Maybe there really is such a thing as “football Gods” who distribute various forms of justice.
Just three days after Miami turned in Florida wide receiver coach Joker Phillips for a bump violation, Miami lost one of its most coveted commits from their own backyard, Class of 2016 defensive back/running back Chauncey Gardner (Cocoa, FL/Cocoa High School), to the very same coaching staff they just ratted out.
Gardner, who primarily plays defensive back, had been considered a solid verbal to Miami for a few months after originally committed to Miami right after the Canes’ 21-16 upset over Florida back in September. So when you think about it, that’s a pretty impressive recruiting job by Will Muschamp to be able to flip such a long standing commit to a rival school. But what really had to hurt Miami fans was Gardner’s sarcastic use of the now famous Lebron James line when announcing his flip.
Of course, as a member of the Class of 2016, there will be plenty of time for Miami to find a replacement for Gardner in their 2016 recruiting class. But at the very least, it’s a nice bit of revenge for a Florida fanbase that was desperately seeking some after Miami essentially ran Joker Phillips out of town with a display of bitchiness that a sixth grade girl would scoff at.
But this means more than just stealing a talented kid away from one of our biggest rivals. This is a bigger get for Florida than some might think.
Gardner possesses tons of athletic ability. He runs a 4.5 40, and just has a knack for the ball. He gets to where he’s supposed to be and wraps up to make the sure tackle. I’d like to see him bulk up a little bit in the next two years, but remember that he is a sophomore in high school, so there’s no need to be panicked over his sub 200 pound body.
Hopefully, he joins the long list of successful Gators defensive backs and becomes one himself someday. For now, though, Florida fans can revel in the fact that Florida still owns Miami on the recruiting trail despite the Canes beating Florida on the field. Pulling off flips like this renders that awful day in South Florida totally irrelevant, and reduces what could have been a great recruiting tool for the Canes to nothing more than a distant memory.