South Carolina's Child Prodigy: Will Stephen Garcia Become a Great College QB?

Ken CampbellContributor IMarch 25, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Stephen Garcia #5 of the South Carolina Gamecocks throws a pass while taking on the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 15, 2008 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated South Carolina 56-6.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

When the Gamecocks signed this highly-rated and sought-after QB from the football-talented state of Florida, it appeared to be a great catch. What happened when Garcia arrived in Columbia caused South Carolina football fans to shake their heads and sigh: "Oh no, not again."

His first year was basically a washout. Due to some childish antics he wasn't able to attend spring practice and was therefore not in the running for the starting spot on Steve Spurriers' squad. Sure, in high school he could have been considered the child prodigy in "the ol' ball coaches' dreams." The type of quarterback that Spurrier would have molded with his own hands if given the chance.

Fast forward to Spring 2009. So far, observation has it that Garcia has matured as a person, student, and football player. How much has he grown up? No one will know until he proves himself throughout the spring and summer and then into the fall.

Maybe it could be that he has a chance to do what he knows he was brought in to do: be a starting quarterback, a "star" for Spurrier. He may not have earned the position by competing against other experienced, talented players, but he is getting his chance, and, so far, so good.

I think that, eventually, with Garcia's talent, we may have a chance to take control of the SEC. Could it be wishful thinking on my part? I hope not. Time will tell if the loyal fans of Gamecocks football will have something to cheer about during the entire college football season this time around.

Go Cocks!