Jesuit DT Garcia no longer USF commitment
Another Tampa football standout who had committed to USF under Skip Holtz and was told to open up his options has decided to play elsewhere, as Jesuit defensive tackle Robby Garcia said Sunday he has told USF's coaches he "decommitted."
"When they said keep my options open, if they had never said that, I would have never left. I was a solid commit," he said. "When I go out and get to see Iowa and Annapolis, I know I can do this, I can be on my own. It opened my eyes. Maybe I need to get out and grow up a little bit, experience something new. ... I'm just going to cut it off with them."
Garcia took an official visit to Iowa State this weekend, and said he enjoyed the experience there enough to feel confident about playing college football out of state. He is hoping to pick up an offer this week from Boston College (which has former USF assistant Todd Fitch), and will decide from there whether to make his final official visit to Boston College or Air Force. Navy, he said, is another option.
"There's nothing wrong with (USF). They're my hometown team. I really wanted to play for them," he said. "It's kind of sad, but I thought this was the best option. ... It's funny how this has all turned out. I'm sure if Holtz would never have gotten fired, I probably would have never gone on these visits. I don't know if it's a blessing in disguise, but I'm looking forward to this opportunity."
Garcia's decision comes a week after USF picked up a high-profile commitment from Derrick Calloway, a four-star recruit from Bradenton Manatee at his position. Garcia is the third Tampa recruit to commit to USF under Holtz and look elsewhere since Willie Taggart was hired -- Jesuit's Brad Smith has committed to I-AA Lehigh, and Robinson's Connor Rafferty is looking elsewhere, with Buffalo and Louisiana Tech (where Holtz is now head coach) among his top options.
Taggart, as athletic director Doug Woolard promised, is honoring all commitments made under the Holtz staff, but his staff can also be upfront with those recruits who don't necessarily fit into the new system as well as they did with Holtz.