September 28, 2005

Garcon fitting in at Mount Union

More news about: Mount Union | Norwich

By Mark Simon
D3sports.com

The allure of playing for a national power pulled sophomore wide receiver Pierre Garcon to Mount Union, though it was a long way from home in West Palm Beach and he was leaving a school where he had been a superstar player.

Mount Union’s football program gets occasional interest from kids across the country who have seen the program play in the Stagg Bowl on ESPN and say they want to come to the school.

Garcon was one, having contacted the school last spring expressing an interest in transferring from Norwich, where he put up big numbers in his freshman season (44 catches, 13 touchdowns, 23.1 yards per catch) as a first-team All-Empire 8 selection in helping the Cadets pull out a host of last-second victories and earn an ECAC postseason game. But he decided he wanted to leave Norwich and the place he most wanted to go was Mount Union. So Garcon followed the appropriate channels and requested the necessary paperwork, no different from others who follow the same path.

Usually the contact ends there, however, as those who apply have second thoughts once the reality of the situation sets in.

“Seeing it, saying it, and making it happen are totally different things,” said Purple Raiders wide receivers coach and former standout receiver Jason Candle, who got the initial call from Garcon, was quite impressed by what he saw on the highlight tape, but didn’t necessarily expect Garcon to arrive.

Garcon followed through though, getting accepted to the school and though he didn’t venture to Ohio all summer, he was on campus on move-in day, saying goodbye to his family, ready to try something new.

Garcon has proven to be rather soft-spoken, though he did say he feels like he’s playing for the best team in the country. His play has done most of the talking.

“I feel like I can do a lot of different things,” Garcon said.

In three games at Mount Union, which has made the switch to a spread offense this season, Garcon is second on the team with 19 catches, has caught four touchdown passes, and averaged 16.3 yards per catch. Scott Casto is the Purple Raiders’ leading receiver and the two have formed a dynamic duo. Casto has 22 catches, three touchdowns and is averaging better than 17 yards per reception. Garcon is also averaging 35.6 yards per kick return, having brought one back for a touchdown as well. The Purple Raiders, not surprisingly, are 3-0.

Garcon’s combination of size and speed are hard to match. At Norwich he could outrace members of opposing secondaries and use his 6-1, 200-pound frame to absorb contact as he reached for long passes. Thus far, he’s been able to make the adjustment to Mount Union’s opponents without missing a beat.

“Things have been going great so far,” Garcon said. “It’s been a process of adapting to things — the new plays, the game situations, all our signals.”

Garcon had aspirations of going to Syracuse or elsewhere in Division I, but didn’t fare well enough on his SATs to make that happen. He ended up at Norwich after the school’s coaching staff talked to him at a Florida-based recruiting fair. Garcon didn’t specify his reasons for transferring (“I saw Mount Union on TV. It was their history”), though he did briefly consider trying to go Division I, but decided not to since he would have had to sit out a season.

Mount Union historically hasn’t had a lot of transfers. One of their most notable recent transfers, prior to Garcon, was Chris Kern, a former star in the secondary, who transferred from Division II St. Cloud State and later played for the Detroit Lions. Jim Ballard transferred in from Wilmington after his freshman season and helped lead the Purple Raiders to their first national championship. Florida is becoming a base of talent for the school, though Candle noted that’s mainly been through coaches with Ohio-based ties. Eight players on Mount Union’s roster come from Florida, though Garcon is the one who has made the biggest impact.

“He’s a tremendous athlete and a skilled kid,” Candle said. “He’s getting better every day and becoming a fit for what we want to do. He’s a guy who the defense really has to account for. He’s a vertical threat. He can beat you down the field with his speed. He makes things easier for a lot of people because he gives you a chance for a huge play every time he gets his hands on the ball. It’s impressed me how quickly he’s fit in with this group of guys. He’s a quiet, humble kid. If I tell him to be here at 9 a.m. to watch film, he’s here at 8:55.

“We’re still getting to know each other, but he’s the kind of kid who will do anything you ask him.”



Sep. 30: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
Preview Live Stats
6:30 PM
Emory and Henry at Washington and Lee
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
Oct. 1: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Fitchburg State
Preview Live Stats
12:00 PM
Becker at Gallaudet
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Hobart
Video Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
RPI at Rochester
Video Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Endicott at MIT
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Juniata at Johns Hopkins
1:00 PM
Montclair State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
Hamilton at Wesleyan
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Bates at Tufts
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hiram
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Middlebury at Colby
Video
1:00 PM
Amherst at Bowdoin
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Frostburg State at Kean
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at DePauw
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Greensboro
Video Preview Live Stats
1:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Methodist
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Wilkes
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Anna Maria at Castleton
Video Live Stats Tickets
1:00 PM
Moravian at Ursinus
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Misericordia
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at St. Lawrence
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
Alma at Kalamazoo
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Wesley at Southern Virginia
Video Preview Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Adrian at Albion
1:00 PM
Husson at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Apprentice at Alfred State
Video Preview Live Stats
1:00 PM
TCNJ at Salisbury
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Buffalo State at St. John Fisher
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Salve Regina at Curry
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Gettysburg
Video Preview Live Stats
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Denison
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Utica at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Alfred at Morrisville State
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Western New England at Nichols
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
King's at Albright
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at Guilford
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Susquehanna
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Trine
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at N.C. Wesleyan
Video Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at MacMurray
1:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Chicago
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Crown
1:30 PM
Oberlin at Allegheny
Video Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Mount Ida at Norwich
Video Live Stats
1:30 PM
Trinity (Conn.) at Williams
Video Live Stats
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Marietta
Video Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Heidelberg
Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Union at WPI
Video Live Stats
1:30 PM
Maine Maritime at Coast Guard
Video Preview Live Stats
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Wilmington
Video Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Ohio Northern
Video Preview Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Franklin at Manchester
Preview Live Stats
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Hanover
Video Live Stats
1:30 PM
Widener at Lycoming
Video Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Defiance at Earlham
Video Preview Live Stats
2:00 PM
Capital at Otterbein
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Plymouth State at Westfield State
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Wooster
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Anderson at Rose-Hulman
Video Preview Preview Live Stats
2:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Bridgewater
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Waynesburg at Grove City
2:00 PM
Cortland at Hartwick
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Centre at Hendrix
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Greenville
Video
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Iowa Wesleyan
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Lakeland
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Rockford at Benedictine
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Aurora at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Luther
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Sewanee
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at St. Norbert
Video
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Gustavus Adolphus
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Hamline at Carleton
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. John's at Bethel
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-Platteville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Loras
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Hardin-Simmons
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lawrence
2:00 PM
Cornell at Monmouth
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Coe
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Central
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
McMurry at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Augustana
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Macalester at Ripon
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Illinois College
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Howard Payne at Louisiana College
Audio
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at UW-La Crosse
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Belhaven
Video Live Stats
2:10 PM
Augsburg at St. Thomas
Video Live Stats
3:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at Thiel
Video Live Stats
3:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Morthland
Video
3:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Martin Luther
3:00 PM
Carthage at Carroll
Video Live Stats
3:00 PM
UW-Stout at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Willamette at Puget Sound
Video Video Live Stats Audio
4:00 PM
Whittier at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Pacific at Pacific Lutheran
Video Live Stats Live Stats
4:30 PM
Lewis and Clark at Linfield
Video Live Stats Audio
5:00 PM
Framingham State at Mass-Dartmouth
Video Live Stats
5:00 PM
Averett at LaGrange
5:00 PM
Whitworth at George Fox
Video Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Olivet at Hope
Video Preview Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
6:00 PM
Bethany at Carnegie Mellon
Video Preview Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
St. Vincent at Case Western Reserve
Video Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Rowan
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
6:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Western Connecticut
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Berry at Washington U.
Video Video Preview Preview Live Stats Live Stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
North Park at Millikin
10:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at Chapman
Video Live Stats Tickets
10:00 PM
La Verne at Cal Lutheran
Video Preview Live Stats
10:00 PM
Occidental at Redlands
Video Live Stats Audio
Oct. 1: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Hobart
Video Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Juniata at Johns Hopkins
1:00 PM
TCNJ at Salisbury
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hiram
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Buffalo State at St. John Fisher
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Misericordia
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at St. Lawrence
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at N.C. Wesleyan
Video Video Live Stats
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Ohio Northern
Video Preview Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Franklin at Manchester
Preview Live Stats
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Wooster
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-Platteville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. John's at Bethel
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
McMurry at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Hardin-Simmons
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Belhaven
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Central
Video Live Stats Audio
2:10 PM
Augsburg at St. Thomas
Video Live Stats
3:00 PM
UW-Stout at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
4:30 PM
Lewis and Clark at Linfield
Video Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Rowan
Video Live Stats Audio Audio