Above photo of Alex Garcia handing the ball off from Shreveport Times
BELTON, Texas- Entering the fall, there appears to be two leading candidates for significant playing time at the quarterback position; Tommy Bowden and Kyle King. But there is another name that fans need to keep an eye on: Alex Garcia.
The out-of-state recruit from Bossier City, Louisiana played for Airline High School, starring at quarterback, where he earned First-Team All-District honors twice, and a Second-Team All-State selection his junior year.
With a humble, team-first mentality, Garcia is the kind of player with the potential to take over the starting job as a sophomore or junior.
We caught up with Garcia to talk about his numerous high school accomplishments, the “home” feeling UMHB provided, and much more in this week’s edition of “Catching up with the Commits”.
Q: What drew you to UMHB?
AG: “For me, the biggest thing when picking a school was really that home feeling. I felt the need for me to be there and the want from the coaching staff. It’s a real ‘home’ place for me and it’s a good place for me to fit in and make something of myself.”
Coming from out of state, did finding a school with that home feeling become even more important?
AG: “I think it’s very important. I’m going to be there for four years. Not only that, but the community seems like its a great place. I was there for a scrimmage and a lot of people came out, and really showed support. It’s a great place to be and I’m excited to be there for the next four years.”
It looked like you had some interest from Div. I programs in Louisiana in Louisiana Tech and Northwestern State. How did that all play out?
AG: “My junior year I had a really great year, and I think the interest [from some of those D1 programs] was huge. I built a lot of confidence off of that. But I think as I went along the way, my senior year wasn’t as great; we lost a couple of guys. For me, it was ok. I think it made me better for it. I grew, and I really hope when I get to Belton I continue to learn and grow. I’m not angry, I’m not mad, I love where I’m at. I think everything happens for a reason, and I find myself at UMHB, and I’m happy.”
You talked about wanting to “grow” during your time in Belton. Do you have any goals, whether they be short-term or long-term for your career at UMHB?
AG: “First and foremost, it is to get that starting spot. There can only be one quarterback out there and it’s going to be the best guy, the one who can help put us in a position [to win]. I hope that can be me. But that’s not going to come easy. I know there’s a lot of great quarterbacks [on the roster]. I want to get up there, stay humble, put my head down, keep working and hopefully one day bring a national championship to UMHB.”
And when you talk about growth, the coaching staff plays a big role in that, I’m sure.
AG: “Definitely. For me, looking at UMHB, you didn’t have to look far. The win-loss ratio is incredible. Their style is working. And for me, that’s the biggest thing, winning. They don’t keep score for nothing. I’m excited to be part of such a winning organization.”
You were all-district MVP in District 1-5A as a junior as well as the All-City Offensive Player of the Year. What were your emotions when you learned you’d received those honors?
AG: “It’s always great to get recognition, especially out here, where there’s a lot of great quarterbacks. To be looked upon as one of the best area quarterbacks is really huge. Playing quarterback, you really have to have confidence, and [earning an honor like that] boosts your confidence. It allows you to know your hard work has paid off. But I think team honors are most important.”
Were you aiming for those honors entering the season?
AG: “I’d be lying if I said no. Coming into my junior year, I wanted to make a statement, because my sophomore year, I wasn’t well known, and somewhat off the radar. But I think maturing late in my junior year and through my senior year, I realized that the team’s success brings about the personal accolades. For me, my focus shifted towards the team. It doesn’t matter if I have four touchdowns or zero, as long as we win the game that’s what’s important to me.”
Speaking of the team, do you have any team memories from your time at Airline High School?
AG: “I think the biggest for me was that district championship and quarterfinal run we had [in 2019]. That was the first time I was thrown into the spotlight and expected to do things. It allowed me to grow and mature, but also learn from mistakes. I think losing in the quarterfinals definitely was a hard experience. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve gone so far and lost something like that. But it helps you grow, stays in your mind, and hopefully I can use it as motivation.
Watching your film it seems that you’re very comfortable throwing the long pass. Has that always been a big aspect of your skill set?
AG: “That’s always been something that’s comes kind of easy to me. But something I’ve learned is that I don’t always need to make the big play. I’ve always had a big arm, but sometimes you just have to take what you get and keep moving. That’s something you learn. Also, it’s great being able to utilize [the long ball]. We have a ton of weapons down there, so I’m looking forward to being able to utilize those guys [in Belton].”
Has there been a player who you’ve grown up watching, and maybe even taken a few things from his game?
AG: “I’ve always admired hard work and work ethic no matter who it comes from. I think the guy for me, and not just because I come from Louisiana, is Drew Brees. It’s hard nowadays to find a guy who is really genuine on and off the field, who has no flaws almost. He’s an undersized guy like me. So it’s really good to see a guy like that shine and it’s not hard to look up to somebody like that.”