Gavin Garcia has played three seasons with the Southern Colombia Area High School football team, and he’s won three Pennslyvania AA state championships.
Through his time at Southern Colombia, Garcia has played with some top-tier players like current Ohio State wide receiver Justin Fleming and current Michigan running back Gaige Garcia, and without them, he still led his team to a state title. In his last go-around with the Tigers, Garcia has a couple of goals: win another state championship and figure out where he’s going to play college football.
Garcia (5-foot-8, 185 pounds) has picked up offers from Dartmouth, Army, Harvard, Navy, Lehigh, Kent State, Bowling Green, Colombia, Yale, Pennsylvania and Princeton, and while he hasn’t picked up an offer from West Virginia, he’s hopeful for the future.
Last Thursday, Garcia competed at a WVU football camp, and he came out of the opportunity feeling like he’d stood out among other running backs at the King of the Hill camp.
“I thought, compared to all the other running backs, I thought I was the top guy at that camp,” Garcia told WVSN. “From the one-on-one drills, to the juking drills, to the passing routes, I really thought I made an impact on every play.”
Garcia called the camp a fun time, getting a lot of one-on-one completion against the other recruits in attendance. Since the camp wasn’t too crowded, he said everyone got plenty of reps in. And the WVU coaches couldn’t have been more helpful.
“The coaches were very helpful and beneficial — showed you everything their players do at West Virginia. They showed us all their drills, all their cuts, all their routes, and I was very thankful to be a part of the camp and learn such an amount of stuff in one day’s time.”
When Garcia first arrived at Milan-Puskar Stadium for camp, he said WVU quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan saw his card, came to greet him and took him straight to midfield to talk to head coach Neal Brown. It was an “awesome” start to camp for him.
His camp experience included running his 40-yard dash for WVU running backs coach Chad Scott, and while Scott was happy with his time, Garcia still felt he could have done better. “I did better last week, but a 4.5 is still not too shabby,” he said.
While Garcia felt like he performed strongly for WVU at the camp, with his goal being to earn an offer after the day of competing, he didn’t receive one. He said he doesn’t know what WVU is thinking, but he’s hopeful an offer will be extended in the future.
Of the “big-time” schools that have contacted Garcia, he said WVU has been the one that has reached out with multiple coaches — Brown, Scott, Reagan and more. It really made him feel welcome at the camp with the coaches knowing his name and wanting him there.
If WVU does offer Garcia, he’s hopeful it’ll be by the end of summer. He’s hoping to have his recruiting process figured out by the time he goes into his senior season with the Tigers. With his senior season close, he’s hoping to raise his already sky-high numbers.
As a junior, Garcia rushed for 1,921 yards and 30 touchdowns on just 113 carries. That equates to a touchdown on roughly every fourth carry and a whopping 17 yards per carry. He also caught eight catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns and returned both a kickoff and punt for touchdowns.
A track star for Southern Colombia, he was a part of the district winning track team this season and won multiple gold medals on the track. That speed translates well to the gridiron where Garcia’s speed and quickness allow him to race past defenses on every touch.
RUSHING: 113 carries: 1,921 yards: 30 tds
175 Rushing Yards Per Game
17 YARDS PER CARRY
RECEIVING: 8 receptions: 168 yards: 2tds
1 kick return and 1 punt return td
3-peat State Championhttps://t.co/nbcNqdMMut
— Gavin Garcia (@gavingarcia_) November 30, 2020
Before returning to Southern Columbia in the fall, Garcia has a couple of more visits left to complete. He’s going to visit Kent State and Harvard, and there’s room for more camps, too. He’s already been to Penn State and Princeton this summer.
A couple of teams have stood out as a potential fit, but there are schools he’s talked to that haven’t offered yet, too. Wherever Garcia winds up, he’s ready to bring his speed and strength to their backfield.