Joshua Garnett received his ceremonial jersey from the Under Armour All-America Game this morning at Puyallup High School.
When the 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive tackle was asked what it meant to be selected to such a prestigious game, Garnett provided an answer that belies what has made him one of the country’s most sought-after recruits.
“It shows an accomplishment,” he said. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work the last couple years, but I know this is when the real work starts. I’ve got to get back in the weight room and start pumping iron more.
“Got to have all my workout buddies be on point for the rest of our lives now. No more high school stuff, just destroying people and throwing them on the ground. It’s really going to come down to who has the best technique, not who’s the biggest or strongest.”
Garnett understands that he’s a Friday night stud, but he’ll have to work to be a star on Saturdays, and possibly Sundays. Not every high school superstar makes that transition.
As for where Garnett will play next fall, he’s undecided.
After the Under Armour game, Garnett said he’s planning to visit University of Miami for an official visit after the Under Armour game, which will be played Jan. 5 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. He also has official visits planned for the University of Michigan on Nov. 19 and the University of Oklahoma on Nov. 26. Those visits could change, however, depending on how far Puyallup advances in the playoffs.
He was admissions application was accepted by Stanford last weekend, and the Cardinal rates highly with Garnett.
“Stanford’s pretty high on my list because of the academic piece,” said Garnett, who has taken an unofficial visit to the school. “Not only that, as an offensive lineman when you see people run for 500 yards it’s hard to say no.”
Garnett likes the opportunities to play early for young linemen at Stanford.
“They play nine offensive linemen…It really gives young guys a chance to go in early and play at a high level. Especially if I go there, my pass blocking game is good, but I really want to work on my run blocking a lot. I know if I went there I would have a lot of time to work on my run blocking and run blocking is what sets apart offensive linemen going to the NFL and in college football.”
He’s also considering Washington.
“Washington’s in there,” he said. “The team has gotten a lot better the past two years since (head coach Steve) Sarkisian, (offensive line coach Dan) Cozzetto and the other guys have gotten there. They’re also an extremely well-coached run team. You can see how coach Cozetto coaches, his style of play is just phenomenal.”
Friday got off to a good start for Garnett and he hopes to cap the day with a win over rival Rogers High. Puyallup has already clinched a postseason berth – the Vikings will play at No. 8 Olympia next week – while Rogers has been eliminated from playoff contention. When Puyallup and Rogers get together, none of that matters, Garnett said.
“It’s still a rivalry game,” he said. “When I play games like this, it doesn’t matter if we’re going to the playoffs or they’re going to the playoffs, what our record is or what they’re record is, I’m going for blood tonight.”