High Impact Player Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Recognized as Among Best Young Players in NFL
By Space Coast Daily // April 25, 2020
THE SPACE COAST DAILY – FRIDAY NIGHT LOCKER ROOM TEAM IS BREVARD'S #1 SPORTS SOURCE
2020 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME: High Impact New Orleans Saints Player Chauncey Gardner-Johnson from Cocoa Tigers Football Recognized as Among Best Young Players in NFL.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Former Cocoa Tiger and Florida Gator Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has been a high impact player ever since beginning his career on the youth football fields of Brevard County, right up to his selection to the Pro Football Writers Association 2019 All-Rookie Team.
During his senior year at Cocoa High School, the 2015 Space Coast Daily – Friday Night Locker Room Prep Football Player of the Year helped guide the Tigers to a 10-3 record and a spot in the state semifinal game.
Playing in the Tigers defensive secondary, Gardner-Johnson shut down half the field against opposing high school quarterbacks, as he registered 31 solo tackles, 55 total tackles, four sacks and two interceptions in 2015.
Gardner-Johnson was also a force on offense for the then Tigers’ head coach John Wilkinson as he churned out 927 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns, and was frequently seen returning kickoffs for touchdowns.
He was listed as the 84th best high school prospect on ESPN’s Top 300 list, was ranked the No. 42 overall player in the country and No.4 ranked player in the state of Florida by the 247 Sports Recruiting Composite.
The much sought after Gardner-Johnson decided to take his considerable talents to the University of Florida to play for the Gators.
Always the impact player, Gardner-Johnson led the Gators with eight special teams tackles and totaled 32 tackles, three pass breakups, three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and a half tackle-for-loss in his first season in Gainesville.
The 6-foot, 208-pound Gardner-Johnson appeared in every game during his three years at Florida and started 25 times in the Gators secondary.
As a true freshman at Florida, Gardner-Johnson appeared in all 13 games, making starts in the final 3 games of the season. During the 2017 Outback Bowl, Gardner-Johnson had 2 tackles and 2 interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, he was named the MVP of the Outback Bowl.
During his sophomore season at UF, Gardner-Johnson started in all 11 games, totaling 58 tackles, two interceptions, seven pass breakups, six tackles-for-loss, and one sack.
Before his junior season, Gardner-Johnson was moved to the Nickleback position and in November 2018, he announced that he would forgo his final year of eligibility and declare his eligibility for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Gardner-Johnson was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round (105th overall) and then played in all 16 games during his rookie season, starting in seven at defensive back for the Saints.
He had 46 tackles, one interception, forced one fumble, four quarterback hits and defended 8 passes.
In a Week 13 game against the Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving Day, Gardner-Johnson recorded his first career interception off a pass thrown by Matt Ryan in the 26–18 win.
In week 16 against the Tennessee Titans, Gardner-Johnson recorded 8 tackles and forced a fumble on wide receiver Kalif Raymond which he recovered during the 38–28 win.
For his outstanding play during the 2019 National Football League season, Gardner-Johnson was selected to the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team.
When he declared his availability for the 2019 NFL Draft, Gardner -Johnson remembered those here on the Space Coast that helped him achieve his goals.
Gardner-Johnson recognized his family and friends and thanked former Cocoa Tigers head coach John Wilkinson, his youth football coach Alex Goins and former NFL player and Cocoa Tiger James Folston for their support and encouragement.
THE 2020 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 8.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2020 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-323-4460 or 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
CLICK HERE TO SEE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame selection committee announced an impressive array of outstanding individuals to be inducted into the 2020 Class of the Hall of Fame.
The 2020 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Sports Awards will be held Friday, May 8 at the Cocoa Beach Country Club.
The festivities include a meet and greet with the area’s sports royalty beginning at 6 p.m., and the dinner and induction proceeding will start at 6:45 p.m. and includes compelling video tributes of each of the inductees.
The 2020 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction event, and the 2020 High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards, are sponsored by Health First, Erdman Automotive, All Points, Clear Choice Health Care, Savings Safari, Friday Night Locker Room and Rock Paper Simple.
The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame includes an impressive array of outstanding individuals to be inducted into the 2020 Class of the Hall of Fame.
Dozens of nominees were considered in four categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports.
Special honorary recognition will also be bestowed upon individuals and teams that have made significant contributions to sports on the Space Coast.
Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 and has so far inducted more than 160 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.
Serving on the committee are Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo, Vice President Giles Malone, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo, Managing Editor Zach Clark, the Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, former Health First COO Larry Garrison and Amateur Athletic Union Vice President Rusty Buchanan.
“The list of inductees for 2020 induction include athletes and coaches everybody knows – and some that may have been forgotten with the passing of time,” said Tom Palermo.
FOR INFORMATION about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, or to make a reservation, e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Tim Wakefield talks about his induction into the first class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2020
• PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Jamel Dean, Football; Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Wrestling; Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Football; Mark Lake, Skateboarding; Juwaan Taylor, Football
• COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Derek Hamm, Football; Paulette King, Basketball; Dylan Lewis, Soccer; Melanie Murphy, Softball
• PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lexy Denaburg, Volleyball; Apryl Bigham Nickson, Swimming; Andi Sellers, Soccer
• AMATEUR/RECREATION CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Peter Blount, Track & Field; Karina Villegas, Sled Hockey; Caylor Williams, Wrestling
• COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Sean Ballard, Wrestling; Doug Butler, Cross County and Track; Aubin Goporo, Basketball; Gerald Hodgin, Football; Bill Sinclair, Softball; Don Smith, Basketball
• SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEE: Loren McClanahan
• LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEE: Clint Hurdle
• SPORTS OFFICIAL INDUCTEES: Ted Ruta
• SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEES: Steve Vaughn
• SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE: Congressman Bill Posey
• CHALLENGER AWARDS INDUCTEES: Brevard Special Olympics
• TEAM OF THE YEAR: 2019 Satellite High Cross Country
• LEGACY CHAMPIONS: TBA
• SPECIAL TRIBUTE: TBA
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
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