RECRUITING ON THE SOUTH PLAINS
Ht: 6'0" | Wt: 170 lbs | Forty: N/A
High School: Manvel (Manvel, TX)
Video: Clip 1
Rivals 5.5 | Scout N/R
ESPN N/R | 24/7 Sports N/A
Cumulative Ranking: INC
CB Tavares Garner was the first commit for the 2013 class, according to his Rivals profile, he committed on February 13, 2012. And Garner doesn't have any other offers as of yet, which means one of two things. It means that Texas Tech was out so early on Garner that no one else is going to offer as Garner is incredibly solid to Texas Tech, or Texas Tech has missed and I don't think that's the case. The best way to find out if Texas Tech has missed would be if Garner's recruiting evaluations don't ever go above a N/R or not-rated and quite frankly, it's too early to make a determination as to whether or not Garner can play (this also applies to some of the other early commits). It's early and I hesitate to even get a recruiting profile up, but it's been over a month since Garner committed and we've got other things to write. Garner's profile will most likely change by the end of the summer so just keep in mind that it is incredibly early.
The other thing that you can do is trust your own eyes. Look at the film for yourself and then make a determination based on what you know about what high school players. This is one of the reasons why I find the entire evaluation process incredibly difficult to follow. Personally, I don't think I can comprehend the ability to determine that High School Player A's highlight film is so significantly better than High School Player B's highlight film that they are given a 3-star or 4-star or whatever. I know that you also base this on statistics and what the player does to produce, but I still find it tough to actually compile all of that information and be able to make a determination. I've also thought that maybe it's incredibly easy to identify these players because they play at such a higher level than their teammates, so maybe I'm making a big deal out of something that's easy, but I still have a difficult time determining that one player is better than another.
According to MaxPreps, Garner averaged about 3.4 tackles a game and I'm a bit amazed that Garner's high school team kept track of passes defended, as Garner had 19 for the year, as well as having 3 interceptions. Garner's Manvel team went 15-1 last year.
The Player Speaks
LAJ's Don Williams spoke with Garner's head coach, Kirk Martin:
"Texas Tech’s the first one to offer him, and I think there will be several more," Martin said. "Arkansas has called on him. I really don’t think he’ll waver. He’s really excited about Tech and has committed, and he’s all in."
"He really liked the team and the coaching staff," Martin said. "I think what sold him was he truly believes there’s a need there. From what they’ve told him, that (cornerback) is an area they’re really trying to get better in, and he thinks he can play right away."
Film and scouting report is after the jump.
Martin also said that Garner is a terrific athlete and that he's a lockdown cornerback. In looking at Garner's film, he plays almost exclusively cornerback as a junior in Clip 2, although there is film of him playing running back on Clip 1, which is apparently at least a year old. Garner is a fluid athlete, not the most physical player, but he's not afraid to tackle. If his height and weight is somewhat accurate, then he's still got some room to grow and being a bit more physical should happen over time and maybe that reason alone should earn Garner an offer, which is that at 6'0" and only 170 pounds, there is significant room for improvement as his game matures.
That might also be a reason why he's only averaging 3.4 tackles a game, which is that his district may not feature a ton of passing teams, but the fact that he's just now growing into his body and figuring things out, all the while being a productive player on one of the best teams in the state is encouraging. The other part would be that the stats aren't entirely accurate. Garner also has excellent acceleration to the ball although I doubt he's going to add any film of a player getting behind Garner, but he does a good job of running with everyone he's matched up with and he stays in front of them. Garner didn't make Lone Star Recruiting's Top 100 for 2013 (yet), but he did make the Lone Star Recruiting's Top 10 list as the #8 cornerback in the state. Again, it's early to put too much stock into such early rankings because right now, only the elite players are rated, again, most likely because they are incredibly easy to identify.
Tavares, welcome to Texas Tech and Git Your Guns Up!