Garcia, who stands 6-foot-4 ½ and 310 pounds, is an NFL prospect who started all 12 games at left offensive tackle as a sophomore this past season at Maryland.
UGA will have some stiff competition from the Florida Gators for Garcia, who has also been offered by Auburn and Ole Miss. The former Norcross High School standout is also being evaluated by Alabama and South Carolina.
“Georgia thinks he’s real athletic, and they love his versatility in that he can play inside or outside on the offensive line,” Norcross assistant Reggie Stancil told the AJC. “They got a chance to watch his film. I think it was Maryland’s game against Georgia Tech. Coach Bobo, Coach Friend, and Coach Mark Richt watched it and they liked. Of course, after seeing it, they were all interested and they want him to be a Bulldog.”
Garcia requested his Maryland release because he wanted to play closer to home. Under the terms of the release, Garcia cannot transfer to any ACC school, any of Maryland’s future non-conference opponents or Vanderbilt. He immediately targeted SEC schools and the NFL prospect has been overwhelmed by the reciprocated interest.
“He was very excited about Georgia and Florida both coming in on him,” Stancil said. “It’s a situation where you get your release but you don’t know who all is going to want you or have space on their roster for you. It’s kind of a scary situation for any kid going into it. Now that his name has gotten out there and people have watched his film and loved it, it’s a big relief that four pretty good SEC schools want him.”
Garcia mentioned how he was appreciative of UGA’s attention a few days ago: “I’m definitely excited about Georgia being interested in me, and my mother is really happy about it as well. 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 happens next? Garcia is finishing out the spring semester at Maryland and hasn’t decided when he will start visiting his suitors. He may try to space out some weekend campus tours during the semester, or take several back-to-back trips during Maryland’s spring break from March 17-25.
Garcia will have to sit out next year under NCAA transfer rules and then have two years of playing eligibility. Garcia, who wants to major in communications, public relations or Spanish, will transfer to his new school for summer semester.
Georgia is looking to add at least one other offensive lineman after onetime commitment Chester Brown switched from the Bulldogs to Central Florida because of an immigration policy and 5-star Avery Young signed with Auburn over Georgia.
IT’S RAINING RECRUITING STORIES
INSTANT AJC RECRUITING CLASSICS
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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