Mark Garrick is a beast, standing 6-foot, 4-inches, 270 pounds. His impact during the City College football team’s 2011 season was rewarded with being named to the 2011 Mid-Empire All Conference defensive team as defensive lineman.
Though he may seem larger than life on paper, he is just a down to earth guy from the East Coast. At just 20 years old, this business major ran a 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds while compiling 54 tackles on the season, which led to his Mid-Empire All Conference team honors. Though schools like University Nevada, LasVegas, Reno and San Jose State were interested in recruiting him, he recently decided to go back east and signed to play football for Syracuse University in New York. Garrick said his biggest reason for choosing Syracuse was to be closer to home.
While on the field, Garrick tries to emulate some of his favorite athletes in the NFL, like Ndamukong Suh, Mario Williams and Jason Pierre-Paul. Garrick has played football since the fifth grade. He says he’s played just about every position, but quarterback.
Garrick transferred from Lower Richland High School in Hopkins, South Carolina, to Feather River Community College in Quincy, Calif.
After the 2010 season, he transferred to City College. Garrick says the recruiting process was tough, but he knew that if he got it done academically his football talent could help him succeed somewhere.
“One of my biggest accomplishments was passing all of my classes this football season,” Garrick said. “Football comes easy for me. Education is something that I worked for.”
Garrick believes his highlight tape on HUDL.com, (a site where players can post their highlight videos to spark interest from four-year universities) shows him moving almost effortlessly through double-team blocks.
Though he feels his strengths lie in stopping the opposing teams running game, he knows there is always room for improvement.
“I feel I can stop the run with my strength and athleticism on the D-Line,” Garrick said. “But I want to get stronger and faster to help with the transition of going from a junior college to a Division 1 program.”
Former teammate, 23-year-old Shawnquece Williams, spoke highly of Garrick.
“You can build a whole defense around (Garrick),” Williams said. “Everyone feeds off of his energy and tenacity.”
Williams also sees Garrick as somewhat of a teacher. Though they only played with each other for a year, Williams believes Garrick is an extremely hard worker and discussed the things he learned from playing football with Garrick.
“Hard work pays off,” Williams said. “Stay on top of your school work and everything else will pay off.”
City College football head coach Dannie Walker had only praise to give his now former defensive lineman.
“Players like [Garrick] come around once in a lifetime at this level. He’s a big time player,” Walker said. “His intelligence of the game and his ability to get other players to play well around him are some of his greatest strengths.”
As Garrick leaves in June for Syracuse, his coaching staff and teammates will fondly remember him.
“Every team needs a Mark Garrick,” Williams said smiling. “A guy that plays with emotion and backs everything up. He doesn’t say much, but when he does, it sparks everybody.”