Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas safety Khambrel Garland transferred from Deerfield Beach after his junior season with hopes of being a part of a state championship team. With the Raider's 29-7 victory over Tampa (Fla.) Plant, his wish became a reality.
"It was tough," Garland said. "All 19 weeks our coach has been pushing us to play hard and to help each other out. … We came out and played hard with them and had a mentality that we were going to win."
During their march to the Citrus Bowl, Garland and his teammates were focused on the field and away from their recruitments.
"Everybody turned their attention away from recruiting," Garland said. "My focus was on a state championship and my grades. Grade-wise I am making progress, I am at a 2.3 right now."
As for his recruitment, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound defensive back has three visits planned.
"I am going to take a trip to Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Toledo," Garland said. "We will see how it goes from there."
Garland will travel to Western Michigan on January 14th, Toledo on January 21st, and Eastern Michigan on January 28th. At this point, they are on even footing for his services.
"All three have offered me," Garland said. "They are all pretty even because I like all of the coaches that I have talked to on all the college teams."
A few other schools are also in the picture for his services.
"Rutgers is showing interest and Louisville is showing interest," Garland said. "We are also trying to get (Miami) to show interest."
Over the next six weeks, Garland is looking for a place that fits him and what he wants in a college.
"It is going to come down to how I can fight for a position if I go there," Garland said. "Also, I want to like the defensive scheme that they run. Academic prestige and having what I want to major in."
Garland claims no leader at this point in his recruitment.