be a competition Gardner expects will make everyone better, and it's also one he fully expects to win.

"I'm a competitor, I'm going to compete and they'll pick the best quarterback when it's time," Gardner said Tuesday night. "(But) I'm the quarterback of the team."

Gardner was forced to miss the team's final game of a disappointing 2013 season after injuring his foot against Ohio State on Nov. 30.

In his place, Morris -- then a true freshman -- made the first start of his career in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl after handling all the No. 1 quarterback duties throughout the month of December.

Earlier this month, Hoke said he and the coaching staff weren't exactly sure who the team's starting quarterback will be in 2014 -- despite the fact that Gardner started 12 games and nearly became the second player in school history to throw for 3,000 yards.

That said, Gardner welcomes the offseason competition -- especially after last season, when he never really had any type of quarterback battle to push him in the offseason and keep him sharp throughout the year. Morris was still learning the position, and Russell Bellomy was hurt.