College Sports

High school phenom Garcia picks Gamecocks

High school phenom Stephen Garcia announced Thursday that he's heading toSouth Carolina next year, giving the Gamecocks another high-profile prospectin what¹s shaping up to be a stellar recruiting class.

Garcia, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound quarterback out of Tampa, Fla., was rated thethird-best dual QB in the nation, the ninth-best prospect in Florida and theNo. 57 prospect in the country. A stellar athlete running and passing,Garcia chose the Gamecocks over Ole Miss and Oklahoma.

Garcia finished his high school career with over 8,000 passing yards, thethird-best career total in state history. He threw for over 2,700 yards and29 touchdowns this season with only five interceptions, also rushing 111times for 391 yards and six TDs.

The decision gave USC coach Steve Spurrier another prize to the class of2007, which he's said many times should be one of the best the Gamecockshave ever had. Garcia, a four-star recruit (out of five) by,became the sixth four-star player among the 17 who have given verbalcommitments to play for the Gamecocks.

Garcia also has a close friendship with four-star wide receiver Mark Barnes,an in-state talent from Columbia's Richland Northeast High School. Barneshas said before that Garcia and he could be considered a package deal whenit came to picking colleges and said he will make his announcement after theDec. 16 Shrine Bowl.

Spurrier is not allowed to talk about any specific recruits until he has asigned letter-of-intent. National Signing Day is Feb. 7.