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Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Methodical approach for 5-star DE Garrett

By Sam Khan Jr.

When it comes to how he approaches athletics and everything that comes with it, Arlington (Texas) James Martin defensive end Myles Garrett is methodical.

The five-star defensive end does things his way -- and not in a bad way.

Myles Garrett
Five-star defensive end Myles Garrett said his visit to Texas A&M stood out the most.
The 6-foot-5, 247-pound prospect, who is ranked No. 1 in Texas and No. 6 in the ESPN 150, is a highly-coveted, heavily-recruited prospect for a reason. And he believes his approach to his craft is one of those reasons.

"I just focus on what I'm doing right now," Garrett said. "If I'm doing a sport and all my efforts need to go to that, I'll do that. After sports I'll probably focus on recruiting and narrowing it down."

Right now, track and field gets much of Garrett's attention. It's not the sport he's being recruited for, but he's doing well nonetheless. Over the weekend, Garrett won his event -- the discus -- with a throw of 166 feet, seven inches, in an area track meet and try to win a regional championship this weekend.

Before track it was basketball that got Garrett's attention, as he helped his Martin squad to a deep run in the Texas state playoffs. And before that, of course, it was football.

Sure, he has offers from Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M and so on. You name the power program and chances are it is on Garrett's offer list. But when it comes to making top five lists, picking leaders and being public about his recruitment, Garrett takes the alternative approach. He's focused on being a high school student-athlete and avoids those types of things for the most part.

"It's a lot of attention," Garrett said. "I'm really tired and the phone rings and three or four times a day I don't know who it is. I usually don't answer. I'm not trying to big-time anybody or think that I'm too good for anybody. I try to answer it when I can and talk to the coaches and see what they want to talk about."

The coaches want to talk about getting Garrett to their respective campuses, for a visit at minimum and ideally, to spend his college career there. He has visited a handful of places this spring with Baylor, LSU, TCU and Texas A&M among them. But ask Garrett who his "top schools" are or who is leading the way for him, and the answer isn't a typical one.

"I don't have a leader," Garrett said. "There's a list, but there's nobody at the top of the list. Everybody's equal and I don't see anybody as less than anybody else right now."

After the track and field season, Garrett will turn more of his attention back to his recruitment, with trips to out-of-state schools being in the plans. He most recently made an appearance at LSU's spring game over the weekend and he said he wants to visit Alabama, Florida State, Oregon and USC as well this summer.

This spring, most of his trips haven't been too far from Arlington. And there is one trip that stood out to him.

"Probably the A&M visit," Garrett said. "They showed me around the campus after the 'Friday Night Lights' game, took me to a couple houses on campuses, had me hang out with the guys a little bit. It was fun."

Garrett got to take in the festivities at the Aggies' scrimmage as well as hang out with some of the current players, including Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. Garrett called Manziel "cool," though he noted that the quarterback was shorter than he imagined. Overall, the players treated him well, he said.

"They were nice and laid back," he said. "They were real cool about hanging with the recruits. They were showing me through their town over there."

More than one observer has used the term "physical freak" when describing Garrett, who is in as good physical condition as you will likely find a soon-to-be high school senior. Garrett attributes his physique to the tremendous amount of time spent in the weight room.

"That's a top priority other than football," Garrett said. "Other than track, that's all I do, is go in the weight room, get as strong as I can, spend about an hour and a half, pumping, trying to get better "

Garrett said there is no timeline for when he thinks he'll make a decision. He is taking things day by day. If there is one thing clear about his future, it's his goals, and it's those that drive him to work so hard and use a focused, singular approach.

"You have to want to be the greatest person you can be and want to be the greatest football player to ever walk into the school that you're at," Garrett said. "That's how I feel [I have to approach things]."