In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a blue chip QB who could challenge for the right to be Miami’s QB1 in the coming years: Loganville (GA) Grayson QB Jake Garcia.
For this one, I’m gonna cheat slightly. Since Garcia just announced his commitment to Miami today, I’m going to lean on out just-published Welcome To The U piece as the bio/narrative portion of this notebook. Click and read it below.
Welcome to the U, Jake Garcia. Miami gets their 2021 QB as @jakegarcia14 completes the flip from USC and announces his commitment to the #Canes on the first day of the Early Signing Period. (LOL and FSU thought they had a chance. LMAOOOOO. Suckers.) #TheU https://t.co/USJHuT4yBv pic.twitter.com/DoGAmUSLQP— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) December 17, 2020
On the 247sports composite, Garcia is a 4-star prospect, the #5 pro-style QB nationally in this class, #5 in the State of Georgia, and #46 recruit overall.
Brantley committed to Miami over Florida State (LOL), USC, Alabama, and Auburn from a list of 23 scholarship offers from around the country.
As a Player
Garcia has the talent to be a starting QB at the Power 5 level. He’s got good height at 6’2.5” and is well built at 195lbs. He can stand to grow into his body more with lean muscle, but he won’t be a player that adds serious bulk. No Dan Kendra stuff around here.
Garcia has a strong arm, and is very accurate with the ball. Garcia has the arm to push the ball vertically down the field and fit the ball into tight windows. He doesn’t have the strongest arm ever, so he shouldn’t take TOO many risky chances, but he doesn’t need to be gunshy or hesitant to throw because he has a weak arm, either.
Garcia can develop further in the area of accuracy, but he’s not a scattershot thrower by any means. He can routinely be seen putting the ball in the correct placement on short, intermediate, and deep throws, but fine tuning in this area can come down the line.
Nobody will ever confuse Garcia with Lamar Jackson or D’Eriq King, but he’s not a statue. Garcia can move in the pocket, and even scramble for yards from time to time. You won’t see called QB runs other than sneaks with Garcia at the helm, but that’s fine. Miami has more than enough other skill position players who can run the ball just fine.
Like nearly every HS QB, Garcia can grow in his knowledge of the offense at the college level. College defenses are complex, as are college offenses. So there will need to be plenty of time spent in the playbook, in the film room, and at practice to continue to grow his knowledge and comfort at the college level.
Here’s another evaluation of Garcia from 247sports National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins:
Loose, athletic frame with a pure stroke and effortless delivery. He throws with touch and accuracy, can change speeds and has a nice feel for the position. Can throw with timing and has a nice feel for the position. Understands when to take some off and doesn’t try and throw all fastballs. Has tightened his release and gets the ball out quick from different arm angles. Has improved athletically and looks comfortable rolling out and throwing on the run. Can continue to improve throwing a tighter ball and doesn’t spin it as consistently as you would like to see but don’t think it will be an issue for him moving forward. Projects as a impact upper tier Power 5 starter and future NFL draft pick.
And, of course, our own SOTU resident QB expert Roman Marciante had to chime in. Here’s his Next Level QB breakdown of Garcia:
Next Level Quarterback Film Review: Jake Garcia— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) December 17, 2020
The recent USC decommitment sent shockwaves through the Miami Hurricane fan base.
Now, with his commitment to Miami today, we look at the film to see if Garcia can be "The Guy" at #TheU. #Canes https://t.co/nEkBhOZ0ee pic.twitter.com/AsMgKjJeEQ
- Arm strength
- Average height
- Knowledge of the offense and college defenses
Note: changing this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player.
Garcia was brought in to compete for Miami’s starting QB job down the line. Probably not in 2021 (especially with there being a chance that D’Eriq King returns for another year), but in the not-too-distant future, that’s for sure.
Quarterback is a tough position to project, because so much rests on the shoulders of that position, and there’s so much growth from HS to College that needs to happen for those players. And, with other blue chip talents on the roster, King, N’kosi Perry, and Tyler Van Dyke, there is plenty of competition for the Canes’ starting QB spot down the line.
Garcia has the potential to be a high level P5 starting QB, and could develop into an NFL draft pick. But, more talented players have fallen by the wayside when they got to the college level, so Garcia becoming an All-ACC QB and top 90 NFL Draft pick is anything but certain.
The dream scenario for Miami would be Garcia redshirting then backing up Van Dyke for a year or two then taking over as QB1 in 3-ish years. The dream for Garcia would be to surpass Van Dyke and be the QB-in-waiting for whenever D’Eriq King moves on, in 2021 or later. There’s another scenario where Garcia is one of the best backups in the country, waiting on his time to start. Or, yet another where he doesn’t start and transfers out.
Again, extrapolating a HS QB to star college QB is tough, especially when you have other blue chip prospects on the roster. But for Garcia, there is plenty of reason to believe he can, and will, be successful at Miami given the opportunity. Now, we’ll see if he gets it in his time in Coral Gables.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.