It's a simple, yet not always executed drill when running with a football.
Run full speed ahead. Churn north and south. Avoid east and west.
Don't look back.
It's a pretty solid philosophy in life as well, one
knows all too well.
The rugged and fleet 6-foot-2, 195-pound running back from McDowell (Erie, Pa.)
said he won't look back when he signs his national letter of intent today to the University of Iowa.
Garmon, a member of the Under-19 USA team that plays in the third International Bowl
today in Austin, Texas, knows better.
"I've put everything behind me and look forward for every step ahead," said the 18-year-old the night before his next big leap into the college football arena.
He's raced past a couple of near tragic disasters – his family's home burned down when he was in the sixth grade before overcoming a rare form of cancer as a young teen – and shows no ill effects or fear.
"Life's too short to sit around and worry if something bad is going to happen," he said. "I appreciate every breath I take."
The loss of his house took some time. He spent a year with a pal's family while his own got life in order. Football and athletics and an engaging personality helped him gain back his footing and strength.
But the pains in his joints and hips began to take over. The medical profession chalked it up to growing pains, Garmon said, until the call came when he was in the eighth grade. It was a very rare form of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, about 10 in a million get it before the age of 15. He was only 13.
"It just didn't really make sense or hit me at first," Garmon said. "Old people get cancer. Unhealthy people. I was so young and I thought healthy."
The good news, doctors told him, was it wasn't life-threatening. But his passions - football and people - would take a back seat to weekly chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Regular spinal taps followed.
All was very serious and draining stuff.
Worse than that, he couldn't be around people or school or sports. His immune system wouldn't allow it.
But, perhaps because of his age and health and outlook, Garmon regained his footing. Within six months, doctors told him, he was cancer-free. He was back on the field. His vision was clear. Every hole, every opening, appeared to be a keen opportunity.
"My family got me through," he said. "I owe them everything. I've reached the next level to serve them."
Blessed with superb speed – a best of 4.36 in the 40-yard dash, 21.7 in the 200 and 49 in the 400 – and excellent vision, balance and hands, Garmon is the complete package on the football field. So says someone who would know, CBS/MaxPreps recruiting expert Tom Lemming.
He ranks him the No. 57 recruit overall in the country
and No. 6 tailback in the country.
"He's a do-everything kind of back," he said. "He's a strong runner who keeps his pads low, fights for yards after contact and keeps his legs moving."
He chalked up 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns last season for the 8-3 Trojans. He also averaged 25.7 yards per his eight catches and scored three more scores. Counting returns, he scored 16 touchdowns overall. MaxPreps 2012 National Signing Day page
Like looking backward, he doesn't count his yards either. He's just living for the here and now in Austin, enjoying his temporary teammates, and looking forward to Iowa.
"Playing with the guys here has been a lot of fun," he said. "I'm playing with and against guys at practice I'll see at the next level."
Asked what it will be like to sign his Letter of Intent, he said, "It's going to be crazy. I'll officially be part of the Hawkeye family. … Honestly, three or four years ago I wouldn't have thought any of this would be possible. But I just kept on dreaming and kept on moving and this day has arrived.
"I couldn't be more thankful." Note:
See Garmon and his USA teammates takes on an international World team in a 6 p.m. (EST) game that will be televised by CBS College Sports. To access the CBS Sports Network Channel Finder, click here
, and International Bowl rosters, game and ticket information is here