Matt Garin leads Lightning to first-round win

Matt Garin, a 6-foot-4, 223-pound senior defensive end from Apple Valley (MN) Eastview who has a scholarship offer from Minnesota, helped lead the Lightning to a 27-7 win over Lake Conference rival Bloomington Kennedy Tuesday night in the first round of the Class 5A Section 3 playoffs. GoldenSports.net caught up with Garin to learn the latest on his recruitment.

Matt Garin has paced Eastview to a 6-3 start after their first-round playoff win. Garin was named Associated Press second-team last season after leading the Lightning to the Prep Bowl semifinals and an 11-2 mark. Garin was the team's leading tackler from the defensive end position.

Garin's father, Dave, played high school football at Bloomington Kennedy. He played at St. Thomas University, Normandale Community College and UNLV.

Garin recieved scholarship offers from Washington State, Oregon State, Air Force, Stanford, Western Michigan, Colorado, Arizona State, Minnesota and Boise State and West Virginia.

He is playing defensive end for the Lightning and is also contributing to their short-yardage package.

He also played on the Eastview lacrosse team that advanced to the state semifinals.

Garin is an excellent student with a 3.49 GPA and a 23 ACT score.

Eastview has produced Gophers football players John Shevlin, Ryan Ruckdashel and Jason Meinke.

GoldenSports.Net caught up Garin after the playoff win over Bloomington Kennedy.

What are your next visits planned?

"I know that I have the Michigan game for the Gophers. I'd like to get to Arizona State before that," Garin said. "I'm not totally sure, but I think it is going to be the Michigan game (for my Gopher visit). I think that I am going to go with Ra'Shede (Hagemen). I know that Moses (Alipate) is not going then. I kind of wanted to go with him, but it is cool since he still going to be there and I'll hang out with all the guys, which is what I want to do."

How many visits have you taken so far?

"I went on the Colorado official and that was really cool. I liked the fans. They had a lot of fans. It was something that I was not used to because there was so many fans. It's too bad that they lost, but their coaches are really motivational. Their facilities are extremely nice. I like their 'Thunder Dome.' It was really cool."

Where else are you planning on going? Are you still thinking about going to West Virginia?

"I still want to. I don't know if it is going to be possible, but I still want to. I really still think that I should. I just don't know when, but I would still like to."

How about Minnesota's strong start. Are you surprised about how well they are playing?

"I am just really happy. This is really what I wanted to see them do and they are doing it. It is really making it easier for me to put them at the top of my list and it's great."

Do you have a top school yet?

"I would say that Minnesota is at the top right now, because they have been doing so well. The other night, I had a really long phone call with Coach Cross and I really connected really good. He is a really cool guy."

It is obviously easier to be excited about a team that is 6-1 as opposed to when it is 1-11.

"Exactly."

You play Apple Valley in the second round of the playoffs, one of your big rivals. How is that going to be?

"I can't wait to play them. That first game was such a fluke against them. It is always my favorite game of the year playing against Apple Valley. I know all the guys. I went to middle school with them. That is probably going to be my favorite game of the year."

I know that Varmah Sonie is back after missing a couple of games. He had two touchdowns tonight. What do you do to try to slow a versatile player like that down who can do punt returns, kick returns, play defensive back and wide receiver?

"He is just a really good athlete, but we put Patrick O'Neal on him and he is probably one of our best athletes and is our best athlete in the secondary. We'll put him on Varmah. He has played against him before and he stopped him the last game. We'll see. He is still going to be making a lot of big plays. You've got to stop him and then stop everything else."

Do you still have a timetable for when you are going to make your decision. Originally, you were hoping to make the decision before the start of the season. Then you wanted to wait and visit some schools.

"I don't really have a timetable, but I think the best thing about me waiting is seeing how well the Gophers have done. That is really what I wanted to do. I'd said maybe November, I think. I think that is reasonable."


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