There’s a real chance Garcia may never leave the field this fall for the Wolverines. With his versatility and athleticism, he could be a legitimate three-way performer. “I’ll play wherever,” Garcia said. “Coach Butch (Goncharoff) has done a great job of building us into whatever the team needs in order for us to win. If a college wants me to play center, I’ll play that. It doesn’t matter where I play. It doesn’t matter to me.”
With offers out from USC and Washington State, Garcia will likely have his choice of what side of the ball he’ll play in college. WSU is recruiting Garcia as an athlete, while USC initially wanted him on defense. “It fluctuates depending on what their need is,” Garcia said. “One time they told me tight end and then they started looking and told me I could be a ‘backer too. So at that point it’s wherever I want to play. I think they’ll let me choose.”
Last year at the end of September, Garcia knew he wanted to go to USC. But six weeks ago, he went on his Twitter account to let people know that he was opening up his recruitment. “It’s a really big decision in life and it’s a decision I have to live with - where I get my degree from,” Garcia said when asked about why he decided to take a second look. “I love USC and take nothing away from them; I just wanted to make sure I made the right decision where I go to brighten my future and make me successful.”
Garcia added that the Trojans are still in the running to earn his signature on a letter of intent. “Of course,” he said. “I’m just looking at all the schools right now, making sure I make the right decision.
“It’s not starting from scratch. If I was starting from scratch, I’d still be messaging people on Twitter and things like that. I just think it’s a new take on recruiting. It just feels different. I know all the coaches everywhere, so when I decommitted it was like a new start.
“To me, the recruiting process is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I love it. I don’t have a problem answering to anybody or text message anybody or Twitter anybody. It’s fun for me. I didn’t have any of those doubts. I just discussed it with my family and we went on.”
What was the reaction from colleges once Garcia made it clear he was still open? “A lot of schools messaged me about a day after, a couple days after,” he said. “It was like a brand new car came on the market and everyone wants to go check it out. A lot of schools messaged me.”
At this point, Garcia isn’t limiting himself. “Everyone interests me,” he said. “I’ll shorten things down when it gets time, but for right now I’m looking at everybody. I’m interested in everybody.”
Garcia may not be starting the recruiting process from scratch, but he is now a man without a college team. There’s no question he’s in a different place than he was at the beginning of May. So how does that affect his summer going forward? “My focus is on Bellevue right now,” Garcia said, matter-of-factly. “This is my last season I’m ever going to wear a Bellevue jersey and Bellevue helmet, so I’m going to commit my time and I’m going to grind for a state championship. Right now I’m not focusing on anything else; no camps, nothing. This is my family out here and I told them I’m going to dedicate all my time to them - so that’s what I’m doing.”
He did participate in the recent Barton Football Battle in Seattle 7-on-7 tournament, breaking a finger and tearing a ligament. “I broke it the first game, but taped it up and played through it,” said Garcia. “It felt kind of numb, but it didn’t bother me.”
With Bellevue football his sole focus, you would think the recruiting process would be well on the back burner until after the Wolverines’ season is finished - but that’s not necessarily the case. “I’ll probably make a decision earlier, but for right now recruiting is in the back,” he said. “Once I can start taking my officials I’ll start taking my five.”
As of right now, Garcia is listing Arizona and Arizona State as two schools he’s talking to. Expect more to come around in the coming months. Could one of those teams be the Washington Huskies? Only time will tell, but as of right now it looks like Garcia may be heading out of town for college.
“Those two are for sure I’m going to take officials on,” Garcia said of the Wildcats and Sun Devils, two schools he’s already visited recently. “At this point there’s no others I know I’m going on.”