Well it took a couple thousand miles but it looks like USC Trojans QB commit Jake Garcia will indeed play high senior season of high school football afterall.
After the ruling in California that stated high school fall athletics were to start in either December or January, some recruits have opted out of their final seasons and intended to enroll early at their college of choice in January.
While some wanted to play whenever the games can go on, others wanted to play at the normally scheduled time and still have the possibility to enrol early in their colleges.
It looks like Garcia falls into that category as he’s transferred to Georgia high school powerhouse Valdosta High School, home of ESPN’s Titletown own Valdosta Blazers, the winningest high school football team in the country.
“I’m really excited about the decision,” Garcia said. “For me, it was big to play as a senior. I need those game reps and this is going to be a big year for me mentally as well in terms of preparing for college. With not just California football shut down but the entire West Coast pretty much, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, etc, I knew I had to leave the region. Like I said, I think senior year is a really important time to learn and get better. This will be big for my development and I felt this was the best move for me to make long term.”
Garcia also spoke to 247Sports about how he came to choose Valdosta.
“That’s a big time program,” Garcia said. “Football is huge in the South so I’m looking forward to the experience. I’m excited to see what Southern football is all about, plus I have family in Atlanta and they talked about what a great school Valdosta is and what great tradition they have.
“The facilities are amazing but it’s not just about football. They have a great academic reputation as well so it checked off all the boxes for me. I think the move will really benefit me as an early graduate and it will help prepare me when I get to college in January.”
This now will make four different high schools for Garcia in as many years. He played for Long Beach Poly as a freshman, transferred to Harbor City Narbonne after his Poly head coach, Antonio Pierce, left for Arizona State. He then transferred to La Habra after his then coach Manny Douglas was forced to resign.
He’ll now play in the south and another legendary head coach in Rush Propst.
Garcia is on track to graduate in December and enroll at USC in January. He’s the No. 37th ranked player in the country and has said that he won’t waiver in his commitment even though he’s moving east, and to the south.
“Yep, I’m still very solid in my commitment,” Garcia said. “The move to Georgia doesn’t change anything. I have communicated with the coaching staff and they supported my decision 110% as it is the best move to prepare me for the next level. I”m excited about the recruiting class we’re bringing and the direction the program is going. I have a great relationship with the coaches, coach Helton and Graham Harrell and it’s a great all around fit for me so I can’t wait to get there.”
Remember, he’s projected currently as a Day 3 draft pick of a prospect but has a ton of potential ahead of him. 247Sports ranks him as the Composite fourth-best pro-style quarterback in the class and the fourth-best player in the state of California. His evaluation:
Loose, athletic frame with a pure stroke and effortless delivery. He throws with touch and accuracy, can change speeds and has a nice feel for the position. Can throw with timing and has a nice feel for the position. Understands when to take some off and doesn’t try and throw all fastballs. Has tightened his release and gets the ball out quick from different arm angles. Has improved athletically and looks comfortable rolling out and throwing on the run. Can continue to improve throwing a tighter ball and doesn’t spin it as consistently as you would like to see but don’t think it will be an issue for him moving forward. Projects as a impact upper tier Power 5 starter and future NFL draft pick.
According to the rankings now, his composite ranking should also be good enough to be the fourth-best player in the state of Georgia as well, and only behind five-star QB Brock Vandagriff as best quarterback in the state.
Go on, Jake, excited to see you take on the talented players in the south. Fight On!