Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
September 17, 2020

True love is this USC QB commit’s parents legally separating so he can transfer prep schools

For some small but extremely passionate cloisters of America, life can be summed by two Fs: Family and Football. These people will do anything for their blood and trust unwaveringly in the Great Gridiron in the Sky. They work weekends without complaint. They have bumper stickers that say things like “my other pickup is a fullback.” When it’s time for dinner, the whole family sits down at the table, which just so happens to be three feet from the 4K flatscreen blasting RedZone at 100 decibels. But what happens in those rare and awkward circumstances when football and family collide? Well in the interesting case of 4-star USC QB recruit Jake Garcia, you call an audible at the line.

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Garcia, ranked by 247 Sports as the no. 4 overall pro-style QB recruit in the nation and 18th overall by ESPN, was preparing for his senior season at La Habra High School in California earlier this summer when news came down that state officials had cancelled fall high school football due to COVID-19. Not about to let a pesky pandemic derail them from PAC-12 stardom, however, the Garcias improvised. Soon after, Jake scored a spot at Rush Propst’s Valdosta High in Georgia, but there was a catch:

Georgia state law requires such moves to be permanent, presumably to cut down on the number of families living in Red Roof Inns August through December. So Yvonne and Randy did what any loving parents would—they legally separated so Jake could light out for Peach country with nothing but his shoulder pads and a pocket full of dreams.

If this sounds a little extreme to you, then clearly you’re not from a football family. If it sounds a little sad, don’t worry. The Garcias plan to reunite (and re-marry) after the football season is over. “It’s been hard, but it’s worth it.” Yvonne told ESPN, but can’t help but wonder if some tiny little part of her is just happy to have them out of the house.