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Monday, February 4, 2013
Introducing the class: Tavares Garner

By Sam Khan Jr.

"Introducing the class" is a series in which GigEmNation conducts a Q&A session with each of the incoming recruits in Texas A&M's 2013 class to give readers a closer look at each recruit individually. Today, we visit with Manvel (Texas) High School cornerback Tavares Garner.

Tavares Garner
Tavares Garner is eager to begin his college career at Texas A&M.
Garner is a 6-foot, 176-pound corner who is ranked No. 54 at his position. The three-star prospect committed to Texas A&M on June 14, 2012 and is teammates with another Texas A&M commit, receiver Kyrion Parker. The pair helped lead Manvel to an 11-2 record, a district championship and a third-round appearance in the Texas Class 5A Division II state playoffs.

Garner was originally a Texas Tech commit, but decommitted from the Red Raiders on June 8 before jumping on board with the Aggies almost a week later. Here's our Q&A with Garner, who intercepted five passes this season and returned one for a touchdown:

GigEmNation: What made you commit to Texas A&M?
Tavares Garner:
"It was really the coaching staff. Once I got there and I met Coach [Kevin] Sumlin and Coach [Clarence] McKinney, my recruiting coach, who is a great guy, then I met Coach [Marcel] Yates, who is going to be my position coach, I fell in love from there. This staff is like family. Once I toured the campus, I liked the atmosphere there, the student body is really cool and I love their fans. That was just awesome."

GEN: What's life been like since you committed?
"Awesome. Especially being committed to Texas A&M, you get all the love."

GEN: Describe your first meeting with Kevin Sumlin. What was your first impression?
"Wow. It was like I was meeting a legend. And I'm going to be a part of his team. Once we started talking, I stopped him in his tracks and I told him, 'I'm committed. You don't have to talk anymore.' He said, 'Thank you,' gave me a hug and we went from there."

GEN: Do you have a favorite memory of Texas A&M yet, either from your trip or from watching them this season?
"Probably when we all went out to dinner [during my official visit]."

GEN: What's your goal when you get to Texas A&M?
"My goal is to go in and put in so much work to where I can be a freshman All-American. Either going in there and starting in the rotation as a DB. As a team, hopefully we're winning an SEC championship and a national championship."

GEN: Describe your style of play
"I'd describe my style as a cover corner. I know other people say that I'm balanced. But I love covering, I love being on my own island and being by myself. I like to be that field corner and take over the whole field. But if they need me to play boundary, I'll play boundary, I'll play field, whatever. I just want to ball."

GEN: When did you first get into football and why?
"I was about 4 or 5. I used to watch my older brothers play high school ball and college ball. I wanted to be like them when I grew up. My dad told me he played corner, so I wanted to be like him. One of my brothers played receiver, one of them played quarterback. I wanted to play every position they played. I ended up playing every position they played, but I ended up playing the position that my dad played."

GEN: Do you have any superstitions or routines that you have before games?
"I have to have a towel. It has to be a thin strip towel like the NFL [players]. It started in my freshman year at my old school [Houston/Austin], where I was starting as a freshman on varsity. I had my towel and I had an interception in a game and I used to wipe my hands on that towel. So after that I said 'I'm keeping this towel, I'm not going to mess that up.' I started looking at college and NFL corners and they had strip towels, I guess for their style or whatever. So after that, I just kept it and I loved it."

GEN: Who has been the biggest influence on your success?
"Being coached by my dad [Jeff Garner] at home and a great coach here [at Manvel] named Brad Butler. He's my favorite coach and he's like my other dad when I'm not at home."

GEN: Do you know what your major will be?
"Probably biology. And I want to go into the pre-med thing."

Favorite food: "I like everything."

Favorite car: "I like duallys. I'm a country boy, so I like duallys."

Favorite NFL player: "Dunta Robinson. He's a small corner but he has so much heart. He just goes out there and plays and puts everything on the line."

Desired jersey number: "I would love 2. If I don't get 2, I would like to get 21 or 13 or maybe even 24. As long as it fits tight, it doesn't matter."

GEN: What's your favorite thing to do outside of football?
"Probably just chill with my girlfriend, shop with her and watch movies."

GEN: What's on your pre-game music playlist?
"I like to listen to Yo Gotti, [a song] called 'Bulletproof.' I feel like I'm bulletproof on the field, that I'm unstoppable. Probably that and some Kendrick Lamar songs.

GEN: How have your accomplishments changed your life?
"They got me to where I wanted to be. I never thought I'd have this many scholarship offers. Once it came, I was like 'Is it that easy?' But it's not. It's hard work and dedication."

GEN: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
"Either in the league [NFL] still playing, or still being in school trying to be a doctor. I'm trying to become a dermatologist."

GEN: What do you think you'll remember most about your time at Manvel with fellow Texas A&M commit Kyrion Parker and your daily battles in practice?
"He's a great receiver and when he got here with these coaches, they taught him so much. It was hard. When he first got here, he was getting me a little bit, but after that I learned what he knew. I told him he would never catch another ball on me and ever since he hasn't [laughing]."