As published on recruitingnewsguru.com Written by Ryan Wright
Reps as a freshman for quarterback Jake Garcia with Long Beach Poly in 2017 is paying off in a big way early for Narbonne this season. After sitting out the mandatory five games due to CIF transfer rules, Garcia hit the gridiron in a fury passing for 328 yards with two touchdowns in a victorious return against Lawndale. With four games left in the regular season for Garcia and the Gauchos, all eyes will be on the four-star quarterback to see how his game is progressing against Division-I California competition.
Garcia made the best of his time on the field with the Jackrabbits in 2017 connecting on a ridiculous 19 of 22 attempts for 408 yards with six touchdowns tossed without a pick. The 6-3, 185-pound, talent continued his work in the pocket over the offseason with quarterback coaching and 7v7 competition further fine-tuning his craft. The hard work has paid off with 10 scholarship offers extended from Georgia, Florida, LSU, Florida State, Louisville, Indiana, San Jose State, Nebraska, USC, and Arizona State.
In a Recruiting News Guru catch-up interview, I sat down with Garcia covering his first game back with an update on his recruiting interest and possible upcoming visit.
Jake, how frustrating has it been for you having to sit out the first five games of the season due to CIF transfer rules?
“It was frustrating because I could not go play with my teammates, but it is what it is. I took that time to get even more into the offense. I did a lot of mental reps in practice. With something like this, you just have to make the best of the situation, I tried to turn it into a positive.”
As a competitor, being on the sidelines is never fun, but it can provide a learning opportunity, as mentioned with the offense. While waiting your time, what did you learn about the team, yourself, and/or defenses watching the Gauchos play?
“That is a good one… We have a great defense. I learned we have guys that can make plays – guys that can make something of nothing – turn a 1-yard screen into a long touchdown. I tried to get into the coaches’ mind by hearing them talk about the game and the offense. I was trying to learn from them how they see the offense and what needs to happen. I was with the linemen’s coach a lot on the sidelines hearing him talk about picking up blocks.”
During fall camp and over the first five weeks of the season, what have you been working on in preparation for your return to the field?
“Mostly the mental part of it. I have been working on getting everything quicker – quicker reads, recognizing defenses better, and building chemistry with the guys at practice – that is a big one.”
You made a statement in your first game back throwing for 328 yards on 20 of 30 passing with two scores in a 27-14 win over Lawndale. You obviously had a good game, but how did the game go for you and what did you do well?
“The game went really well. Before the game, there was never any nervous butterflies, I was anxious and ready to get on the field. After the first snap, everything was back to football and doing what I love to do. I felt like I had a lot of control over the offense, the tempo and being up-tempo. I knew where my guys would be and knew they would be in the right spots.”
With your mechanics and technique, what were some of the things you did well in your return?
“I felt like I had a quick release and my footwork was tied to the pass concepts – that is something I have been working on; slowing down or speeding up my footwork with the play. That is big with coach Danny Hernandez.”
The Gauchos get Banning (2-4) next, what are you expecting from the Pilots defense?
“I have not seen their film yet. I will see the film tomorrow (Tuesday). I will watch film on them throughout the week to be ready for Friday.”
Over the remaining games on the schedule, what goals have you set for yourself?
“My biggest goal is to get to Game 15, the state championship, and get a ring. That is the same goal for the next three years.”
Going into recruiting, which schools are showing interest in you but have not offered yet?
“Texas, Baylor, Washington, and I have had a little bit of contact with Notre Dame, a letter from Stanford with an invite to their camp, and Oregon.”
How many offers do you have now?
“I have 10 offers.”
Which programs were the last two to offer you?
“Louisville and Florida State.”
Do you have any planned visits coming up?
“Yes. I am going to take a trip to Texas to watch a game, I am not sure which one yet. Possibly Texas and Baylor or their game against West Virginia.”
That’ll be fun. Last question. On Saturday, which college games did you watch and what stood out to you in those games?
“I recorded some games that I will watch later in the week. I saw some of the Stanford and Oregon game and the USC verses Washington State. Those are the two I watched already. I was looking at how they threw the ball and if their offense would fit me. That was the big part I was looking at watching the games.”
Jake, always great catching up with you. Good luck on Friday against Banning.