With more than 100 teams participating, there were plenty of USC targets on hand at the Pylon Elite 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas this past weekend, and one of the most impressive performers was Class of 2016 Trojans defensive end/tight end commit Isaac Garcia (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue).
Garcia pledged to the Trojans last September and immediately declared USC his "dream school" at the time. It's safe to say that those sentiments haven't changed one bit.
"I'm really solid with the Trojans," Garcia said during a break in action on Saturday. "It's where I've always wanted to go and I'm 100 percent committed to them."
Possessing the ability to line up on either side of the ball on the next level, Garcia played exclusively at tight end for his team on both days of the event. Standing 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he was quick on his feet and showcased outstanding athleticism.
But also known for his physicality on defense, Garcia said that the USC coaches -- whom he's held a strong relationship with since their time at Washington -- currently envision him starting out on that side of the ball
"They're mostly talking to me about playing at rush end, where J.R. Tavai played," said Garcia, who noted that he remains in steady contact with USC linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and defensive line coach Chris Wilson among others. "It's a great position. To go after the quarterback, and then sometimes drop back in coverage, I really like the idea of that. But if they need me to play tight end, I'd play it. I'll play anywhere."
In addition to the coaching staff, Garcia said that another crucial factor in his decision to commit to USC was his Southern California roots. He lived in Fontana, California, as a child and grew up rooting for Pete Carroll's Trojans teams.
"I moved away when I was 12, but I go back because my grandparents are still there," Garcia said. "The fact that I used to live there played a huge role, because when I was little I would always watch USC play and I knew that's where I wanted to go, so it really is a dream come true."
Garcia will next be in the Los Angeles area in April, and he has plans to take an unofficial visit to USC while in town to see the Trojans in action.
"I'll be coming out there during spring break in early April," Garcia said. "and I'll definitely check out spring practice."