Stephen Garcia Looks To Playoffs and Beyond

Jefferson (Tampa, FL) standout quarterback Stephen Garcia is widely known as one of the premier quarterback prospects in the nation this year. The Scout.com 4-star prospect was highly touted after his junior season, but his stock has risen even further after an impressive showing at the infamous Elite 11 camp where he finished as the 3rd best quarterback in attendance.



GamecockAnthem.com spoke with Garcia on Monday night, and he told us how his senior season is going, as well as updated the recruiting process.

Stephen Garcia, who measures in at 6'3 and 220 pounds, has had a record setting senior season, and he is now gearing up to lead his team into the playoffs.

"(My season) is going real well actually. We are 8-2, and we're heading into the playoffs. We've got our first round game on Friday night. Personally, I just broke the (Hillsborough) County passing record, so that was pretty exciting for a career, and I moved into fourth place for all time completions in the state of Florida."

Despite finishing the regular season on a losing note, the star quarterback is excited about his team's chances in the upcoming playoffs.

"Definitely, we came off a pretty disappointing loss in our last regular season game, but I think that's going to help out the team as far as knowing we can be beaten. We've just got to keep working hard in practice, and we had a great day of practice today. We're just going to keep moving forward, and we've got to start putting it on these teams."

Garcia, who has openly favored South Carolina for months, also updated how the recruiting process is going for him.

"It's going alright. I haven't really talked to too many reporters or coaches recently. I've just been kind of taking it easy and focusing on my football season. It's still looking like South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Auburn are still up there. Florida is still in there and Boston College is too, and that's pretty much it, but everything is still wide open. South Carolina is still on top."

The premier Sunshine State prospect has not set a timeframe to make a commitment, but he does know that a decision will come after his season is over.

"It's going to be after the season. I don't really know when though."

While he does not yet know when he will pull the trigger on a commitment, Garcia does know what he is looking for in a school.

"Obviously playing time is a pretty big factor for me. Overall talent of the team and how they're going to be in the next couple of years is important. Location and just the University in general, the academics, and all that. That's why South Carolina is on top right now."

Garcia had previously stated that he could hold off on making a decision until January or even February of next year, but a recent turn of events may have moved up his timeframe. South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier has requested that Garcia graduate in December and enroll at USC in January, which would allow him the opportunity to take part in spring practice.

"Yeah, actually Steve Spurrier wants me to graduate early now. I didn't really want to, but if that's what I've got to do to play early, then that's what I'm going to do."

Another factor that is playing in the Gamecocks favor in the battle for Garcia's services is his relationship with his recruiter David Reaves.

"David Reaves is my recruiter. It's probably the best relationship I've got right now with any recruiter, not just because he's a good recruiter, but I've had a previous relationship with him. His dad played at Plant High School, which is pretty much our rival. He's known my brothers and my dad for quite a bit, and now he's recruiting me. I get along with him probably the best."

Garcia possesses a fun loving personality, which has helped him make several friends through the recruiting process, and according to Garcia, he keeps in regular contact with several of his fellow prospects.

"Yeah, I've been talking to Mark Barnes a lot from Columbia, South Carolina. I've been talking with a couple other quarterbacks like John Brantley, Willy Korn, Keith Nichol, Aaron Corp, and I keep in touch with all those guys from the Elite 11. I talk to Dion Lecorn a little bit, and I guess he's interested in South Carolina, so I kind of talk with him to see where he's at as well."

One interesting relationship that Garcia has built through the recruiting process is his friendship with Clemson quarterback commitment Willy Korn. According to Garcia, he and Korn joke all the time about playing against each other at rival schools, and that rivalry was caught on camera at the Elite 11 camp earlier this summer.

"At the Elite 11, they made us take a couple of rivalry pictures. They had John Brantley, who's going to Texas and they had Ryan Mallet, who's going to Michigan take pictures with Troy Smith from Ohio State, who was a counselor there. They had a couple other rivalry pictures, and they just assumed I was going to go to South Carolina, so they made me and Willy (Korn) take some rivalry pictures, so it was pretty funny. I enjoyed doing that. He's a cool guy."


Stay tuned to GamecockAnthem.com for the latest on this standout Sunshine State quarterback prospect.

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