Baltimore's Terence Garvin has played basketball, baseball and run track during his high school career, and although he excelled at all of them, he maintains that football is his first love. He ran sprints and relays as well as long and high jumping in track, and said that the experience he gained in each sport helped him in football.
"I think that every sport you play can help you in another said the six-foot, two-inch, 210-pound defender. With track, it's good for speed work, and really helps keep you in shape. In basketball, it's jumping and explosion. I liked them all, but football is my thing."
There's not much to doubt about that statement. Garvin earned second team All-Metro D.C. and Honorable Mention All-State honors after recording 42 tackles and two interceptions on defense to go along with 1207 yards and 16 scores on offense, but wants to achieve even more this year.
"My main goal is for our team to go undefeated and win our league. We're a private school, so we can't go to the state playoffs, so that's our goal. Individually, I want to earn first team on both All-Metro and All-State. I'm a good tackler, but I want to work on my tackling and make sure I can put big hits out and get people on the ground. I want to be faster, too, especially sideline to sideline. I know that the wide receivers are going to be really fast in college, and I have to be able to stay up with them."
Garvin is a versatile player who could be either a safety or outside backer at West Virginia, and he is demonstrating that with a position switch for his senior year.
"I played safety last year, but I will play some linebacker this year," he noted. "I think I am better at safety, but if my team needs me I can play outside linebacker. Last year I played more at safety, but I can do either one.
"I am a hitter. I love to hit and I tackle really well. That's what most schools saw in me, and that's why most of them recruited me as a defensive player."
Although Garvin had offers from just West Virginia and Maryland when he made his commitment, he said that several other schools, such as Syracuse, Connecticut, Boston College and Virginia all said that if he visited, he would receive an offer. He believes those offers would have been forthcoming had he played the recruiting process out, because he received handwritten letter from many of those schools. However, after getting the offer from West Virginia and considering all the Mountaineers had to offer, he didn't think any other school could top it.
"My Mom and Dad came with me on my visit to West Virginia, and on all of my visits," he explained. "They were very involved with me in the recruiting process. My dad was really crucial. He talked with all the college coaches, and also with my high school coach, about the whole process.
"I did want to get it out of the way before my senior year started. After I visited West Virginia I took a couple of weeks to think about it, and I really liked everything there. It was a good fit for me, and my parents were really happy with the decision too. They know that West Virginia is a powerhouse, and a really good school. They liked the coaches, who are really good people, and they are close enough to get to see me play. That's important to me. They've been coming to my games my whole life."
Defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel was Garvin's primary recruiting coach, and his intense manner struck a chord with Garvin. It was perhaps the final straw in an overwhelming list of factors that pointed him to West Virginia.
"He's just into the program," Garvin said of Casteel, who has added Maryland to his recruiting area this year. "I really like that. He has a winning way about him. And I love that defense he plays too. It gives safeties a lot more chances to get on the field and play. That's a great defense for me.
"I have watched West Virginia for a long time, and I always liked them. Then when I made my visit, I was surprised by how nice all the people are. I knew it was going to be a football atmosphere, so that wasn't a surprise, but the people were. And I really liked the strength and conditioning coach, Mike Joseph. He does a lot of different style lifts, and he talked about how his main goal is that you don't get hurt.
With all of those things in place, Garvin said that he won't be reconsidering his decision.
"I like West Virginia. It's the best fit for me, and that's where I want to be."