So when the Trojans offered him on Monday, Garcia couldn’t have been more thrilled.
“Oh man, I was so excited,” said Garcia. “I grew up a USC fan and that was my hometown school. When I was little, I would always watch them. I couldn’t believe they offered me.”
Garcia lived in Fontana before moving to Washington, but his love for the Trojans never waned.
And with the USC coaching staff plenty familiar with him from when several of them were at Washington, he was on their board.
“Coach Justin Wilcox was who offered me,” said Garcia. “I had talked with Coach (Chris) Wilson too when I went on an unofficial visit there and I had talked with Coach Sark (Steve Sarkisian) before too.”
Garcia said that Wilcox didn’t specify a position for him, but mentioned a number he could play.
“They don’t know yet what I would play, but they said I could play H-Back, tight end, rush end our linebacker,” said Garcia.
Garcia visited USC five months ago with teammate Henry Roberts and loved everything he saw.
“When I went down there, talking to the coaches, I could see it could happen, but I didn’t know if it could happen this soon, going into my junior year,” said Garcia. “I was surprised but I was excited.”
The Trojans were the second school to offer Garcia, after Washington State.
“I have two now, with Washington State and USC but a bunch of schools have told my coach they are going to offer me,” said Garcia. “A lot just want to see me play this year.”
“I’ve talked to Washington a lot,” said Garcia. “They’re obviously close to home and I’ve been over there. UCLA is another school that’s a great program and from close to home. Myles (Jack) tells me what a great program they have. Oregon State has mid-interest in me. Michigan, I’ve talked to. And Oregon and Arizona State have talked with me a lot.”
Despite the offers, Garcia said he didn’t want to get caught up in recruiting just yet.
“I’m not really focusing on recruiting right now, just on getting ready for the season. Recruiting is going to come with the success of our team. I put my team first, grind with them and worry about them, so I’m not really worried about the process,” said Garcia. “I’m going to play defensive end and tight end, and starting on both sides of the ball.”
Next week, the Wolverines begin defense of their state title, a streak that’s now spanned six consecutive seasons as 3A champions. They’ll open with Gardena (Calif.) Serra, which carries significance with Garcia.
“I’m really excited for that game,” said Garcia. “This game is actually amazing for me too, going back home to play that. We’ve been working so hard in the offseason every day. It’s a big game for us.”