Here’s a scary thought for future opposing offensive lineman and quarterbacks set to face Myles Garrett: Arlington Martin’s 5-star defensive end is on a mission this week to show he’s the best player on the field, and to find ways to improve his game.
Garrett was selected for the Under Armour All-America game at Tropicana Field on Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla. After the senior season the Star-Telegram Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year had for the Warriors, the thought of Garrett finding ways to polish his skills is an opponent’s nightmare.
“I have the fire to be the best one here,” said Garrett, referring to Under Armour game.
While Garrett was celebrating his 18th birthday at Sunday’s practice, the offensive lineman trying to stop Garrett weren’t in any mood to celebrate after seeing firsthand what he is capable of.
Heads and television cameras are turning toward Garrett, making him a must-watch player at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. Among those taking notice, Rex Norris, a former NFL defensive line coach who is coaching the same position this week, spoke of Garrett’s talents.
“Myles has all the tools. He works hard while having a smile on his face,” said Norris, who started his coaching career at Carrollton Turner High School before 12 years in the NFL. “He reminds me of Tony Brackens [former All-American at Texas and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ all-time sacks leader]. Myles is going to be an exceptional player.”
Every All-America athlete is going to need plenty of room on their trophy case for awards they’re destined to receive, but for Garrett, the No. 5-ranked recruit in ESPN’s 2014 Class, this opportunity is special and not just another accolade.
“Being an All-American ranks as one of the highest awards I’ve received,” Garrett said. “Being selected as one out of 100 players to come out here is an amazing honor.”
The Under Armour game allows you to see the nation’s top senior recruits, committed and uncommitted, perform one last time at the high school level.
For the uncommitted players, they have to balance competing all week and answering the recruiting questions that inevitably are brought up.
Since Garrett committed to Texas A&M in October, he can focus on his goal coming into the week.
“I don’t have to worry about recruiting and the stress that comes with it,” Garrett said. “It’s out of my mind and I can just focus on being a better player.”
Garrett isn’t alone representing Arlington Martin High School this week. His coach, Bob Wager, is an assistant in the Under Armour game.
The player-coach duo have a close-knit friendship and although Wager is his coach, it’s evident he’s also one of Garrett’s biggest fans.
“It’s very rewarding to a great kid,” Wager said. “And I’m excited to be able to share this honor with Myles.”