Super 16: Panthers' Garner Dangerous at Many Positions on Offense and Defense
Fri. August 17, 2012 at 10:28 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
Mulberry's Jarius Garner is expected to make an impact on both sides of the ball. (Photo by MICHAEL WILSON | THE LEDGER )
By HASANI HARPER
Mulberry's Jarius Garner loves the physical play of football.
Garner has been a two-way starter for the Panthers since his sophomore year. He has played quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback and safety.
"Offensively, he can stretch the field as a receiver or we can use his speed to run the option," head coach Raleigh Jackson said. "On defense, we use him as our cornerback to match up with our opponents' fastest receiver."
If he had to choose his favorite, Garner would prefer to dish out the pain exclusively on defense.
"I think I play better on that side of the ball," Garner said. "I like playing physical, and being on defense gives me opportunities to be that."
Garner is one of this year's PolkPreps.com Super 16 selections, a list of the top 16 rising seniors in Polk County.
The University of Memphis was the first college to make an offer to Garner.
"Memphis has continued to keep in contact with me, and I actually took an unofficial visit to the school," Garner said.
Garner also is receiving interest from Georgia Southern, Utah and Georgia.
"Whatever school he goes to will get a competitor," Jackson said. "Jarius is a guy that gives his best, day in and day out and will always come ready to work. I believe that if he continues to play at a consistent level and stay focused on his academics, things will continue to open up for him."
Right now, Garner's attention is on the upcoming season and doing what he can to help the Panthers have a successful season.
"I want to take away half of the field by being a shutdown corner," Garner said. "I want to bring the game to the inside so I can help get my teammates involved. I want everyone to be a part of the tackle."