By: DeBartolo Sports Staff Writer
MUSTANG - With a full year of being a starter for Mustang High School (Mustang, OK) under his belt, class of 2016 quarterback, Chandler Garrett, is already shaping up to be a hot recruit. We caught up with the Oklahoma junior to talk the season and what the future has in store for him.
This year, the Broncos are six and three, including two recent losses to powerhouse teams in the state. They're in good shape to live up to their preseason ranking, which showed them making it to the playoffs, having already secured their spot in the postseason. Their final regular season game, against Moore, is expected to be an easy win, offering the team a warm up before postseason play starts with a face off at Broken Arrow.
Garrett's second year as starting QB has shown him really come into his own. He said he feels more comfortable in the role this year, knowing what the coaches want and what he needs to do in the game.
His favorite part of playing QB is the control one has over the game, being the coach on the field. "All of the top teams have top tier quarterbacks; I want to be one of those greats," says Garrett. He continues, “I try to carry myself like Tim Tebow, study the game like Peyton Manning, spin it like Tom Brady, and move in the pocket like Russell Wilson.”
Garrett has quite literally grown into the position he’s played since the third grade. His impressive size, currently 6'5" and 210 lbs, passes the eye test that coaches at every level look for in a QB. Garrett said this just reinforced his belief it was the position he was meant to play: "My dad always said, if it looks like a race car, it probably is a race car."
His parents took him to see Coach Joe Dickinson at DeBartolo Sports who "took a look under the hood" of the race car QB and "things have just gone on from there," Garrett said. When he joined the Broncos, he realized that all the best players had QB coaches. With a bit of searching he found that the best one was right in their backyard.
That was three years ago and with Dickinson’s experience and tutelage; Garrett has been able to really improve all areas of his game. The work he has put in is transitioning to success on the field. During his sophomore season he completed 156 of 223 passes (70%) for 1,683 yards and 13 TDs. So far this season he has completed 164 of 269 passes (61%) for 2,072 yards and 18 TDs.
His time with Dickinson has also given him a unique opportunity to train alongside D1 quarterbacks Daxx Garman (Oklahoma State) and Alexander Diamont (Indiana) whom also spent time with Dickinson preparing for the current season. He says training with those guys has shown him the commitment it takes to compete at the highest level.
“Chandler is one of the most competitive QBs in the 2016 class," says Coach Dickinson. "He has the size and athletic ability to make all of the necessary plays that will make him a bigtime D1 QB. Whoever gets him will be very lucky."
His confidence on the field, and strong game, have made him an early interest for many college recruiters.
So far, he's had plenty of letters from colleges interested in him, including two from his home state, OU and OSU, as well as Notre Dame, Houston, and Purdue. He's not committed to any particular school just yet, but has shown particular interest in both OU and Notre Dame. While he hasn't had any firm offers, he said: "letters are always good to get, to let you know that coaches are kind of interested in you and inviting you out to games."
Garrett is also making sure he stands out to recruiters by spending time at camps. This summer, he went to training camps at OU, OSU, Kansas State, Missouri, and Arkansas as well as participating in the Rivals camp series.
He’s not distracted by the recruiting process and the attention that he is receiving. He’s focused on the challenge that is immediately in front of the Mustang football team that he leads and that’s making a deep playoff run towards a state championship.