Maryland transfer Max Garcia said UGA’s Mark Richt, along with coaches from the Florida Gators and South Carolina, have contacted his high school coaches to express serious interest on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Garcia is an NFL prospect who started all 12 games at left offensive tackle for Maryland as a sophomore this past season. Garcia, who starred at Norcross High School, was granted a release by Maryland coach Randy Edsall on Monday because he wants to transfer to a school closer to home.
“I just think Coach Edsall understood my situation,” Garcia told the AJC. “I did my best to go along with everything at Maryland and do whatever the program asked of me. I just felt like it would be better for me and my family if I would be a little bit closer than 10 hours away from home. My friends and family can see me play, and enjoy these college years with me while they last.”
Under the terms of the Maryland release, Garcia cannot transfer to any ACC school, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Temple or UConn. Garcia was one of three Maryland players granted releases on Monday, and all three had provisions about Vanderbilt, which is coached by former Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin.
“I really can’t make a comment on that,” Garcia responded, when asked about Vanderbilt.
Garcia will have to sit out next season and then have two years of eligibility. He wants to play at any SEC school and was in the process of filling out paperwork on Tuesday to be able to communicate with every conference member except for Vanderbilt. He was thrilled to hear about UGA’s interest.
“I’m definitely excited about Georgia being interested in me, and my mother is really happy about it as well,” Garcia told the AJC. “I’ve always considered Georgia since high school. It just never really worked out the first time around. They liked me out of high school. They just wanted me to go to a summer camp, and I was never able to make it up there.”
What if UGA offered? “I’d definitely consider committing. Being so close to home, it would be a great opportunity for me. I’m also going to open it up to other interested schools. I want to try to find the best situation for me – as far as being close to home, with what I want to study and how much offensive line depth there is.”
Garcia wants to major in communications, public relations or Spanish. He is open to playing anywhere along the offensive line. “I’m willing to play wherever I can help out my new team, it doesn’t matter,” Garcia said. “I can play tackle or guard. I’ve never taken an snaps at center but I could do it.”
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