After a lot of speculation on whether or not Stephen Garcia would be allowed to return, the former quarterback took the field at Williams-Brice Stadium for one final time to participate in USC’s Pro Timing Day.
Stephen Garcia measured at 6-2 1/8 and 218 pounds on Wednesday at USC's Pro Timing Day
Football was a part of being a college student for Garcia but now he’s looking at it as a profession. He’s turned up his dedication in the weight room and has focused on dropping a lot of weight.
Garcia said that after he was booted from the football program by the university, his weight climbed as high as 245 pounds. He admitted he looked into the mirror and tried to figure out his next step and decided to rededicate himself to football with the hopes of having a professional career.
“I’ve been training two or three times a day, six days a week,” Garcia said in front of a crowd of reporters after Pro Timing Day. “I’ve been trying to shed pounds. I had to lose a lot of weight. The light finally went off.”
Now down to about 220 pounds, Garcia says he’s in the best shape of his life. He participated in all of the drills, which included throwing to former wide receiver targets Alshon Jeffery and Jason Barnes.
The key to losing the weight for Garcia was not only living in the gym, but also watching what he consumes. The former four-star recruit said he’s cut back on drinking alcohol and he has a chef in Tampa, Fla. that makes lunch and dinner.
“He looked great,” Jeffery said. “He threw it real well.”
Garcia said that he has not yet met with head coach Steve Spurrier, but he planned to do so before leaving town. He’s been in Columbia since late last week and took a trip with his family down to Charleston.
Aside from the trip to the coast, Garcia has been working with Jeffery and Barnes for their Pro Day workouts. Garcia, who is projected to go undrafted by expert Mike Detillier, just wants to get a shot and hopes he improved his stock in the eyes of scouts with his performance.
“I hope I did,” Garcia said. “If not, I got to say goodbye to a lot of people and a lot of teachers that I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to.”
Garcia, who last played against Auburn and was kicked off the team following the game against Kentucky, said that he failed a substance abuse test for alcohol.
While he is working on impressing scouts on the field, he also has to answer questions about his life off the field.
“I have to talk to as many scouts as I can and let them know me on a personal level so they can see that I wasn’t the monster that I was portrayed in college,” Garcia said. “I have another combine in Detroit on Saturday, which will give me another chance to be in front of them, throw the ball around, and hopefully do well.”
Garcia finished his career completing 589-of-1,021 passes for a 57.7 completion percentage. He amassed 7,597 yards passing and 47 touchdowns against 41 interceptions.
Garcia also had 777 yards rushing for another 15 touchdowns. He also caught one pass for a three-yard touchdown in the Chick-fil-A Bowl as a junior.