A soft-spoken native of Pearland, Texas, Jared Garcia does a lot of talking with the way he plays the game of football. With another year of eligibility remaining in 2017, Garcia is already putting himself in elite company when compared to some of the best players to come through the Concordia football program.
Garcia already owned the school record for most touchdown catches in a single season. He set the new standard with 11 his freshman year in 2014. Then on Saturday (Oct. 8), he one upped former All-American tight end Ross Wurdeman (2002 graduate) with his 25th career touchdown snag. That gave him one more than Wurdeman, the previous school record holder.
Fittingly, the record breaker came on the type of leaping grab that has become part of Garcia’s signature style.
“He’s just an outstanding player,” Winter said following Saturday’s 56-0 thumping of Briar Cliff. “I thought one (touchdown) catch he had (versus Briar Cliff) was of the best ones he’s ever had. He’s got a lot of versatility as a receiver and he does a great job of using his body. His athletic ability allows him to go up and get it. We feel good about him being able to come down with the ball and make a play.”
Garcia found himself open more than the Amigo’s drive through against the Briar Cliff secondary, which he shredded for more than 100 receiving yards in the first half alone. He first pulled even with Wurdeman via a 44-yard bomb delivered by TJ Austin on the first play of the second quarter. Just over 10 minutes later, Garcia rose to the top spot with his impressive snag of a Riley Wiltfong 18-yard dart.
“It means a lot,” Garcia said of the record. “I never really had recognition to this point. All glory goes to God. I wouldn’t be in this position without Him. I appreciate it. It’s an honor.”
Garcia has enjoyed much better fortune at the collegiate level in regards to injuries, which derailed much of his high school career at Dawson. Now he’s thriving for a Concordia football team that hopes to make a run at the playoffs.
The 2015 first team all-conference selection also has a chance to chase down two other all-time school records owned by Wurdeman, who is the program standard bearer for career catches (168) and receiving yards (2,458). Through 27 games as a Bulldog, Garcia has amassed 115 receptions and 1,851 receiving yards.
Garcia and the Bulldogs will hit the road next weekend for a trip to Mitchell, S.D., and a battle with No. 16 Dakota Wesleyan (4-2, 2-1 GPAC). Kickoff on Saturday (Oct. 15) is set for 1 p.m. CT from Joe Quintal Field.