Thursday, May 26, 2022

Jets’ Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner explains how he got his nickname after going No. 4 overall in 2022 NFL Draft

New York Jets No. 4 overall pick Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner is very committed to his nickname, and there are many stories of how this “Sauce” identity was formed. Sauce is so locked in on his nickname that he wore a diamond sauce chain (that can actually hold sauce) and another chain that featured his nickname.

The nickname has certainly caught on, but just where did it originate? 

The cornerback gave a little insight on why he has the name, saying:

“I would get like three Sriracha sauces and dip everything in it – my burger, my nuggets and my fries.”

Gardner has also said in the past that it came from his little league football days and his ability on the field even as a young player.

“I had the moves. I was playing running back. I was saucy with the juke moves,” he told NFL Network, crediting little league football coach Curtez Harris with the name. 

When he was a young player, the story goes that Harris told Gardner, “To be the man, you have to inherit this sauce.”

Gardner got the nickname A1, until one day his coach called him, “A1 Sauce Sweet Feet Gardner.”

He clearly loved the nickname and it stuck. Sauce then shortened it to what it is today, and created a persona around the name.

The 21-year-old said he does not always channel the “Sauce” way of life, but on the field he makes sure he’s got the sauce.

“My personal meaning is a level of confidence. When I’m on and off the field, I make sure I’ve got the sauce. That just keeps me going,” Gardner said. “When I’m in my little calm mood, it’s just me being Ahmad. The Sauce is within me, so I’m always Sauce. I have to know when to flip the switch up and turn the switch off.”

At Cincinnati, Gardner was a Consensus All-American, the 2021 AAC Defensive Player of the Year and did not allow a single touchdown during his collegiate career. 

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