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Stephen Garcia, QB

School: South Carolina  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Lutz, FL
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 218 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
41024-
Latest News
04/02/2012 - "It was a little weird coming into Columbia," said Garcia, who moved back to Tampa immediately after being dismissed. "But I went to lunch yesterday and a few people came up to me and said they really support me and wished me luck. The support here has been awesome. Everybody was cheering, and seeing the old guys was a pretty unbelievable feeling." While Garcia followed his teammates from afar as they compiled the most successful season in USC history, he admitted it was difficult. Football had always been a part of his life, and Garcia was in a quandary with no idea what direction his life would take. "I went home and I just looked in the mirror and said: ???What the hell am I going to do now?' I had no idea what I was going to do. I thought the dream of playing at the next level was over." Garcia, who played at 230 pounds, ballooned to 245 before coming to a realization. "Monday I called the guy I work with now and said: ???I've got to start training again,' said Garcia. "I've got to give it one shot.' I think it has paid off. I hope it has. "I have cut back drinking, really cut it out completely, truthfully. I've got a chef down there in Tampa who makes my lunch and dinners. I think that has really been the key - losing all the weight. I don't know if it has been the working out as much as the not drinking and the food." Garcia weighed in at 218 pounds on Pro Day, lighter than he competed for USC. - Willie T. Smith III, Greenville News

03/29/2012 - The moment still seems fresh in Stephen Garcia's mind, though he has tried hard to erase it. He was meeting in October with South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman and learning that his time as USC's quarterback was finished because of another mistake in a career littered with them. "I kind of blacked out toward the end (of the meeting) because I just didn't even want to hear," Garcia said. Garcia was kicked off the team Oct. 11, three days after the sixth game of his fifth-year senior season and 10 days after he started for the final time - a loss to Auburn that led to coach Steve Spurrier replacing Garcia with sophomore Connor Shaw. Garcia's career included 34 starts and 7,597 passing yards, the third-most in school history, but also five suspensions. The final straw was a failed substance test; Garcia said it was just for alcohol. Garcia's workout produced mixed results. Four straight throws toward the sideline sailed high, but he connected with Jeffery on a couple others, as well as a well-placed deep ball. The questions about Garcia have always been more about his off-field behavior than his on-field performance, though that, too, was spotty at times during his USC career. "I've just got to talk to and get in front of as many scouts as I can, and let them know me on a personal level, so they can see that I wasn't the monster that it was portrayed I was in college," he said. "I'm definitely playing catch-up." - Darryl Slater, The Aiken Standard

03/29/2012 - Former USC quarterback Stephen Garcia stood on the field at Williams-Brice Stadium Wednesday for the first time since he was dismissed from the football team last October. Garcia was there for South Carolina's Pro Timing Day, a chance for Gamecock football players who are eligible for the NFL Draft to impress scouts. "It's been a long time guys, huh?" he said to reporters after he worked out. Last October, Garcia was dismissed from the team after violating team rules. Afterward, after his parents came to Columbia and helped him pack up his things, he went back to his hometown of Tampa, Florida, where he started training on his own for a potential NFL career. He said the intervening months have given him a chance to clear his head and improve his body. "Best I've ever felt, truthfully," Garcia said. "Back at home with my girlfriend and son. I feel healthy, I feel great." During the course of the early afternoon, Garcia performed drills, ran the 40-yard dash, and threw passes to old teammates such as Alshon Jeffery. To someone who never knew what took place last season, it would have seemed as if nothing ever happened. But not quite. Garcia got into Columbia Sunday night, and said it was weird to see all the old sights in the town he called home for over four years. He said he's been pleasantly surprised by the support people who've seen him around the city have shown him. "If nothing else I got a chance to see the guys again and say goodbye to a bunch of teachers and people that I didn't get to," he said. Of course, Garcia was asked about October. He doesn't like to talk about that time; for him, it brings back memories he'd rather forget. "Every time I think about it, it's upsetting, what happened, and the way it happened," he said. - WTSP 10 News

03/27/2012 - QB Stephen Garcia, who was suspended five times before being dismissed from the team last season, will return to campus Wednesday for pro day. Garcia will be one of 16 former Gamecocks working out. Stephen's father Gary told The State newspaper his son hopes to keep a low profile this time. "He just wants to get in and get his job done," Gary Garcia said. - CBS Sports

02/21/2012 - Former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia wasn't among the 300-plus prospects invited to this week's Scouting Combine, but he is still working hard to convince scouts to give him a shot at the NFL. Garcia participated in the Battle of Florida all-star game and took part in one of the regional scouting combines that were set up this year. He's waiting to hear if he'll be selected for a "super regional combine" scheduled for March 30 at Ford Field in Detroit. It has been a long road for Garcia, a one-time prized recruit who was kicked off the South Carolina team last year for drinking alcohol when he was given a no tolerance policy from coach Steve Spurrier following five previous suspensions. However, Spurrier is allowing Garcia to participate in South Carolina's March 28 pro day, and the quarterback said he's committed to proving to NFL teams that he does not have a problem with alcohol. "I want to meet with the NFL and prove that I'm not an alcoholic," Garcia told Scout.com's Aaron Wilson. "I've learned from my mistakes." "I've learned how immature I really was. I just didn't know exactly how important everything was until after I made all of those mistakes. I was trying to be like every other college kid, but you can't do that as a starting quarterback Garcia is the 26th-rated quarterback available in April's draft by NFLDraftScout.com, and is currently viewed as unlikely to be drafted. However, he could sign as a priority free agent and get that opportunity to prove himself in an NFL camp. - NFLDraftScout.com

10/11/2011 - A person familiar with the decision says that South Carolina former starting quarterback Stephen Garcia was dismissed from the team for failing a required alcohol test. Garcia had agreed to undergo periodic tests for the presence of any alcohol as a condition of his reinstatement, the person told the Associated Press Tuesday. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the school had not announced specifically why Garcia had been dismissed. Athletic director Eric Hyman would only say Garcia did not adhere to agreed-upon guidelines for his reinstatement from suspension this summer. Garcia had been suspended a total of five times during his college career. The fifth-year senior has started 34 games since 2008 and helped the 15th-ranked Gamecocks reach the Southeastern Conference championship game last season. - AP Sports

10/11/2011 - South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia has been dismissed from the Gamecocks. Athletic director Eric Hyman said the fifth-year senior failed to meet agreed-upon guidelines put in place after Garcia's fifth suspension this past spring. Garcia had started 34 games, including four this season before he was benched in favor of sophomore Connor Shaw. Shaw threw for four touchdowns and 311 yards in a 54-3 victory over Kentucky this past Saturday. Garcia wore a black baseball cap on the sidelines against the Wildcats, encouraging Shaw and patting him on the back. Coach Steve Spurrier said Garcia was given several chances to be a student athlete at South Carolina and it was sad he could not live up to that commitment. - AP Sports

10/04/2011 - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says sophomore Connor Shaw will replace Stephen Garcia as starting quarterback when the 18th(equals)ranked Gamecocks play Kentucky on Saturday. Spurrier said after Monday's practice that he feels Shaw is ready, especially with Garcia's inconsistent play this season. Shaw played the first quarter of South Carolina's opener with East Carolina, but was benched in favor of Garcia with the Gamecocks trailing 17-0. Garcia rallied the team to a 56-37 victory, and Shaw has seen limited action since. Garcia is a fifth-year senior who threw for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2010, leading the Gamecocks to the Southeastern Conference title game for the first time. But he has only completed 51 percent of his passes with nine interceptions and just four touchdowns this year. - AP Sports

09/10/2011 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Stephen Garcia entered the game in the second quarter with South Carolina trailing 17-0 and immediately made an impact, rushing for a 32-yard touchdown on his first series. Although he struggled passing the ball, he enters the game as the Gamecocks third ranked performer in all-time pass attempts, completions and passing touchdowns. He is also fourth in completion percentage. After having his 28-game streak of consecutive starts halted in the season opener, he is ready to begin a new one. - The Sports Xchange

09/10/2011 - What many believe could end as the best season in South Carolina history got off to a rocky start in its opener against East Carolina as the Pirates vaulted to a 17-0 lead before the Gamecocks managed to kick it in gear. Leading the way offensively was senior quarterback Stephen Garcia who, despite being out-performed in preseason by sophomore Connor Shaw, entered the game with the Gamecocks trailing by 17 and quickly led the team on two touchdown scoring drives. While Garcia rushed for two touchdowns in re-claiming his starting role, the Gamecocks were less than effective throwing the football as they completed only 10 of 25 passes for 131 yards. On the positive side there were no interceptions. Garcia completed seven of 15 passes for 110 yards and touchdown. Of the 10 completed five went to All-American Alshon Jeffery for 92 yards. The team has to find a way to diversify its passing attack as Jeffery faced double teams against East Carolina and will probably see it again in Saturday's Southeastern Conference showdown against Eastern Division rival Georgia in Athens. - The Sports Xchange

09/09/2011 - WEEK 2 FIVE ON THE SPOT: 1. South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia...The mercurial senior helped rescue South Carolina, coming off the bench with the team down 17-0 to East Carolina to lead the Gamecocks to a 56-37 victory. He did more damage on the ground (52 yards, two scores) than he did through the air (7-15, 110 yards, one touchdown). He'll have to do more through the air to pull out a win against an ornery Georgia team between the hedges in Athens -- and to impress scouts. Garcia has flashed playmaking ability with both his arm and feet to NFL general managers, but his on-field inconsistency matches his off-field improprieties (he's been suspended five times by coaches). He's perfectly capable of finding 6-foot-5 junior receiver Alshon Jeffery with well-placed fades down the sideline, as well as accurate bullets laced between linebackers and safeties over the middle. Displaying that arm strength and accuracy, without turning the ball over trying to make something out of nothing, gives him a shot to be drafted next April. - Chad Reuter, NFLDraftScout.com

09/08/2011 - South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia says he'll be ready for whatever role comes his way with the 12th-ranked Gamecocks, the same way he has done the past five seasons. Garcia is back as starter a week after sitting the first quarter of South Carolina's 56-37 victory over East Carolina. The Gamecocks trailed 17-0 with Garcia on the sidelines and sophomore Connor Shaw running the offense. Garcia rallied South Carolina as he rushed for two touchdowns and threw for a third. Garcia will prepare the same this week as the Gamecocks begin Southeastern Conference plat at Georgia on Saturday. Garcia had a streak of 28 straight starts ended last week. Coach Steve Spurrier says he was pleased with his quarterback's performance, but hopes for a crisper passing attack. - AP Sports

09/06/2011 - When Steve Spurrier's favorite thing about South Carolina's offense is his quarterback's clean-cut appearance, the coach is not pleased. Spurrier was glad to see Stephen Garcia freshly shaven and hair cut before the 12th-ranked Gamecocks defeated East Carolina 56-37 Saturday. As far as their offensive execution, Spurrier could do little but shake his head over the lack of production. Spurrier says South Carolina has a lot of work to do as it opens the Southeastern Conference season at Georgia this week. Spurrier was especially disappointed with the passing game. Garcia and sophomore Connor Shaw were a combined 10 of 25 for 131 yards with one touchdown - Garcia's 3-yard pass to Ace Sanders. Spurrier says that won't cut it against the Bulldogs or any other SEC opponent. - AP Sports

09/05/2011 - SEC WEEK 1 OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE: QB STEPHEN GARCIA (South Carolina) - Came off bench against East Carolina and accounted for three touchdowns - two on the ground and one through the air. - SEC football

09/04/2011 - Stephen Garcia succeeded coming off the bench for South Carolina. Getting off coach Steve Spurrier's short leash is another matter. Garcia ran for two touchdowns and threw for another to rally the 12th-ranked Gamecocks past East Carolina 56-37 on Saturday after sitting out the first quarter and South Carolina trailing 17-0. "I don't know if this was my best game as a Gamecock, but we needed this win, for sure," the fifth-year senior said, "especially for us to come back and win after that first quarter." The performance earned Garcia back his starting job, which he had the previous 28 games before this, when South Carolina opens the Southeastern Conference season at Georgia. But it didn't earn him too much praise from Spurrier, famously hard on his quarterbacks. Spurrier didn't second guess his choice of starting sophomore Connor Shaw and expected Garcia to play better than he did against the Pirates. No game ball for Garcia from the Ball Coach. "I said, ???Wait a minute. When he throws for about 300 yards and brings us down the field scoring at the end of the game,"' Spurrier said. "He played well. But hopefully, he'll have a big, big game." - AP Sports

09/04/2011 - In Charlotte, Stephen Garcia came off the bench to run for two touchdowns and throw for another as he rallied the Gamecocks. Garcia sat out the first quarter as South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier started sophomore Connor Shaw. But the Gamecocks fumbled three times, including one by Shaw, and trailed 17-0 before Garcia entered the game. That's when the offense started to click and South Carolina took control of the season opener. - AP Sports

09/01/2011 - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier made a surprising announcement Thursday when he said sophomore Connor Shaw, not Stephen Garcia, will be the starting quarterback for the Gamecocks' season-opener against East Carolina on Saturday. Spurrier made the announcement Thursday night on his weekly radio call-in show. Garcia is a redshirt senior who has started 28 consecutive games and is third in school history in career passing yardage. He has been suspended five times by Spurrier, including twice this past spring, but he was still expected to be named the starter for the opener. Instead it will be Shaw, who completed 23 of 33 passes for 223 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions last season as a freshman. Garcia will play on Saturday, however. Shaw will play the first quarter, and Garcia will play the second. "We'll go from there, see what happens," Spurrier said. Spurrier said the choice was based on performance during preseason camp. "I said way back we are going to have a preseason competition to see who the starter is going to be for the first game. The guy who rated the best was Connor Shaw," Spurrier said on WNKT-FM. "(Shaw) played better than Stephen Garcia, simple as that so he's going to start the game." - The Sports Xchange

08/31/2011 - Stephen Garcia started 30 games at quarterback in his South Carolina career. He is third all time for the Gamecocks in yards passing, completions and touchdowns. He also was a second-team all-Southeastern Conference pick and led South Carolina to its first SEC championship game last season. That might not be enough for him to be the starter on Saturday when No. 12 South Carolina opens its season against East Carolina. Coach Steve Spurrier said he might not announce whether the senior or sophomore Connor Shaw will take the first snap until Friday. The wily coach said it doesn't matter who starts, because both players will play for a few possessions in the first half. The Gamecocks will try to live up to expectations that have them tapped as favorites to win the SEC East again. "I don't know how you can say one guy is the quarterback for the year when you've got two that are pretty close and one of them is struggling," said Spurrier, referring to the five interceptions Garcia threw in the final two games last season. "I don't know how you tell the other guy he's not going to have a chance." Spurrier said his main reason for switching quarterbacks is to make sure he has his best player on the field when he needs him. But there is always a hint of psychology from the former Heisman Trophy- winning quarterback at Florida. Spurrier expects his quarterbacks to have the same drive, focus on the game and willingness to study the playbook that he had in his college and NFL career. "I really believe competing against each other has made both of them better," Spurrier said. - AP Sports

08/30/2011 - Whether or not the Gamecocks manage to claim a first SEC Championship and potentially battle in the national championship game may fall on the shoulders of redshirt senior quarterback Stephen Garcia. Entering the season having started 30 games and played in 35, Garcia could be the most talented quarterback in the SEC as he has completed 528 passes for 5,753 yards and 80 touchdowns and rushed for 606 yards and 12 career scores. He was suspended late in spring practice for conduct detrimental to the team. Although Garcia, who has already graduated, has been allowed to take part in offseason workouts with his team, he is hanging by a thread as another wrong step will probably mean the end of his college career. "Stephen hasn't done anything really bad, just some really stupid things," said coach Steve Spurrier. "We have been pleased with what he's accomplished during the summer and believe he will have a good year." If Garcia makes a misstep and is dismissed from the team sophomore Connor Shaw would be the likely replacement. - The Sports Xchange

08/07/2011 - South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia strongly considered leaving for the Gamecocks for good after his fifth suspension last spring. But Garcia said it was his teammates' support that changed his mind and let him know it was worth sticking around for his final season. Garcia spoke publicly Sunday for the first time since his April suspension. Garcia was fully reinstated to the team earlier this week and began practicing with the Gamecocks last Wednesday. Garcia threw for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns last fall to help South Carolina to the Southeastern Conference championship game. His Gamecock future grew murky last April when he was suspended for actions at a life skills seminar. Garcia said he apologized to the meeting's leader the next day and is ready for his final season. - AP Sports

08/04/2011 - Thousands of enthusiastic and garnet and black-clad fans lined the practice field across from Williams-Brice Stadium on a hot, muggy night to watch South Carolina open preseason camp with a spirited two-hour workout. The Gamecocks have high expectations after winning the SEC East and reaching the conference title game a year ago for the first time. And that was enough to draw lots of attention Wednesday night. They were the pick among the media and coaches to repeat as SEC East champions, a favorite spot they aren't accustomed to with Florida, Georgia and Tennessee in the same division. "It was a pretty nice practice," said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, who is entering his seventh year with the Gamecocks. "All of the coaches were really noticing the difference in our team speed. It was noticeable that our guys are faster than they've been before." South Carolina went 9-5 last year and lost its final two games, a humbling 56-17 setback to eventual national champion Auburn in the SEC title game and a 26-17 loss to Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. But the Gamecocks have nearly all of their starters back on both sides of the ball, plus the nation's top recruit in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Quarterback Stephen Garcia, recently reinstated to the team after his fifth suspension, has started 28 straight games. Spurrier said the fifth-year senior has done everything the university and coaches asked of him and has completey changed his lifestyle. Spurrier has insisted since the end of last season the competition between Garcia and sophomore Connor Shaw is open, but most expect Garcia to be under center in the season-opener at East Carolina on Sept. 3. - AP Sports

08/02/2011 - South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia is officially back on the Gamecocks -- again. Coach Steve Spurrier said Monday that Garcia had completed the obligations he was asked to do for returning to the team after the fifth suspension of his college career. "We think he's going to do what's right," Spurrier said by phone. "Sometimes, it takes some guys a little longer, I guess." Garcia was banned for all team activities in April after displaying what athletic director Eric Hyman called "behavior that is unacceptable for one of our student athletes" during a life skills meeting. However, he was given the green light in May to attend offseason workouts on a probationary basis. Spurrier praised the changes he saw in Garcia at last week's media gathering. "He has changed his lifestyle almost completely," Spurrier said then. "He's been on time. No goofing around. He's very serious. He's shown a commitment we haven't seen before. Hopefully that will continue and I expect that to continue. I expect him to be a different person." Then again, Spurrier has said that before. Garcia came in one of college football's top quarterback recruits, enrolling early in January 2007 to go through spring practice and grasp Spurrier's system. But Garcia was arrested twice his first six weeks on campus and was suspended that spring. Garcia was ticketed for underage drinking in March 2008 and was again suspended until just before that year's fall practice began. Garcia's fourth suspension was handed down by Spurrier this past March, docking his starting quarterback a week of spring ball for a undisclosed transgression during South Carolina's stay in Atlanta at the Chick-fil-A Bowl last December. - AP Sports

07/28/2011 - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier remains hopeful about his defending Southeastern Conference divisional winners, no matter how many distractions he must handle. The latest came Tuesday when quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus was arrested and charged with nuisance conduct after police caught him urinating on a downtown Greenville street. Spurrier suspended Mangus from all coaching activities. This follows the saga of starting quarterback Stephen Garcia, who has been suspended from the team since April. Garcia attended workouts, but Spurrier said a final decision about his status won't come until Monday. Garcia has been suspended five times since arriving on campus in January 2007. Spurrier said Thursday that Garcia has done the right things to return. Spurrier said Mangus should coach again for the Gamecocks this year. - AP Sports

07/20/2011 - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says quarterback Stephen Garcia will "in all likelihood" rejoin the team for preseason camp. Will he start? Maybe not. Spurrier said Wednesday at Southeastern Conference media days that Garcia has done everything he's been asked to do since he was suspended for the fifth time in the spring. But the coach says Garcia will have to compete with sophomore Connor Shaw to keep his starting job. He says he has probably the most talented roster of his seven-year tenure. Spurrier says he thinks running back Marcus Lattimore and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery are the nation's best at their position. He also said the nation's top recruit, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, will be on the field "early and often." - AP Sports

07/19/2011 - 2011 SEC PRESEASON ALL-SEC SECOND TEAM (COACHES): QB Stephen Garcia, South Carolina, Sr., has been selected All-SEC Football Preseason Second Team for the 2011 college football season as selected by the SEC head football coaches. - SEC football

07/08/2011 - 2011 MAXWELL AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Stephen Garcia, South Carolina, QB, Sr., has been selected by the The Maxwell Football Club to the 2011 Watch list for the Maxwell Award, which has annually honored college football's most outstanding player since 1937. Semifinalists for the Maxwell will be announced October 31st and the three finalists will be unveiled November 21st. - The Maxwell Football Club

05/31/2011 - South Carolina made official Monday what coach Steve Spurrier hinted at all spring-suspended quarterback Stephen Garcia will return to the Gamecocks on a probationary basis.bGarcia was suspended for the fifth time in his college career-and second time during spring practice-on April 6 after an incident at a life skills seminar where he "exhibited behavior that is unacceptable for one of our student-athletes," athletic director Eric Hyman said. Garcia was given several confidential guidelines to adhere to if he hoped for reinstatement. So far, so good. "We will give him another chance and hopefully he can do the right things and represent the university in a first-class manner," Spurrier said in a statement Monday. Voluntary summer workouts for South Carolina football players start this week. Soon after Garcia's suspension, Spurrier left the door open a crack for his senior quarterback's return, but also made it clear that Garcia might choose to spend his final season elsewhere after getting his sociology degree. Garcia, though, said after his graduation ceremonies earlier this month he hoped return, and Spurrier increased those expectations as he attended several South Carolina fan gatherings around the state the past few weeks. - AP Sports

04/25/2011 - South Carolina's depth chart after spring practice includes 13 players that started last season's bowl game and an asterisk beside quarterback Stephen Garcia's name. The depth chart released Monday has Garcia is listed first at quarterback, but beside his name is "OR." Rising sophomore Connor Shaw is listed below. The asterisk notes that Garcia is suspended indefinitely. He missed the first three spring workouts because of a suspension for violating team rules and got in just five practices and two scrimmages before he was suspended indefinitely again. Coach Steve Spurrier says whether Garcia gets to stay with the team for his senior year will be decided this summer. First-team All-Southeastern Conference running back Marcus Lattimore, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive end Devin Taylor are all listed as starters. - AP Sports

04/06/2011 - South Carolina's Stephen Garcia was suspended indefinitely from the football program, less than two weeks after the quarterback guaranteed he would not get in trouble again. Athletic director Eric Hyman announced the suspension Wednesday. "Stephen has exhibited behavior that is unacceptable for one of our student-athletes," he said. "Therefore, he has forfeited the privilege to participate in any football related activity until further notice." South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said the suspension would last through the spring semester and his status beyond that would be determined at a later date. "If he's back, he's back. If he's not back, it's really the same thing as a guy getting hurt, a guy going pro or whatever," Spurrier said. "Players come and go as we all know. This instance should have never happened, but it did. So this is where we are." Spurrier would not go into details of what caused Garcia's fifth suspension - and second this spring - since he arrived on campus in January 2007. Spurrier said he, Hyman and University President Harris Pastides were involved in deciding what should be done with the Gamecocks most experienced quarterback. Garcia would not discuss the reason for the latest suspension, saying only that it did not involve an arrest, nor was it drug or alcohol related. "I don't want to talk about it now," he said told The Associated Press in a brief phone interview. - AP Sports

 
Latest News
04/02/2012 - "It was a little weird coming into Columbia," said Garcia, who moved back to Tampa immediately after being dismissed. "But I went to lunch yesterday and a few people came up to me and said they really support me and wished me luck. The support here has been awesome. Everybody was cheering, and seeing the old guys was a pretty unbelievable feeling." While Garcia followed his teammates from afar as they compiled the most successful season in USC history, he admitted it was difficult. Football had always been a part of his life, and Garcia was in a quandary with no idea what direction his life would take. "I went home and I just looked in the mirror and said: ???What the hell am I going to do now?' I had no idea what I was going to do. I thought the dream of playing at the next level was over." Garcia, who played at 230 pounds, ballooned to 245 before coming to a realization. "Monday I called the guy I work with now and said: ???I've got to start training again,' said Garcia. "I've got to give it one shot.' I think it has paid off. I hope it has. "I have cut back drinking, really cut it out completely, truthfully. I've got a chef down there in Tampa who makes my lunch and dinners. I think that has really been the key - losing all the weight. I don't know if it has been the working out as much as the not drinking and the food." Garcia weighed in at 218 pounds on Pro Day, lighter than he competed for USC. - Willie T. Smith III, Greenville News

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