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Garvin already working toward future

MU football
Jun. 15, 2013 @ 11:37 PM

HUNTINGTON — With the ways of college football recruiting these days, often times a 'commitment' isn't necessarily a definitive commitment to a school.

That isn't the case with Sandy Creek (Ga.) High School quarterback Cole Garvin, who committed to Marshall University's football program Friday evening.

Just how committed is Garvin to Marshall?

"Being my first offer, they've had my loyalty ever since that day," Garvin said. "I told everybody that even if I didn't choose them, they'd be there at the end. The relationship continued to grow and I felt like that's where I'd be the happiest."

On Friday, Garvin's tone was as much relief as excitement because he was feeling comfortable with his decision and getting the recruiting process out of the way before his senior season.

Garvin has taken his recruitment and his responsibilities as a quarterback seriously.

For his high school team, he wanted to finish his recruitment prior to the open of fall camp. Sandy Creek is ranked No. 5 nationally in MaxPreps' 2013 Preseason High School Football Poll and he hopes to lead his team to another Class AAAA championship in Georgia.

"I've been blessed to play on a team with high-caliber athletes," Garvin said. "The fact that we've won 60 games in five years. Everyone is gunning for us."

Many of his teammates are NCAA Division I prospects and Garvin thinks that will help him transition to the next level quickly.

He is taking no chances, however.

Another reason Garvin was so happy to end the process was because he has been sitting at a computer all summer finishing up a semester's worth of school work so he can graduate in December and enroll at Marshall in January 2014.

"It's a big lift off my shoulders," he said. "I don't want to make it sound like it was a burden, but I was taking online classes six to eight hours a day on computer to graduate early. I plan to enroll in January."

Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker praised Garvin's decision and the job of the Marshall staff in recognizing how special of a player Garvin is earlier than anyone else.

Walker re-emphasized the maturity with which Garvin he handled his recruiting process -- from setting a goal to decide in summer so it didn't interfere with his ability to lead his team in his senior year to having the discipline to put work in during summer to graduate early to benefit his future collegiate team.

"That shows his commitment to being team-first and to the rest of his teammates," Walker said. "That's the leadership Cole brings."

Garvin also spoke highly of his future coaching staff with the Thundering Herd, saying the coaches were the biggest factor in his commitment.

"Coach (Todd) Hartley has been the best recruiter of anyone that's come after me," Garvin said. "And having Georgia coaches on the staff (Hartley and running backs coach Thomas Brown) makes it feel like family."

There was one other X-factor that put the Herd over the top. It was an aspect Garvin simply couldn't ignore in the end.

"Coach (Bill) Legg is a likable guy -- very down to earth and straight forward," Garvin said. "But when he told me that he had coached at Purdue and helped mold Drew Brees, that sort of perked my ear up a little bit."

Garvin, who first visited Marshall on April 20, is like Brees and current Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato in that he is not a tall quarterback.

However, the 6-1, 196-pound high school senior has thrown for more than 5,000 yards and 45 touchdowns in the last two seasons while having just seven interceptions in each of the last two years.

He said Marshall's system of play and high-tempo offense is one he can see himself being successful leading.

"That was a very large attraction," Garvin said. "The high tempo and all the options we (quarterbacks) have, it was a big reason I enjoyed it. I know I can showcase my arm in a scheme like that."

Now that Garvin is committed to the Herd, he said he is planning to come up to Huntington next week to further check out the area.

Garvin also plans to become one of Marshall's biggest assets in the state of Georgia, speaking to other high-profile prospects about possibly coming to Huntington to help build a legacy.

He said that he won't have to explain too much to others because Marshall's brand in Georgia is already well-known by prospects.

"It seems like every prominent name in Georgia in every position has an offer from Marshall," Garvin said. "They are really starting a pipeline down here."

Garvin had 16 Division I scholarship offers in all including five other Conference USA schools.

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