Matt Garin Talks About Becoming A Gopher

Matt Garin, a 6-foot-4, 223-pound senior defensive end from Eastview, committed to Minnesota in November. Garin shined in the recent Hawaii Prep Classic, finishing with three sacks and four tackles. Garin was named to the Minnesota Vikings All-State team that was honored Sunday and GoldenSports.Net caught up with him to learn the latest.

Matt Garin led Eastview to a 7-4 mark this season, defeating Bloomington Kennedy and Apple Valley in the Section 3 playoffs before falling to Rosemount. He was named first-team All-Metro by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and KARE 11 Sports and made the Associated Press, Minnesota Vikings and St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State teams. Garin was proud of the accolades he received this season.

"It feels really good. I feel honored and everything. My friend, Tyler Terry, who was also a defensive lineman, got it (being named to the Viking All-State team) last year and he told me how cool it was to go down on the field and see everyone, see how fast the players are and how big they are. There are a lot of people here and it was really exciting to just go out on the field," Garin said.

Garin enjoyed the experience of playing in the recent Hawaii Prep Classic.

"It was good to know that you can play on the next level," he said. "Going in, I was a little bit nervous and thinking that all these guys are big-time players going to big-time schools. It proved that if you put your mind to it, you can do it. I just like rose to the occasion. Going into practice, I saw how good everyone was. You practice with everyone all week and you start playing at their level. It comes game time, you are just playing at their level, so you are playing a lot better.

Garin said that playing well was a confidence builder as he gets ready for college.

"It definitely was. As far as practice was, practicing against those guys was harder than the game, definitely," he said. "The practices were really hard and going into the game was easier."

Garin said that he got to have some fun in Hawaii away from the field, despite some unusual weather.

"I was pretty good at surfing. It was my first time. I was on the little waves at first. I was getting really good at it and everything, so I went up by myself and started going on the big waves. It was fun. I didn't know that it was that easy," he said. "It was probably because I snowboard a lot. It was fun. It was a lot of fun. We went Kayaking and swimming. Just going up and down Wakiki Beach and hanging out with the other players. It was cool. It rained almost the whole trip. On Thursday, it was the most rain that they have had in 22 years. It was still fun, though."

Garin said that he has talked to the Minnesota coaches are what position he will perhaps play ni college and whether he will play or redshirt next year.

"I am talking to Coach Roof a lot. We are still trying to decide if I am going to play linebacker or defensive end," he said. "When I come in, they are going to see what I am better at. If I do play defensive end, I probably will redshirt my first year. If I play linebacker, I probably won't. We'll just see how it goes."

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