UTSA Landed The Untapped Potential Of Jose Garcia

Anyone who witnessed Jose Garcia race in 2021 could have sensed a bright future for the Harlingen High School senior. 

The Rio Grande Valley athlete had pocketed several sub-10.5 and sub-22 efforts in the 100m and 200m even before the state championships, and ultimately by season's close he had the look of a future-NCAA Division I athlete. 

But up until the UIL Track and Field Championships in May, few could have expected he would reach such insane heights over the last high school meet of his career. Or that he would be considered one of the top sprinters in the country. 

In November, he wasn't on MileSplit's ranking of the top 50 prospects in the Class of 2021.

But Garcia didn't care -- he exploded at exactly the right time. 

First came the wind-assisted 10-seconds-flat 100m that went down as the fastest time in Texas state for Class 6A, and the third-fastest all conditions time in high school history. 

Then came Garcia's 24 foot, 1 inch success in the long jump, a mark that gave him a second-place finish at state and was just five inches off his personal best 24-6.25 from April. 

Third came his performance in the 200m, a wind-legal time of 20.59 seconds that gave him another second-place finish, the fourth-fastest time of 2021, and the eighth-fastest effort in Texas history. 

Naturally, the big-time colleges would have circled for an unsigned prospect this good. But roughly a month later, Garcia ultimately opted against a Power 5 program. 

Instead, on Friday he committed to the University of Texas San Antonio, a mid-tier program with little history roughly 4-hours north from Harlingen. 

Just how big is this get for UTSA? 

The Roadrunners could be getting a future NCAA Championship and All-American contender by Year 1, and potentially an athlete with the kind of potential that could make it beyond the collegiate realm. 

That's a lot of pressure to put on any 18-year-old. But Garcia could be a special talent. 

Garcia's wind-legal 200m performance would stand at No. 2 in UTSA history. His wind-assisted 100m time would be No. 2 in history. 

Just two years after finishing ninth at state in the 100m -- in a field that was ultimately won by current University of Georgia star Matthew Boling -- Garcia was one of Texas' brightest 100m prospects, hitting times of 10.00, 10.17w, 10.36, 10.47 and 10.49 on the clock. 

Wind-assisted performances or not, the prevalence of so many top-level times indicate that Garcia was no fluke.

The consistency spoke volumes.

He only backed up that claim in the 200m, going 20.59, 21.07w, 21.18, 21.23 and 21.41. 

And in the long jump, five of six performances were over 23-feet and two were over 24. 

The horizontals are where UTSA's history really stands out. One of the handful of First Team All-Americans the Roadrunners have developed over the last 20 years was Devon Bond, who finished fifth in the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2010.

The program's record book is littered with 25-plus marks. 

So Garcia could ultimately prosper in that role with UTSA. 

Or more appropriately, he could build upon an incredible finish to the spring season and lift himself into the ranks of the NCAA's elite. 

In truth, the Roadrunners may have landed one of the biggest steals in the Class of 2021.