Saints reunite college teammates Marcus Maye and CJ Gardner-Johnson

Just as they have with Ohio State alumni in the past, the New Orleans Saints took part in the Florida Gators program and brought together college teammates CJ Gardner-Johnson and newly acquired safety Marcus Maye. . They had only been together for a year, in 2016, when Gardner-Johnson was a freshman and Maye was a senior. They also grew up playing high school football 30 minutes apart. It’s fair to say that they’ve crossed paths a lot over the years.

In a 2016 interview with Jordan McPherson of the Orlando Sentinel, Maye said of Gardner-Johnson and fellow freshman McArthur Bennett: “They’re very aggressive. You can tell they’re freshmen, but you know when the ball is in the air, they play like everyone else. They are players. Not much seems to have changed in Gardner-Johnson’s game since then except the quality of it.

Florida head coach at the time, Jim McElwain, also spoke about the relationship between the two players before the start of the season. “Chauncey has had a very good spring. What was great about it more than anything was seeing Marcus Maye take him under his wing, a guy from that area as well, seeing him take ownership and helping him see how we do our business.

The Saints’ defense hopes to replicate the Gators’ 2016 secondary success as one of the best in the SEC. They allowed a 45.1% opposing completion percentage and gave up just 148.5 yards per game through the air. Marcus Maye was named to the All-SEC team that season.

The two exchanged signed jerseys, with messages written to each other after the Saints’ visit to the New York Jets in the 2019 preseason. Unsurprisingly, most of the messages were about them came from area code 321. Now they are about to take the field back together.

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