Garcia makes the switch

With the new Sonny Dykes offense fully installed in Tucson the Wildcat coaching staff decided to hit the JUCO ranks to try and get some immediate help for the offensive line. So far so good as the staff has now landed their second JC trenchman.

Cerritos offensive lineman Phillip Garcia has decided to join his friend and teammate Mike Diaz in coming to Tucson next month.

"I told coach (Mike) Smith that I was coming," said Garcia. "He was real happy and excited that I decided to go to Arizona. He thanked me for letting him continue to recruit me even after I had committed to Kansas State."

There are many reasons the 6-foot-7 inch, 330 pound Garcia decided to switch his commitment from KSU to Arizona. Family, friends and proximity to home all played a key role in his decision to switch.

"I committed because the location," he commented. "It is the Pac-10 and it has been my dream to play in this conference. I am going to get to play close to home and that means a lot to me. Mike (Diaz) being there and playing right next to me is huge. If I know he is my left guard then there is already trust there and I know what he can do and will do, I can count on him."

The closeness to home is perhaps the biggest factor for Phillip. Dreams and friends aside, Garcia has bigger more important reasons to stay out west.

"My dad isn't doing well because of his health," admitted Phillip. "I wanted to be able to be as close to him as I could in case he needed me or I needed to get home real quick. Arizona was just the best place for me, especially considering my dad and his health."

Garcia was recruited to Arizona by the Wildcats' running backs coach Mike Smith. According to Phillip he developed a solid relationship with both Smith and his future position coach, Bill Bedenbaugh.

"I really like Coach Smith a lot," Phillip said. "I like him a lot and I like coach Bedenbaugh a lot too. They are both good guys and good coaches and I am looking forward to playing for coach Bedenbaugh."

Garcia and his friend and teammate Mike Diaz will both enroll at Arizona in January. Phillip is in the middle of rehabbing his surgically repaired knee and he says that he has good hopes that he will be able to participate in spring ball in Tucson.

"They tell me that worst case I am out until early May," he commented. "I will most likely be ready to go by late March or early April and since Arizona is starting their spring ball a little later I should be able to have some fun."

Garcia is a huge pickup for the Cats as he could, if healthy, step in for outgoing senior Left Tackle Peter Graniello, especially since Adam Grant just recently had his third ACL repair done.

Stick with for all the latest on the Wildcat Football program's recruiting efforts.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories