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17 DAYS TO 2021 KICKOFF: RJ Garcia II

In which BracketCat counts down the 17th day until the 2021 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State wide receiver RJ Garcia II.

#23 Joshua Youngblood
Joshua Youngblood (23) might have taken his talents to Rutgers, but the next arrival from the Berkeley Prep pipeline in Florida is here to perhaps one day fill his shoes: frosh wideout RJ Garcia II.
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

#17 RJ Garcia II

True Freshman | 6-0 | 175 lbs. | Land O’ Lakes, Florida
RJ Garcia II
RJ Garcia II
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Redshirt
  • Status: On Scholarship

Renaldo Garcia II (b. Jan. 1, 2003) is a elusive playmaking wide receiver from Berkeley Prep in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, who may or may not redshirt. He plans on majoring in sociology.

Garcia played under head coach Dominic Ciao at Berkeley Prep (Josh Youngblood’s alma mater), where he helped the Buccaneers to earn a 7-2 record and a state runner-up finish.

He finished his prep career by tallying 1,342 yards on 71 receptions with 11 touchdowns, and also returned 17 kickoffs for 504 yards (29.6 yards per return) for the Buccaneers.

Garcia was named to the 2020 Sports Illustrated All-America preseason watch list and received an honorable mention on the 2019 Tampa Bay Times Hillsborough County team.

A two-sport star, he also played basketball for the Buccaneers and his father, head coach Renaldo Garcia, who was a three-year starting guard for the Florida basketball team from 1987 to 1991, helping the Gators to earn their first SEC Championship in 1989.

Renaldo Garcia Sr. went on to play basketball professionally in Honduras.

RJ Garcia chose K-State over offers from Air Force, Army, Bowling Green, Buffalo, The Citadel, Columbia, Dartmouth, Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Fordham, Furman, Georgia State, Howard, Iowa State, Lafayette, Massachusetts, Mercer, Navy, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rutgers, Tennessee-Martin, Tulane, Western Michigan, Wofford and Yale. His chief recruiters were former wide receivers coach/current tight ends coach Jason Ray and current wide receivers coach/offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham.

Starting quarterback Skylar Thompson had some good things to say about RJ on Monday that indicate Garcia might not be a lock to simply redshirt in his first season in purple:

“...RJ Garcia has been doing really well, also, but both of those two players you can tell have a natural feel for the game. They just have certain characteristics that you can’t really teach someone. When you’re watching somebody like, ‘Oh that dude gets it.’ I feel like both those guys are like that. The biggest thing for them now is learning the playbook, playing fast. That’s the biggest thing is our offense is pretty complex, we’re a pro-style system. There are a lot of moving parts. So, once you understand that, you can play fast, watch out. So, I’m really looking forward to working with those guys moving forward. They’re great kids, I say kids, great guys. My age, I don’t know. But no, I’m looking forward to the future for sure.”

And here’s what head coach Chris Klieman had to say after Garcia signed last December:

“RJ is a really talented player from Berkeley Prep. His dad is a basketball coach, so he’s grown up in the coaching world and understands it. He’s a really mature player and has put on some added weight already. He had a good season for them his senior year, and he will be here in the summer and (we) are excited about him...”