PHS Alumnus wins Outland, Morris Trophies

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Jaxon Owens, Website Editor

PHS alumnus Joshua Garnet, who was entering his senior year at Stanford University, won the Outland Trophy. The Outland Trophy is given to the most outstanding interior lineman in college football. Garnett is the first offensive guard to win the award since 1997.

Garnett’s football coach here at PHS, Gary Jeffers, talks about Garnett’s greatest strength.

“[Garnett] was a special player when he was in seventh grade. 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 came to us and 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 1 kid with the grades that he had and his size and athleticism.”

Jeffers talked to a lot of colleges when Garnett was here.

“Through the recruiting process I pretty much met every [college] in the nation. We were down in an office quite a lot. He was contacted by Florida State, Auburn, Alabama, Texas schools and Michigan was huge on him,” Jeffers said.

Jeffers explains why Garnett choose Stanford over Washington.

“The best answer for why he went to Stanford instead of going to Washington to follow in his dad’s footsteps is best explained by Randy Hart, who is the Defensive Line coach at Stanford. He said that ‘if you can get kids who can get into Stanford, then we do not lose very many of them. With [Garnett] able to get into Stanford, Washington has a great education but it is not Stanford,” Jeffers said.

This is one of several awards that the alum of 2012 received. He was first team All-Pac-12 and named to the Walter Camp All-America first team. He was a team captain and plays for the Stanford Cardinal, who were the Pac-12 champions this year, now headed to the Rose Bowl.

Jeffers was his coach only his junior and senior year.

“He had a different coach his sophomore year and I was his coach his junior and senior year. 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, which a lot of the ninth graders at the time would have appreciated him playing somewhere else,” 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.”

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.”

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

“His best attribute is the strength of his family. He comes in 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. “

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.”

— Gary Jeffers, PHS football coach

His physical attributes made it look like he was going to be able to play but are you a good student 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’s senior year was not all smooth sailing.

“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]. I do not know what he would say about his experience at Stanford but what I can say is seeing the man that he has grown into. 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.”

Jeffers speaks to the type of teammate and person Garnett was.

“The teammate and student part speak for themselves. As far as I know he is graduating from Stanford on time while playing a Division 1 sport, those are both pretty impressive feats. He wants to be a doctor so he is getting his Pre-med,” Jeffers said. “He is a smart dude. Like I said he is a smart dude that works hard. As a person that is where I have seen the most growth, he is a 21 year-old man now not an 18 year-old kid. He is the kind of kid that is always going to be involved with his school as an alumni. He has always come back for our Viking Legends camp.”