Florida Gators safety commit Chauncey Gardner (6-0, 194 Cocoa, Fla, Cocoa High) has had a busy summer. He’s visited Florida, camped at Ohio State and The Opening out in Beaverton, Oregon. Gardner has been a longtime Florida commit and had previously camped at Friday Night Lights so when this year rolled around he decided to take a deserved night off.
“I saw some talent out there. I tried to pick them up. Right now it’s more about recruiting and learning,” Gardner said of his visit on Friday. “I lead the class right now, so, I’m trying to lead it in the right direction to make sure we get the right crews filled in the right spots.”
Gardner has been a vocal leader for the class of 2016. He has a big presence on social media and has done more than his part to help the coaching staff recruit their first full staff in Gainesville. Gardner took in the sights and sounds on Friday in a place he will call home come January. He hung out with other recruits on the sidelines and Gators players who had also come out to watch the event but he stayed away from recruiting players on the field.
“I don’t wanna really harass them too much because everything is new for them,” he said. “Some of them have never really competed in anything like this, to them this is like their Opening.”
With his summer camp and visit circuit done, Garner is now focusing on his senior season. Cocoa High School will be a young team led by Gardner in the fall and he wants to continue to lead them the right way on the field.
“My goal right now is just to win a state championship,” he said. “I’ll be in Gainesville on January 4th. I’m an early guy, so I’m, just trying to focus on everything, states, my team; we’re a young team so I’m trying to get them built up so we can win games.”
As an early enrollee, Gardner’s process is sped up more so than most prospects. Despite his commitment to Florida and his shorter timeframe, Gardener is still planning on taking his five official visits to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame and Penn State. Gator fans don’t need to worry about Gardner though, he has every intention of enrolling at Florida in January to get a jump start on the next stage in his career.
“It’s going to benefit me a lot,” he said. “Getting six months jump-start on guys, that’s going to mean a lot. Some guys can’t do it but I can so I can get a jump on teams.”
Gardner won’t be a stranger in Gainesville either. He plans to take unofficial visits — on top of his official visit for the Florida State game — this fall to watch the Gators and his future coaching staff in person.
“I’ll probably come up to Gainesville,” he said. “I’ve got my official for the Florida State game and I’ll probably come up for a bunch of unofficials too.”