Max Garcia, who is one of the nation’s most-heavily recruited football transfers, rated his official visit to UGA somewhere “between a 9 and 10” on a scale of 1-10.
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound offensive lineman is a former Norcross High School football star who was recently granted a release from Maryland. Garcia will red-shirt next year and have two seasons of eligibility.
Garcia took official visits to UGA and Ole Miss over the last 10 days. He confirmed with the AJC that he will go to Florida on Friday, then take a recruiting trip to USC next week. Garcia is deciding between Wisconsin, Vanderbilt and Clemson for his fifth and final visit. He hopes to announce his college decision by late April.
UGA has been the longtime frontrunner for Garcia, who requested permission to transfer from Maryland because he wanted to play closer to home. During his spring break, Garcia toured UGA on an official visit.
“I rate my visit to UGA between a 9 and 10 because while I was there, I felt at home,” Garcia told the AJC. “I enjoyed meeting all the coaches and the players. I had an overall great experience in Athens. I got to see their first spring practice in pads.
“They practiced with great intensity and enthusiasm. It really got me fired up – I wanted to be suited up myself.” Garcia joked that the only reason he did grade UGA as a “10” is because “I only received about $50 for the gas spent driving to Athens [from the Atlanta area].”
Before Garcia took any visits, he said UGA was his frontrunner ahead of Florida. After taking his first visit to Ole Miss a few days before UGA, Garcia told Scout that the Bulldogs were ahead of Ole Miss.
Now that Garcia has visited UGA, where do things stand? “Picking my order of schools is really hard for me because I haven’t visited them all yet. One day I’m leaning towards one school and the next day I’m leaning towards another. And with offers coming in every other day, I really have to keep an open mind because I don’t want to limit myself of options. But I still have a high interest in UGA and Ole Miss.”
Lane Kiffin’s USC Trojans and Wisconsin are among Garcia’s newest scholarship offers – and two schools located in different time zones than his hometown of Atlanta.
“Although USC and Wisconsin are further away from home, I spoke with my mother, who has a great role in my decision … and she ultimately wants me to be happy,” Garcia said.
“Going through the recruiting process, you never know who’s going to be interested in you. I initially wanted to get closer to home but I cannot just pass on tremendous opportunities because of my initial feeling. Both programs offer an ideal opportunity academically and athletically that all the other programs I’m interested in do as well.”
Garcia started all 12 games at left tackle for Maryland last season.
JUST IN …
MARCH MADNESS, WHAT’S THAT? RECRUITING MADNESS!
WHILE YOUR BRACKETS GOT MESSED UP …
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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