One of the most highly touted football recruits ever to come out of Puyallup High School made a special appearance at the fifth annual Vikings Legends football camp June 18 at Sparks Stadium.
Lineman Josh Garnett, a 2012 PHS graduate who will be a junior offensive guard this fall with the Stanford Cardinal football team, played in 14 games as a sophomore last season and 14 games as a true freshman in 2012. This year the 6-foot-5, 315-pound Garnett was the guest speaker during the final day of camp, much to the delight of the youthful football players in attendance. Before Garnett stepped to the center of the field for his speech, I had an opportunity to talk with him about his upcoming junior season at Stanford. It seems like just yesterday I was watching Garnett dominate interior lineman on Friday nights at Sparks Stadium. Garnett was in town to visit family and friends before heading back to Palo Alto for summer classes and offseason conditioning sessions with his teammates. Garnett hopes to be in the starting lineup when Stanford hosts UC Davis in the season opener Aug. 30.
“All through spring ball, I took all the No. 1 reps at left guard and during the spring game I was the starting left guard,” Garnett said. “Hopefully, as long as I continue to progress and keeping working at that spot, it should be mine to lose. I definitely hope I can keep that starting spot.”
Garnett said Stanford has been a great place for him in all aspects of his life.
“It’s even better than I thought it would be,” he said. “It was a great decision (to attend Stanford). I’m definitely glad where I am right now. It’s a great place, great team and a great institution. Everything is going really well.”
Garnett said he played at 330 pounds during his senior year of high school but has trimmed down to a 315 playing weight in college.
“It has been a combination of trying to lose fat in the stomach and trying to build the chest back up,” he said. “As I get older, it is a little easier to do that. A combination of good cardio and improving my diet has made me a better athlete.”
Garnett said he’s looking forward to the rigorous summer conditioning he will partake in with his teammates in preparation for the 2014 season. His average day starts with running at 7 a.m. and goes until 9 a.m. After a 30 minute break, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. the team is weightlifting, and then after that some of the guys go out and do some field work.
“We kind of have our player-run practices,” Garnett said. “The coaches can’t be out there. A lot of the players will get together and teach the young guys and get them in the classroom so they start learning the plays.”
Garnett is not only thriving on the field, but also in his studies. He’s pre-med and majoring in human biology, and said keeping his grades up is a top priority.
“You have to take the core human biology classes and pass those before you are allowed to major in it,” he said. “I passed all of those and now I’m ready to take some of the upper level biology classes.”
Come fall, late Friday night and early Saturday morning the Puyallup football team is always on Garnett’s mind.
“Twitter makes it a lot easier to keep up with all of the games,” he said. “My roommate Kyle Murphy is from Orange County (California) and we are always comparing our high school teams and talk about who won that week. I definitely stay on top of the (Puyallup) team and every Saturday morning before our game I will look to see how Puyallup did the night before.”
Once a Viking, always a Viking.
Shaun Scott: 253-552-7002 shaun.scott@ puyallupherald.com Twitter: @herald_shaun