Multiple outlets reported Tuesday that highly-touted quarterback prospect Jake Garcia
has been ruled ineligible following his cross-country move to play for Rush Propst and Valdosta (Ga.)
. The Georgia High School Association opened an investigation into the USC-bound eligibility following a Sept. 16 ESPN article in which his father shared details of separating from his wife in order to legitimize the reason for transfer.
Garcia, the No. 4 pro-style signal caller in the Class of 2021, moved to Georgia in late summer after the California Interscholastic Federation announced it was moving football from this fall to next year. He told Greg Biggins of 247Sports at the time that he wanted to get a full senior high school football season in before enrolling early at USC.
"I'm really excited about the decision," Garcia told Biggins. "For me,
it was big to play as a senior. I need those game reps and this is going
to be a big for me mentally as well in terms of preparing for college."
However, the state association began to look at Garcia's eligibility following the ESPN piece in which his father Randy stated "so at this point, we got a legal separation." The story also says Randy and Yvonne Garcia dissolved their marriage Aug. 20 with plans to reunite following their son's season at Valdosta.
State bylaws require that transfers move "simultaneously with the
entire parental unit" to be immediately eligible.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was among a handful of outlets to report last week on the investigation into Garcia's eligibility.
Garcia is appealing the ruling, media outlets reported.
Garcia played in one contest for Valdosta, throwing for 240 yards and two scores as the Vikings earned a season-opening 28-25 win over Warner Robins on a late-game field goal. He's been ruled out for the past two weeks with what was reported as "hamstring" issues.
Prior to moving to Georgia, Garcia spent time at three different schools in Southern California. He played for Long Beach Poly (Calif.) as a freshman before two
seasons at Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.). He transferred in January to
La Habra, planning to finish his prep career there.