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Oct 7, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Chauncey Gardner Jr. (23) gets the fans pumped up against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gardner-Johnson, Gators Ready To Kick Off New Season

With a new season on the horizon, Chauncey Garnder-Johnson and the Florida Gators are ready to take the field again. The new campaign begins Saturday as they look to bounce back from a 4-7 season in 2017.

Gators First Test In New Era

When the Gators take the field this weekend against Charleston Southern, the Dan Mullen era will face its first test against the Buccaneers. Florida has been preparing all offseason under the new coaching staff, and fans will get a first official taste of the team’s hard work in training camp.

Not only do the Gators start the season at home this year, but they host the following two games before hitting the road against SEC East-rival Tennessee in Week 4.

Eager To Get Back To The Swamp

Garnder-Johnson, a junior defensive back, played a increased role last season after veteran Marcell Harris suffered an injury in the preseason. With Harris sidelined in 2017, Gardner-Johnson filled in and started all 11 games. He totaled 58 tackles, two interceptions, seven pass breakups and finished second on the team in tackles behind linebacker David Reese.

Looking to the present, he’s ready to get back on the field at home and show what the team is capable of.

Taking the added experience under his belt, he said the team is ready to go into the season stronger and with a new mindset.

Preparing For First Opponent

Big South Conference opponent Charleston Southern rolls into Gainesville this weekend. Gardner-Johnson said the team will have to take a different approach against this non-conference opponent. He also thinks they’ll have to expect everything possible.

Redshirt junior quarterback London Johnson and preseason first-team all-conference pick Kam Brown could be players to watch out for on their side of the ball.

And no matter who takes the field as signal caller for Florida, Garnder-Johnson said if they make a mistake on that side of the ball, “we got you.”

The first game of the 2018 season is set to kick off Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.

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