In this installment of the Recruit Notebook, we meet a player with a high motor who lives in the backfield like he was pays rent: DE Jonathan Garvin.
A talented but somehow underrated recruit, Jonathan Garvin transferred from Lake Worth (FL) HS to West Palm Beach (FL) Oxbridge Academy and BACK to Lake Worth before his senior year. No matter where he plied his trade, Garvin is a talented player who was routinely seen in the opponent’s backfield wreaking havoc.
In his senior season, one that saw Garvin earn 1st team All-State honors in Florida’s 8A classification, Garvin ended the year with 98 tackles, 59 tackles for loss, and somewhere between 18-25 sacks (have seen both numbers reported). So yeah, he’s pretty good, you guys.
Garvin committed to Miami seemingly out of nowhere back in August 2016. He proved his worth this year, and looks to do so in a Canes jersey in the future. While Garvin may not be a household name to HSFB fans or those who follow recruiting, this 6’3” 230lb End is someone with very good athleticism and serious productivity. Learn the name, kids.
On the 247sports composite, Garvin is a 4-star prospect, the #13 strongside DE in this class, the #37 player in the State of Florida, and the #280 player in this class overall. Garvin has the talent, potential, and production to warrant being ranked higher than this, so his status as a 3-star is puzzling to me. But, he’s a top 15 SDE in this class, which is still a fairly high ranking, so it’s not like Garvin comes in without any fanfare. (247sports has Garvin as a 4-star in their individual rankings).
An early enrollee, Garvin committed to Miami over 19 other offers including Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Garvin as a player
As I said, Garvin was a beast as a senior with 59 tackles for loss and somewhere between 18 and 25 sacks. Garvin isn’t the biggest DE, but he is quick, and very strong, and relentless in his pursuit of the ball.
Garvin started his year with a 7 sack performance against Glades Central and FSU QB commit James Blackman. So, when the lights were brightest, Garvin played his best. And, Garvin has the intangible “motor” that coaches love, going full tilt every play and refusing to take plays off. I think he’s one of the gems of this class, and many agree with me on this point.
For another look at Garvin, here’s an eval from a former HS and Collegiate DL:
On social media there appears to have been a brief storm around the ranking of Garvin in this cycle. The 6'3, 222 pound defensive end shows out on tape. Rankings be damned, he comes at the ball with a purpose, which is not to shake hands. A fierce tackler, he like to deliver a thump anytime he gets near the ball. Has that playmaking instincts as to go for the strip around pile ups or reach his long arms in to free the ball.
Garvin takes great pursuit angles whether behind the line of scrimmage or in the open field chasing ballcarriers. Once he's around the tackle he's got a great ability to turn the corner towards the heart of the pocket. Great redirection ability which is key when dealing with athletic QBs that like to rollout, scramble or climb up in the pocket.
Able to navigate through the clutter to find the ball, Garvin has great vision and awareness of the field. He's got an efficient first step, that would be excellent combined with a couple more hand moves and subtle head movement set-ups, all of which will come with time. Combine those traits with his high motor and you can see how he's able to stick his nose into many plays.
A weakness is the tendency to tackle guys high, which is not the most efficient way of taking a player down and can lead to missed tackles. Given the talent that exists at the FBS level of collegiate football, Garvin will need to lower his strike zone if he's going to have his game translate in a positive manner in Coral Gables. That said, he wraps up well with his long arms coming out of HS.
Garvin has a great football IQ given how well he diagnoses plays, sets the edge on plays to his side of the field, and displays patience in defending the option.
Garvin is a dog. He’s a fierce competitor, is ALWAYS in the opponent’s backfield, and a well-built player with a frame to add size. HS players always have to develop somewhere as they move up to CFB, and Garvin is no exception. With his knack as a natural pass rusher, it wouldn’t surprise me if Garvin found his way onto the field as a freshmen, in spite of joining a loaded DE group for the Canes.
Chances for a redshirt: 3/10
Miami has a bunch of good DEs on the roster (Freshman All-American Joe Jackson, Chad Thomas, Trent Harris, and Demetrius Jackson, for starters), and 2 good ones in Garvin and fellow 2017 signee D.J. Johnson joining that group. Garvin is very good though, and his natural pass rushing skills should be enough to help him earn playing time as a true freshman.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruit Notebook.