2016 Gators commit sees opportunity with ND

2016 four-star safety Florida commit Chauncey Gardner of Cocoa (Fla.) High talks about his most recent offer from Notre Dame and where he stands as a Gators commit.

Cocoa (Fla.) High standout safety Chauncey Gardner didn't expect to hear from his head coach that Notre Dame was extending him an offer, but on Tuesday, the Irish pulled the trigger on the junior Florida commit.

"Up to this point, I had only received letters and stuff," Gardner said. "So, I wasn't expecting this, but when I got it, I was like, 'Wow, this is a great opportunity.'"

The 6-foot, 197-pound safety is familiar with Notre Dame due in part because his former teammate, current Irish running back Tarean Folston, had some positive words to share.

"I haven't gotten up there for a visit yet, but I like what I've seen from them on TV," Gardner said. "They play good defense and I know Tarean likes it up there. When he comes back home, he works out with us and he says it's a great atmosphere."

Gardner committed to Florida in June. He also touts offers from the likes of Louisville, Miami, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and South Florida, though none of those offers have been recent.

"I don't want to cause too much commotion, so I'm not going to talk about where I stand (with Florida) right now," Gardner said. "I've really just been focused on our season because we are still in the playoffs."

Cocoa will take on Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington this Friday night in the Florida 4-A state semifinals.

Gardner plays a variety of roles for Cocoa, including outside linebacker and kick returner.

"I'm really physical I would say," Gardner said. "I can play with anyone the field and pretty much make tackles from all over. I can read the offense well and love making interceptions."

Gardner is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 5 safety in the class of 2016.

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