Jets rookie corner Ahmad Gardner ready to earn ‘Sauce’ nickname

New York Jets cornerback Ahmad Gardner is ready to earn his nickname.

The rookie has gone by “Sauce” since childhood, but, much like his time at Cincinnati, Gang Green teammates are making him earn the nickname before it becomes a staple.

“I don’t mind. It happened in college,” Gardner said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “It’s something that comes naturally. A playmaker is a playmaker. It’s not something I go into practice or games thinking I gotta do this so they can call me ‘Sauce.’ It’s just going to come naturally like it did in college.”

The No. 4 overall pick, who famously didn’t allow a TD in three seasons at Cincinnati, is already well on his way to earning that nickname. He beat out veteran Bryce Hall for the starting corner gig. During preseason action, the lanky 6-foot-3 corner displayed good knowledge of routes in both zone and man and has the physical tools to be a shutdown defensive back.

“He’s been fantastic,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “Bryce Hall has had a very good training camp as well, but at the same time, with the overall body of work since OTAs, it’s clear that the kid is going to be pretty good.”

With a nickname like Sauce, it made sense that the rookie inked an endorsement deal for a signature sauce with Buffalo Wild Wings.

“You know, me, sauce and Buffalo Wild Wings, we all just have a special connection,” Gardner said. “I think it’s just going to be natural.”

It’ll be even more natural when the rookie earns the Sauce nickname from teammates.

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