The saga of Dawson Garcia’s recruiting is coming to its end, but not before one more stop along the way. On Monday afternoon, Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs.com reported that Garcia, a top 30 prospect in the Class of 2020, will take a final official visit, this time to Marquette. This news got a little bit clearer on Tuesday, when Rivals’ Eric Bossi actually said out loud and not behind a paywall that Garcia will be in Milwaukee on the weekend of November 8th.
Dawson Garcia is listed by 247 Sports as a 6’11”, 220 pound power forward out of Prior Lake, Minnesota, which is a southwestern suburb of the Twin Cities. He is currently ranked #30 in the country in his recruiting class, which makes him the #4 power forward and the #2 player in the state of Minnesota.
Garcia recently wrapped up an official visit to Indiana just this past weekend. He has also gone on official visits to Memphis and Minnesota in the past. That appears to be Garcia’s final four schools after originally including Arizona, Kansas, and North Carolina in his final seven. For me, the most interesting pat about this whole setup is that it appears that Garcia’s decision to visit Marquette was made after visiting Indiana. This appears to be a new development in his process, otherwise we would have known about the visit for a while now. Instead, Rabjohns broke the news on Monday, which implies new information.
Given the timing of things, it would not be terribly surprising for Garcia to make an announcement one way or another very quickly following the conclusion of his visit to Marquette. If he was going to wait until the spring to sign a national letter of intent, then there’s no reason to hurry to fit in a visit. However, the fall signing period starts on November 13th, and if Garcia is making sure to visit before that, then it seems clear that he wants to commit and sign relatively soon. The fall period runs through November 20th, so he’s got a bit of leeway when it comes to actually making that decision and the eventual announcement.
The most blue-and-gold colored glasses view of Garcia’s decision to visit Marquette is that he’s not sold on his other options and wants to see Milwaukee. The slightly less positive view is that he feels he owes it to the Golden Eagles to get one last chance to bowl him over before he makes a decision.
Marquette offered Garcia a scholarship back in June of 2018, and he’s been a primary target for the Golden Eagles and head coach Steve Wojciechowski ever since. In fact, the November visit will be Garcia’s second official visit to Marquette. He was able to take advantage of relatively new NCAA rules that allow juniors to go on five official visits and thus was in town when Marquette beat Villanova at Fiserv Forum back in February. I believe this makes Garcia the first prospect to ever take two official visits to Marquette, but like I said, the rule is relatively new. It also goes to show exactly how serious that Wojciechowski is about putting Garcia in a blue and gold uniform, as schools are only allowed to provide a certain number of official visits in a two year window. Using two of that limited number of visits in a nine month window on one player is a very serious investment by the MU coaching staff.
That kind of seriousness flies in the face of the thought that Marquette doesn’t have a spot for Garcia on the roster with two 2020 power forwards already committed. If you rummage up highlights for Justin Lewis, Osasere Ighodaro, and Dawson Garcia on YouTube, you’ll very quickly see that the three young men would create an imposing and probably interchangeable front line for the Golden Eagles. If you can throw three highly athletic, mobile, and skilled 6’8”+ dudes on the floor together, you do it and you figure out exact roles if you have to down the road.
Adding Garcia would also be a major boon for Wojciechowski in terms of available scholarships. Right now, Marquette projects to have four open spots on the roster in the fall of 2020. That means we’re looking at a roster of just nine guys for practice. That’s bad! Odds are we’ll see transfers of one sort or another shore this mess up between now and then, but adding the #30 prospect in the country as your 10th guy definitely goes a long way towards making the depth not matter all that much.
Here’s what the scholarship situation looks like right now.