Garcia is a 6-3, 268-pound defensive tackle for the Raptors and a four-star recruit committed to the University of Minnesota. Garcia helped the Raptors to a 9-2 record last season while recording six sacks. The senior-to-be also will compete for the Gophers wrestling team.

 

Q: When and why did you start playing football?

A: I first started playing at, I think, 6 years old. My older cousins played football, and they got me into it.

 

Q: What are some of your earliest memories from playing?

A: I was faster than everybody, but I was not able to be a running back because of a weight limit. (Being a running back) was my first love.

 

Q: What do you want to accomplish this year?

A: A state championship is what we need. We have the right guys to do it. We’re all family.

 

Q: It seems like you had your mind set on U pretty early in the process. Why?

A: Growing up, I always wanted to be a Gopher. I used to not like when the Army All-American guys would take forever to choose a college. I could never understand that.

 

Q: What is it like being part of such a solid recruiting class with so many in-state recruits?

A: Guys understood where me and (fellow recruit and Eden Prairie linebacker) Carter (Coughlin) were coming from. We wanted to build it brick by brick. People don’t think we can win, and that’s what’s going to take us far in the Big Ten, hopefully to a Big Ten championship.

 

Q: What are your goals for your Minnesota career?

A: I want to be the best defensive tackle Minnesota has ever had. I also wanted to leave a mark with my hard work. I’ll never turn down anybody. I’ll always be here to help any kid.

 

Q: Who do you model your game after?

A: Reggie White. I want to be, I call myself, a pure defensive lineman.

 

Q: How has competing in wrestling and the shot put helped with football?

A: Football is one of my favorite things, but wrestling is my main sport. Wrestling has got my hips, I can put a move on a lineman, because my hips will clear my body out. And in the fourth quarter, I’m still going as if it was the first quarter going 100 percent.

JOSH HYBER