ATHENS, Ga. -- Max Garcia committed to Maryland in December 2009, choosing to play for the Terrapins over Clemson and Vanderbilt.
If he follows through on his announced intention to transfer, Garcia (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) will have his choice of scholarship offers from a group of heavy hitters.
Georgia is among the schools pursuing the sophomore offensive tackle -- who grew up only 50 miles from Athens -- along with SEC rivals Florida, Auburn and Ole Miss.
“He really likes Georgia. And he likes Florida,” said Norcross assistant coach Reggie Stancil, who is helping Garcia weigh his options. “He wants to go visit the other two schools because he does not know much about them.”
Maryland has also cleared him to transfer to Vanderbilt -- the program now helmed by former Terps head coach in waiting James Franklin, who was at Maryland when Garcia originally joined the program -- after Terps coach Randy Edsall initially blocked his path to Nashville.
Stancil said a point in Georgia’s favor is its proximity to home -- one of Garcia’s stated factors in wanting to transfer from far-away Maryland.
“He really wants to come back close to home and everyone on the staff at Georgia is on board with that,” Stancil said. “I think he will make the decision that is best for him and his family.”
Georgia certainly has playing time available on the offensive line after losing three senior starters -- Cordy Glenn, Ben Jones and Justin Anderson -- from last season. The Bulldogs also have space for additional offensive linemen after bringing in only three of them among their 19 additions on signing day and whiffing on signatures from line prospects including Avery Young (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) and Brandon Greene (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove).
Garcia did not want to comment when reached Wednesday evening by DawgNation, saying he was studying for a Thursday test.
It’s that bookish attitude that Stancil said will endear Garcia to his next program.
“Max is an unbelievable player that is going to be loved by whichever staff gets him,” he said. “One of the most difficult aspects of adjusting to the college game is understanding the playbooks and scheme, and Max is such smart kid, he will be able to play as soon as he is eligible to.”
Garcia played in two games as a freshman and started all 12 games as a sophomore at Maryland. He would be subject to NCAA transfer rules, which would likely force him to sit out a season and return to the field in 2013.