Here’s video of Joshua Garnett picking between Stanford and Michigan. The video begins as he’s talking about Michigan…
And here’s my story for Friday’s newspaper:
Eight T-shirts, all sporting the logo of a major college football team that offered a scholarship to Joshua Garnett, hung in the commons at Puyallup High.
One by one, the highly-touted offensive lineman pulled down the T-shirts until only two – Michigan and Stanford – remained.
Then, before an audience of more than 200 people Thursday afternoon, Garnett called to the podium twin sister Rachel, who carried with her a backpack. Garnett reached inside and pulled out a crimson hat, declaring himself committed to Stanford.
Garnett said the decision to pick Stanford over Michigan was close.
“I definitely could have went to either school and made the right decision,” he said. “I felt like in my heart, Stanford was the place for me to be at.”
It wasn’t until Tuesday night that Garnett finally realized that Stanford was the best fit for him. He sat down with his parents, Shanda and Scott, and went over the pros and cons for Stanford and Michigan. Garnett was so thorough with his explanations that Scott couldn’t tell what way his son was leaning when he finished.
“He got done and I still wasn’t sure what school he was going to pick,” said Scott, a star nose tackle at Washington in the 1980s.
When he declared for Stanford, the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Garnett instantly became one of Stanford’s biggest recruiters.
“Hopefully we have a couple five-star guys who are in the mix with us still,” he said. “I think I can get in their ear and get them to sign. We’re gonna shock the recruiting world on signing day.”
Garnett said Stanford’s pro-style offense fits his strengths and seeing two Cardinal offensive linemen, tackle Jonathan Martin and guard David DeCastro, projected to go in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft only solidified his decision.
“It was definitely a big influence, seeing two guys who are going to be first-round draft picks,” Garnett said. “Two guys that you’ve talked to and can relate to. Two guys that are great run-blockers.”
Garnett said he met DeCastro, a 2008 graduate of Bellevue High, and the two hit it off, talking not just about football, but life in general.
“Talk about what can separate you from the pack, what can I do to set myself apart on Day 1, what can I do to become the best football player I can, the best student I can and the best man I can for later on in life?” Garnett said.
Garnett said he’ll leave Puyallup on June 20 and enroll at Stanford for the summer quarter. Ultimately, Garnett, who wants to study pre-med, couldn’t turn down the chance at a Stanford education.
“You hear about the brainiacs that go there,” he said. “I guess I’m one of the brainiacs now.”