Wash. OL Garnett high on Stanford

The 2012 West Coast offensive line class has been praised as one of the best in recent memory, and Puyallop High School (Puyallop, Wash.) trench warrior Josh Garnett is one of the best in that group. Last weekend, Garnett traveled to Palo Alto for Stanford's Junior Day, and liked what he saw.

"It was my first trip out to Palo Alto," Josh Garnett said. "It was really, really cool."

Garnett flew out to the Bay Area on Thursday evening and stayed through Sunday morning. He was accompanied on the trip by his parents.

The actual Junior Day activities began Friday morning.

"The first day we just talked to the coaches visited the sports medicine complex, had a little talk with the sports medicine people, and talked with several players," Garnett said. "I talked to the offensive linemen, one of the freshmen named Cameron Fleming. I got to hang out with a bunch of the offensive linemen, asked them a bunch of questions, sat in on a meeting, and pretty much that was it on the first day.

"On Saturday we met with the academic guy. He talked about the academics at Stanford, how to get in, and what we should do in high school right now. Then Luck came in with a bunch of the guys who were team captains and talked to us a little bit about Stanford. We asked them questions about the academics and the girls (laughing) and stuff like that. Then we met with Dr. Condoleezza Rice. She talked to us a little bit about Stanford, what it's about, how prestigious it is, how you can get in and what it can do for your life."

While it certainly seems like the Cardinal pulled out all the bells and whistles to impress a banner group of visitors, Garnett said the highlight of his trip was simply getting to know some of the players on Stanford's roster.

"I think definitely it's the interaction I had with the players, the freshmen," Garnett said. "If I was going to go to Stanford, I'd know those guys would be my teammates and those guys I'd look up to help me out. I know I could mesh with those guys already, they were cool with me, they were talking to me, they were hanging out with me. That means I could mesh with them if I came to the school. That really sticks out if that had to be a deciding factor in my decision."

Garnett also had a chance to meet Stanford's new offensive line coach, Mike Bloomgren.

"I like him a lot," Garnett said. "You can tell he knows what he's talking about. He's really intelligent and you can tell he really knows his craft. I really liked him a lot. He's a really cool guy. I really could see myself talking with him and playing for him for four years. He's a really cool guy."

Working with a top-notch offensive line coach is just one of several factors that will ultimately play into Garnett's decision.

"Definitely the academic part is going to be the most important thing and then what majors they're offering, because I want to be in human biology, because I'm going to try to go pre-med after that," Garnett said. "Then the offensive line, how I can come in and play early. And the line coach, how that guy is." One of the reasons that Garnett is so attractive to many colleges is because of his versatility – he has the strength and athleticism to play guard or tackle.

Most schools, however, envision him playing on the outside.

"Most schools see me as a tackle but because of my athleticism and how strong I am, I could play guard," Garnett said. "It's kind of good for me because if there's an open position at guard or tackle, I could come in and fill that spot early because I could play both spots."

As for the rest of Garnett's decision criteria, the 6-foot-5, 275-pounder says Stanford fits well.

"Stanford fits them very well," Garnett said. "They have everything there. I'm just going to see now what other schools have to offer. I'm going to be asking them how they compete with Stanford academically and things like that. I'm going to have some questions comparing now."

One of the schools most often discussed in relation with Garnett is the University of Washington. Garnett lives near Seattle, and his dad, Scott, played football at UW. However, Garnett denies he's any sort of Husky lock.

"I'm really open to other schools," Garnett said. "Juts because my dad went there, I don't have an affiliation with Washington because I live here, it's a coincidence. I live next to the school, it really has no effect on if I want go to the school or not. I'm not the kind of guy to go there because I want to rebuild the legacy of the team I grew up watching. If Washington's the school for me, if it's not, then I'm going to go somewhere else. It doesn't really matter if I'm a Washington kid or not."

Garnett, who earned an invitation to the Army All-American game, said he plans to make a decision in "January or February". He plans to take visits to Cal and Oregon in the next few months.

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