Over the next 76 days, GatorCountry will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.
Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in the Swamp on August 31.
Today we take a look at offensive guard Max Garcia.
Max Garcia committed to Maryland all the way back in 2009 and was apart of the Terrapins 2010 recruiting class. A 3-star prospect from Norcross, Georgia, Garcia chose Maryland over schools like Clemson, Florida State, Michigan State, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
As a freshman, Garcia earned playing time in two games. According the Maryland’s football page, Garcia had planned on redshirting his first year but was forced to play due to injuries along the offensive line.
As a sophomore, Garcia started every game for the Terps at left tackle. He transferred to Florida following that season but was forced to sit out due to NCAA rules. He was able to take a redshirt last season so he will have two years of eligibility left at Florida.
Garcia played most of the spring at left guard and looks to have firmly planted himself there as the starter.
We saw a mean streak from Garcia this offseason. He’s a very physical player who is adept at both run blocking and pass-protection. Garcia plays with good leverage and anchors well in pass protection.
There aren’t too many weaknesses in his game. He made the move from tackle to guard and there could be an adjustment period but we didn’t see it during the spring.
The one thing Garcia can work on is his drive blocking and pulling. He wasn’t asked to pull a lot as a left tackle but he will be asked to in Florida’s running game.
What to Expect
Expect to see Garcia at left guard every game next season. Garcia got the opportunity to play a lot of football this spring because of the injury issues the line had and he excelled. Garcia made the transition from tackle to guard almost seamlessly. He has his weight over 300-pounds and he looks like he will create a very solid left side of the line with D.J. Humphries and is a major upgrade from what Florida had at the position last season.