football

Nacho aims to be top 2012 recruit

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Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School is a bit hidden, sitting in the middle of the campus of Nova Southeastern University and in the shadows of the Miami Dolphins practice facility. However, the Suns football team has made sure the school gets noticed.
In the class of 2010, the relatively small school had four players sign with Division I FBS programs and two class of 2011 prospects are already committed as well. However, the biggest recruit on the team, both in size and reputation, is only a junior. Offensive tackle Abraham Garcia stands at 6-foot-6 and 339 pounds and his teammates simply know him by the name "Nacho."
"Actually, my offensive line coach is the one that gave it to me," Garcia said of his nickname. "It's been my nickname ever since I started football in the 9th grade here at University School. When my coach played for New Haven, he had a friend on the d-line that he practiced against. They called him that and he said that dude was big too. He was a monster and he just named me after him and it stuck."
College coaches have taken notice of Garcia as he has already picked up several offers with more likely on the way come Sep. 1.
"I actually have four verbal offers right now," he said. "University of Florida, USF and Marshall have offered me. I can't remember the fourth one right now. I really don't remember exactly when they offered. It was a while ago. I've been so busy trying to get ready for the season that it's sort of hard to even think right now.
"A couple schools came out during spring ball. The University of Wisconsin, UF, Marshall and USF - they were some of the schools that came out here to look at me. [Wisconsin is] not the fourth offer. I hope I get one from them though."
Though it is still very early in the recruiting process for the big junior, Garcia says a few schools stand out to him at the moment.
"I sort of like LSU and Ohio State," he said. "Over the summer, I went around to 7-on-7 tournaments with South Florida Express playing tight end. We won the national championship. We passed by Baton Rouge and I had a chance to go around the campus and we ran into some of the players. I met Patrick Peterson and Sam Montgomery.
"I'm really close friends with Patrick's brother, Avery (Johnson). I'm waiting for a scholarship from LSU. I've only had a chance to briefly talk with their coaches before."
Some other programs are intriguing as well.
"I like Wisconsin, Michigan and UM too," Garcia said. "I've read up on the Big 10 and I have friends that are going there. I have friends that are going to a bunch of schools. I know Ryan Shazier, he'll be playing linebacker for UF. Jeremy Cash is going to Ohio State and then everybody assumes Avery is going to LSU like his brother.
"I've done a lot of research and then guys tell me about their schools too. Of course, they try and recruit, but I just listen to why they like the certain schools. They've said some good things that I looked into myself after talking to them."
Garcia had the opportunity to see one of those programs up close recently.
"This past weekend I went to the University of Miami," he said. "I went out there to watch them practice. It went well even though it got rained out. I went to the second practice and it got rained out so they were the weight room. I got to hang out with the offensive line and I met Jacory Harris, Graig Cooper and a bunch of guys."
Though Garcia's size causes him to stand out, he says he wants to be known as more than just a big body. He also has a very lofty goal for himself.
"I know I'm a big guy," he said, "but I want to show everyone that it's much more than just that. I want to be the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2012. I have big shoes to fill if I want to do that. I have to show that I also have the technique to go along with my size. The coaches are out here pushing me 24/7 to get better."
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