As a senior at Schurr High School, Phillip Garcia was already having the opportunity to play college football on scholarship at highly regarded Oregon and Arizona State, until a mistake cost him the opportunity to play as a true freshmen two years ago.
"Unfortunately, they all stopped calling me as we got closer to the signing day and I just didn't apply to the Clearinghouse and I dropped a couple of classes that would have helped me get qualified," Garcia admitted. "It was a pretty stupid move on my part and I'm paying for it now, but I can make up for it and hopefully get a second-chance to show what I can do."
The end result meant heading to Cerritos (Ca.) JC, where Garcia is now amongst the nation's elite offensive lineman prospects at an imposing 6-foot-8, 330 pounds.
"I'm hearing from a lot of different schools," Garcia said. "Kansas State has told me that I'm pretty much one of there top recruits right now. They offered me. San Diego State and Arizona State are waiting on my transcripts and my film. Texas A&M is recruiting me as well. Some other schools are talking to me, but they are not recruiting me as strong as the other guys."
Among those that offered first was Kentucky, who along with Kansas State and San Diego State, have sent official scholarship papers.
"Kentucky, they have offered me but I haven't gotetn back to them," Garcia admitted, "I've been real busy with school and stuff, but they are one of the first offers I've gotten."
Among his new suitors sits a familiar face in the Sun Devils, who recruited Garcia out of high school and had initially offered when the then 17-year old was heading for graduation.
"Arizona State would be a good fit for me," Garcia stated, "I'm waiting on anything, really. I'd like a combination of everything. I'd like not to go too far. At least nothing too far back east. Academic wise, if the school has my major I'm planning on going into too and has a strong department, that would be a plus."
The California native would like to major in Kinesiology in college.
"Overall, I'm just looking for a really good team," Garcia added, "A really good program, where I'm comfortable with the coaches and the players; something that catches my mind and catches my eyes."
At 6-foot-8, 330 pounds, it's hard not to have the talented lineman catch yours.
"I'm kind of a technician," Garcia concluded. "I like using my technique and pride myself in that. I like run blocking and I like hitting people. I enjoy hitting linebackers and burying guys."