Garcia Is a Winner, Plain and Simple
Stephen Garcia's announcement to play his college football at South Carolina on Thursday afternoon may not send ripples throughout the recruiting community, but the high expectations that Garcia will bring to Columbia may leave some wondering what his commitment really means. In essence, the biggest reason to be happy as a Gamecock fan is that the Head Ball Coach got the guy he wanted.
Garcia is a winner, plain and simple. With hair that may have some fans remembering Steve Tanneyhill, and high school numbers rivaling that of Todd Ellis, including a 450 yard, 7 touchdown effort earlier in the year, Garcia just acts like some of the top quarterbacks that have run through Columbia over the past few decades. If he is able to translate his high school success, with career numbers of 7,800 passing yards and 80 touchdowns, to the gridiron in Columbia, then the Gamecocks will be set.
Expectations could run high for Garcia, as he enters the college ranks as one of the highest rated quarterbacks in South Carolina football history. He truly fits the mold of a classic Spurrier quarterback, playing with a good head on his shoulders and making great reads coming off the ball. Rarely does he place the ball to where a defender can make a play on it, erring on the side of throwing incompletions rather than interceptions. When he plays, there is an obvious air of leadership that his teammates feed off of, as he took his team to the state playoffs every year while starting for the Florida powerhouse, including a bid in the state championship game his sophomore year.
The addition of a big-name quarterback will help some in recruiting as well. While South Carolina's wide receiver class is already nearly complete, five-star athlete Mark Barnes and four-star receiver Dion Lecorn, who both openly favor the Gamecocks, have yet to pull the trigger with a commitment. How close are the Gamecocks to landing Barnes? He and Garcia planned on multiple occasions to make joint commitments, but Barnes is now set to announce his college choice at the Shrine Bowl next week. Garcia has also maintained contact with Lecorn, discussing the possibility of playing together in Steve Spurrier's offense. The Carolina coaches can point toward their four-star quarterback (in addition to the one they picked up last year) to show just how bright the future is in Columbia. Expect Garcia to put the full-court press on fellow prospects like Carlos Dunlap, Weslye Saunders, and other highly recruited players as signing day draws nearer.
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