Four-star quarterback and USC commitment Jake Garcia looks like he’ll get a senior football season after all, as the nation’s No. 37 overall prospect will transfer high schools and enroll at Valdosta (Ga.).
News of Garcia’s transfer was first reported by Greg Biggins of 247 Sports.
This will be the fourth high school for Garcia, who began his career at Long Beach Poly, then played for two years at Narbonne before landing at La Habra, following the departure of Gauchos head coach Manny Douglass.
But Garcia won’t suit up for La Habra.
California high school football won’t begin playing games until January, which means any senior-to-be who is looking to graduate and enroll early at his school of choice would need to skip his senior football season entirely.
But that won’t be the case for Garcia, who will now head to Georgia in order to play his senior season and still be able to enroll early at USC in January.
As of now, Georgia high school football has been pushed back to a Sept. 4 start date, though there are still ongoing discussions in the state as to whether that will proceed as planned. At this point, Georgia is looking to proceed with a planned 10-game schedule and a full round of playoffs to follow.
Valdosta went 10-3 last season behind quarterback Tate Rodemaker, who signed with Florida State. Rodemaker passed for 3,225 yards and 42 touchdowns last season. But it’ll be a new-look Valdosta team this fall, as well-known high school coach Rush Propst takes over.
Propst found incredible success with Hoover and Colquitt County and has a 313-93 record during his 30-year career as head coach. But he’s had a career dotted with plenty of controversy, including headbutting a player during a 2015 playoff game.
It will of course be interesting to see how Garcia moving to Georgia affects his recruitment. He’s made no public indication of wavering on his USC pledge, but Miami continues to push hard for a flip and will undoubtedly look to use this newfound proximity to its advantage.
USC holds commitments from Garcia and Miller Moss (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) in this class, as the Trojans do need to sign two quarterbacks in this class to fill out a depth chart that could have only Kedon Slovis on it following this season.
As of now, both Garcia and Moss are on track to enroll early at USC, likely making that battle one of the more interesting aspects of 2021 spring ball.