One of the nation’s top passer prospects is reversing course on his commitment to USC.
Four-star quarterback Jake Garcia, whose whirlwind prep career spanned five high schools, announced Thursday that he plans to reopen his recruitment “to honestly evaluate my options as the early signing date quickly approaches.”
“No love has been lost for the USC family,” Garcia wrote.
Garcia was one of the first commitments in USC’s 2021 class, pledging to join the Trojans in September 2019. But his commitment had been somewhat tenuous since last summer, when fellow four-star quarterback Miller Moss from Mission Hills Bishop Alemany also pledged to USC in its upcoming class. The Trojans’ recent pursuit of fast-rising Utah quarterback Jaxson Dart seemed to seal that fate.
When he spoke to The Times in July, Garcia shrugged off any concern over competing with Moss and said he was “still all-in” on USC. He said he planned to enroll early in January, if the upcoming college season wasn't pushed to spring.
But plenty changed over the five months that followed, as the pandemic shut down high school football in Southern California. Averse to sitting out his final season, Garcia opted to move across the country with his father to finish his high school career at prep football powerhouse Valdosta High in Georgia.
Shortly after the move, Garcia’s father disclosed in an interview with ESPN that he and his wife had filed for a legal separation in order to meet the Georgia High School Assn.'s transfer requirements. The organization ruled Garcia ineligible after one game, forcing him to transfer to his fifth high school in four years, Loganville Grayson, where he’s played four games so far this season.
Garcia started his high school career at Long Beach Poly before transferring to Narbonne. He left Narbonne after one season and enrolled at La Habra in January but never played a snap.
With two weeks left until the early signing period begins, USC is left to search for a second quarterback in its class.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.