- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
It’s Max Garcia’s time to shine
Maryland has reputation for NFL-quality linemen
Question of the Day
Maryland received a peek at Max Garcia’s talents under emergency conditions late in the 2010 season.
The left tackle intends to show them quite a bit more starting this fall.
Garcia, who took over as the Terrapins’ starter this month when junior Justin Gilbert suffered another injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, had a now-you-see-him, now-you-don’t cameo late last fall.
Maryland’s already-thin offensive line lost Bennett Fulper and Justin Lewis to injuries in the first half of the team’s game against Florida State. It was the 11th game of the year, and Garcia took 16 snaps before he, too, was injured.
Just like that, Garcia’s chances of redshirting were gone.
“At first, I was a little bitter about it,” said Garcia, who later played in the first half of Maryland’s Military Bowl rout of East Carolina. “But I’m a real team player. I feel like that’s what I came here to do. When I look at it, I still have three years to perfect my craft.”
Besides, Garcia is well-versed in Maryland’s recent history of exporting offensive linemen to the NFL. His high school was a rival of former Terp Stephon Heyer’s alma mater. He hoped when he committed to Maryland he would get to work with Bruce Campbell (a wish that didn’t come true since Campbell turned pro before Garcia arrived on campus).
And he also knew he was one of only five offensive tackles to play as a true freshman under former coach Ralph Friedgen. Of that group, Campbell, Heyer and Jared Gaither all made it to the NFL.
“All of those guys are in the league now,” Garcia said. “I don’t know. Maybe that’s a sign.”
Even before his debut, Maryland’s coaches gushed about Garcia’s development and skill set. In a different year, the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder would have played extensively as a true freshman. Instead, he committed himself to being ready when needed despite the anxiety of not knowing if the time would come.
There won’t be any question when that will be this season.
When Maryland plays its spring game Saturday at Byrd Stadium, Garcia will be the top left tackle. With Gilbert, who started three games in 2010, likely out until October, Garcia also is the likely starter for the Sept. 5 opener against Miami.
“He’s impressed me since his true freshman year,” quarterback Danny O’Brien said. “When he came in as the No. 1 guy getting all the [first-team] reps, we just kind of kept rolling where we left off.”
Garcia received a boost when new coach Randy Edsall retained offensive line coach Tom Brattan. It was Brattan who recruited Garcia out of Norcross, Ga., and quickly developed a bond with the prospect.
Edsall is impressed with the second-year player he inherited, appreciating Garcia’s toughness, aggressiveness and good feet. There’s only one obvious regret: the lost year of eligibility.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- ON THE RUN: Competition for Redskins backup running back is heating up
- Obama vows veto of House border bill
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors