Tigers in top three for Peach State OL

Already with three offensive lineman commitments for Clemson's 2010 class, Norcross HS (GA) offensive tackle Max Garcia isn't letting the numbers waver his preference for the Tigers.

OL Max Garcia Profile

Whether he ends up at Clemson, Vanderbilt or Maryland, which make up his top three, Garcia realizes he'll have to compete for playing time.

"I know wherever I go, I'm going to give it my all and try to make an impact my first two years," he said. "I don't mind the competition. Whether I'm in the SEC or ACC, I'm going to face good competition."

Ranked as the No. 48 offensive tackle prospect according to Scout.com, Garcia is also rated with three stars. Clemson coaches like his athleticism enough to believe he could play defensive end.

Coupled with the chance of playing early, Clemson sits in the top three because of its proximity to home. Improvements to facilities are also a plus.

"They're going to have state of the art facilities there," Garcia said. "They're looking at me making impact in my first two years there."

The Commodores and Terrapins recruiting him as an offensive tackle. Sporting a 3.4 GPA, Vanderbilt is drawing his attention because of its academic reputation.

"Coming out of Vanderbilt with a degree is amazing and highly respected when you get out," Garcia said. "It would be that much easier to find a job. It would be a great opportunity for me to develop my career."

Hoping to major in journalism, a degree from Maryland is also appealing.

"They're one of the most respected schools for journalism. That would be good opportunity for me," Garcia said. "BJ Adams, my running back last year, he's up there and telling me that it's a great school and it's where I need to be."

Throughout high school he's been active in school outside of football. Garcia has worked on the student newspaper and his enrolled in a video journalism class, the first of its kind at Norcross. If professional football isn't in his future, he's gotten a jump start on another professional career.

For now, he's not sure if he wants to be in front of a camera or behind a keyboard.

Which side of the ball he plays on in college has yet to make an impact on which school he'll choose.

"I'd give playing defensive end a chance," Garcia said. "I've always played defense and offense. My brother really wants me to play defense."

This year he'll be playing both ways at Norcross, where he hopes to help pave the way for 1,500 rushing yards. After a few days in shorts and helmets, tomorrow will be Norcross' first day in full pads.

"It's hard out there practicing in only helmets when you're trying to hit. We're all anxious to get the pads on," Garcia said.

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