It didn't take Loyola (Md.) Blakefield coach Brian Abbott long to come up with an appropriate term to describe senior captain Terence Garvin, West Virginia's latest verbal commitment for the class of 2009.
"He's incredibly versatile," said Abbott.
Indeed he is. As a sophomore for the powerful Dons, Garvin saw time as a running back, wide receiver, defensive back and safety. Last season as a junior, it was more of the same. As a senior and third-year starter this fall, Abbott expects his Morgantown-bound standout to be the featured back in Loyola Blakefield's spread offense, while also seeing plenty of time at both linebacker and safety on the defensive side of the ball.
When it came to his college recruitment, it was again Garvin's versatility which stood out more than anything else to the Mountaineer coaching staff. Couple that with the fact that he and lead recruiter Jeff Casteel hit it off from the get-go, and the 6-3, 210-pound safety prospect found West Virginia to be a perfect fit.
"Probably for the past six months, Coach Casteel has been talking with me," Abbott said. "We sent some tape down there and (Casteel) came over here in the spring. He was a class act, and that was a big selling point with Terence because he saw that right away. They instantly developed a trust, which is big for young men in the recruiting process."
In addition to his versatility, Garvin will bring several other intangibles to West Virginia when he arrives on campus for the 2009 season. Among those is a whatever-it-takes mentality which has helped Abbott's squad become one of the best teams in the state of Maryland over the past several seasons while still showcasing Garvin's Division I talent in the process.
"He's one of those guys who just goes out and does it," Abbott said. "He's a quiet, almost shy young man especially off the field. In practice, he sets the tone however it needs to be done, whether it's laying the big hit, running between the tackles or whatever. He'll set that tone, and he's always a guy who we have no problem putting the ball in his hands or putting him in a situation where he needs to make a big play in the game for us.
"He's a guy we can just count on," Abbott continued. "If we're playing a team with a great receiver, we'll match him up defensively and he'll cover him. If we need to grind it out between the tackles on offense, he'll take the ball and do that as well."
At West Virginia, Garvin's size and playmaking ability on the defensive side of the ball would seem to indicate a good fit at one of West Virginia's spur or bandit strong safety positions. Having followed the Mountaineers in recent years, Abbott agreed that Garvin would be a perfect fit at one of the unique hybrid positions in WVU's 3-3-5 odd stack defense.
While his first look will likely come in the defensive backfield, adding an additional 20 pounds or so to his frame could mean a move to the outside linebacker position.
"The great thing that he brings to college is that he's a great cover guy. He's long. He's 6-3, but he's plays a lot longer than that," Abbott said. "Right now, he has great speed, and he's 6-3 210 right now. They get him in there and get him lifting, he could play safety or linebacker. He's perfect for that."
For the time being, Garvin will put his collegiate aspirations on hold in hopes of leading Loyola Blakefiled to another successful season, this time as a team captain. But when the time comes to don different shades of Blue and Gold, Abbott is confident that his versatile star will be every bit as important to the Mountaineers as he's been to the Dons.
"West Virginia is well-known and they've had a lot of success," he said. "Terence is excited to hopefully lead them in the same direction that they've been going. I think he has that ability to do good things for them."