The team enjoyed another high spirited workout on an evening that saw them once again working out in helmets and shorts. Garcia, who performed much better after a rocky first night, said that the enthusiasm showed by players and coaches in early practices is a sign of very good things to come.
"I think just the enthusiasm and the energy level of the whole team," said Garcia when asked about what stood out on the first two nights. "Coach Spurrier said before last night's practice he wants us to just have fun and be enthusiastic the whole night and you guys saw the conditioning we did, everyone was pretty excited and yelling and screaming. We have a lot of talent on this team, we just have to put it to work."
After hearing that the team had full participation in offseason workouts and conditioning, many have wondered if that meant Garcia would show up to camp in great shape and ready to play. So far, it appears that Garcia has fully committed himself over the summer to becoming the leader Gamecock fans have looked for so long.
"I think I did pretty well (this offseason), I slimmed down to about 225, if you call it slimming down," Garcia joked. "So I worked really hard with coach fitz and some of the other guys and trimmed down a little bit, so I feel pretty good about the shape I'm in."
The comfort level also appears to be there for the junior quarterback, who has looked to settle into his role as the number one starter, but also play hungry enough to ward off pressure from the likes of Connor Shaw and Andrew Clifford.
"I'm trying to get the ball out of my hand as fast as possible," added Garcia. "Coach Spurrier, Coach Mangus, they just want the ball out of my hands, so I'm just trying to throw the ball somewhere. This is the most comfortable I've been since I've stepped foot on this campus. So I feel like we can have a big year this year."
Going into his fourth year of experience in the program, there is no doubt the coaching staff and players alike are looking for Garcia to continue to grow in his leadership role. Garcia also said that he looked to a former Gamecock for advice on how he can improve his ability to lead.
"This year, I talked with (former Gamecock and NFL cornerback) Terry Cousin a few times, and he just told me he wants me to be a lot more vocal," said Garcia. "Coach Mangus and Coach Spurrier told me that last year, and I didn't really feel comfortable being as vocal, but this year I'm going to be a lot more vocal. We're going to be ready for this year, to do some big things."
With an experienced defense returning on the other side of the ball, as well as talented freshmen and a new offensive line coach on his side of the ball, Garcia said the team has very high expectations for this year.
Although all Southeastern Conference schools set their sights on Atlanta before the season begins, Garcia said he believes this year's team possesses all the intangibles needed to play for an SEC crown.
"Well, nothing less than SEC Champions," said Garcia of his expectations. "I mean we say that every year that I've been here but I think this is the most talented team we've had and the hardest working team we've had, so I think that's a good combination."
Garcia looks for big things from 2010 team
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