Joshua Garnett prepares for 2016 NFL Draft

Jaxon Owens, Website Editor

Alumnus Joshua Garnett is participating in this year’s NFL Draft, which is taking place in Chicago, IL April 28-30.

Garnett received the Outland and Morris Trophies Dec. 10 and Dec. 15, 2015 respectively.

The Outland Trophy is given to the most outstanding interior lineman in all of college football. Garnett is the first offensive guard to win the Outland Award since 1997. The Morris Trophy is given to the most outstanding offensive and defensive lineman in all of the Pac-12.

Garnett talked about where he would go if he could choose where he got drafted.

“If I got to choose where I went [in the NFL draft] I would definitely stay close to home, here in Seattle with the Seahawks. I would want to stay here with the home fans where I grew up at and still be a part of all that stuff,” Garnett said.

Garnett relives his favorite memory from his time at the Stanford University.

“My favorite college memory has go to probably be winning the Rose Bowl, being a senior team captain and having your whole career kind of build up to that moment and at that moment [being] in the Rose Bowl, that was probably my best experience,” Garnett said. “My team and I were all really excited, when you work with the same guys from the end of last season until Jan. 2 of this year and you accomplish your goal that you set at the beginning, you are really excited when you do it.”

In a previous interview about Garnett, Gary Jeffers, his high school football coach, explains Garnett’s greatest strength.

“[Garnett] was a special player when he was in seventh grade. [Then] he came to us as a 6’4”, 285 pound sophomore who could run and play. His dad played in the NFL so his dad knew what kind of training as development he needed and what kind a size he would have,” Jeffers said. “He [was] a pretty talented kid from the very start. I mean no one knows you are going to win the Outland Trophy but [the coaching staff] knew he would probably be a Division one kid with the grades that he had and his size and athleticism.”

Garnett goes into where he hoped to go in the NFL draft.

“With the NFL draft [April 28] I am hoping to go on [April 28], it is going to be interesting, the draft is real close this year.  It really depends on who goes where, what the team needs are so you do not really know until that day where you are going to go. No matter whether it is [April 28] or today, I am just really excited to just go out there and figure out where I am going to be,” Garnett said.

A rule was passed two years ago, which allowed ninth graders to play at the high school level, this rule was not in place when Garnett went to PHS.

“I think as a ninth grader at Kalles [Junior High], his parents had talked to the district about letting him come up and play with the tenth graders,” Jeffers said. “They did not let him so I do not think he hurt some kids but I do not think there were a lot of kids who wanted to go out and face him. He went to a University of California at Los Angles camp between his ninth and tenth grade year. UCLA was the first to offer him a scholarship at that point.”

Garnett appreciates what his coaches at Stanford taught him.

“They really taught us about life besides football and being consistent, doing what you are going to do, be where you are going to be, saying what you are going to say and everything you do outside of football. You need to be tough, you need to credible,” Garnett said.

Jeffers tells how Garnett has changed since leaving.

“The player he was for us and the guy he is now are just two totally different people. It is like saying that the player he was his senior year is the same as when he was in eighth or ninth grade. He has grown so much; they have developed him so much both through diet, weight room, footwork training and just the level of technique that they get into,” Jeffers said. “When he left [the] bus he was a really good high school football player with a lot of potential, size and athleticism. Then they transformed him into an Outland Trophy winner.”

Garnett relates to all the other students at PHS.

“Being a person from Puyallup, being a football player, it is doable to get to that level. Guys look at the NFL and think that there is no way I will get to that level. I went to PHS four years ago, I had Mrs. Coyer, Mrs. Reed and Mr. Sirl, I had all the same teachers that the students here had, it is doable to get to that level, you just have to gout there and do you thing,” Garnett said.

Garnett’s senior year in high school was not all smooth sailing. Jeffers remembers visiting a game Garnett was playing in while at Stanford that highlighted the difference between Garnett now and him in high school.

“My wife, my youngest daughter Hadley and I went down and watched the Notre Dame game. We got to be on the sidelines. I got to see [Garnett]. He would tell you, [that during] his senior year it [was] hard to stay focused when you have everyone and their mothers coming up and saying how great he is and please come to our school,” Jeffers said. “There were a couple times his senior year where we as a coaching staff had to redirect and collect but he has really turned out into a great young man with all the success that he has had.”

Garnett has always had one part of Puyallup stick with him.

“The part of Puyallup that has always stuck with me is the home-town feel. I have been living in San Francisco, I have visited Chicago, they are all big areas and none of them really have that home-town feel,” Garnett said. “There is really nothing could emulate Puyallup, nothing could copy the feel and the community of this town.”

Garnett, when walking around PHS likes to make sure people get one thing about who he is.

“I am just a guy from Puyallup, I just happen to play football well. That is the big thing that I really want to get across, I am just another guy who went to high school here, I just happen to do my thing here and got into Stanford, then I did what I learned here at Stanford and am now going to the NFL,” Garnett said.

When contacted by colleges Jeffers goes into what he said to them.

“His best attribute is the strength of his family. He comes in a focused, determined, self-actualized individual. He knew early on in his life what he wanted. He wanted to go to Stanford, be a doctor he wanted to play football and pursued those dreams heavily. The support of his family and being perseverant and being a hard worker,” Jeffers said.

Jeffers says that he got Garnett when his talent was already present.

“He came in with a lot of talent and he could have not worked really hard but he did. He always worked hard in the weight room, always worked hard to accomplish his goals. His physical attributes made it look like he was going to be able to play but are you a good student [and] person and do you have a good core. Those are the other things that are really important. Obviously he has turned out into great young man, we are really proud of him,” Garnett said.