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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Q&A: Coach of 2014 DE Myles Garrett

By William Wilkerson

Don’t misjudge ESPN Watch List defensive end Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/Martin) as being lackadaisical toward the recruiting process. He cares -- deeply, in fact.

It’s just that there are other things that often occupy his time like, you know, being a teenager, which keeps progress to a minimum as it pertains to him picking out his college destination.

The offers are there for the 6-foot-4, 245-pound DE: Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Iowa, Iowa State Miami, Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

Myles Garrett
Class of 2014 defensive end Myles Garrett focused on basketball this spring.
In talking with Arlington Martin coach Bob Wager, the Longhorns, just like everyone else, are waiting patiently for Garrett to focus his attention on recruiting.

HornsNation: Has Texas been in contact with you or Myles lately?

Bob Wager: They have been in communication with him. But he came in at the beginning of our football offseason and at that point he was already blowing up. I told him, 'We really needed to sit down with your mom and dad and map out a plan where you want to go visit.' He said, ‘Coach, if it is OK with you I just want to play basketball and I’ll deal with that later.’ He did and they went to the regional tournament, which is the best season they’ve had in the seven seasons I’ve been here. It was absolutely refreshing to see a kid be a kid for a while.

HN: Do you have any idea who his leader might be at this point?

Wager: There is an interest there [from Texas], but to what degree I have no idea. He put everything on the backburner and focused all of his attention on the basketball court. I imagine he’ll try to get out and see some spring games. But he hasn’t given any indication that there is a leader. He just wants to gather as much information as he can and make the most informed decision as possible.

HN: Have you ever seen someone this hyped that was so ho-hum about this process?

Wager: No I haven’t. It can very easily overwhelm you. I mean could you imagine being 17-years-old and Nick Saban, Mack Brown, Brian Kelly, Kevin Sumlin and Gary Patterson are here day after day after day all for you? You are honored but you just want to pump it up, do your homework and go dunk a basketball. It’s a lot.

HN: What is his reaction to all of these coaches coming down to Arlington Martin just for him?

Wager: Those guys walk into my office and I’m like, ‘OK, here we go.’ It’s not as if he is oblivious to it. He cares. He thinks it’s cool. But it’s been such a constant wave of interest that nothing really rocks him anymore.

HN: What do these coaches want to know about Garrett when they come to your office?

Wager: I think there is still a lot to be said about a guy that looks you in the eye and shakes your hand, says ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir,’ and can have a conversation with you. I don’t mean that the wrong way. But he is very articulate and sharp. I spent a couple of years in college and we used to talk about it all the time; does the kid pass the eyeball test? Will he look you in the eye and talk to you? Thankfully I still think that goes a long way. So I think that’s a big part of it. The other thing is they just want to see him. There are certain things you can’t see on film. He looks the part. He’s every bit of 6-4, pushing 6-5 and 245. If you could take that body to the beach you could do some damage. He is jacked. Most of them now know when we work out, so they come watch him work out now.

HN: Has Mack Brown lost any of his luster or does he still carry the same presence as he has in years past?

Wager: In fact when he left I was walking down the hallway and you hear the students passing from one class to the other saying, ‘Hey, that was Mack Brown.’ He is still awe-inspiring. We’ve never had him on campus before. It was very cool.

HN: Now that basketball season is over and football offseason begins for Garrett, when will you sit down and have that recruiting talk?

Wager: This week. They lost on Friday. I’ve spoken with his folks and they are all about it. He is a different cat. This guy, no one is going to squeeze this guy. He could go the day before signing day and pull the trigger. He’ll have that leverage. I don’t think he’ll do it. I’m not in favor of that dog and pony show. But we’ll talk this week and map out some times that he can get on some campuses. I can see this going through the summer.