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3 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: RJ Garcia II

In which BracketCat counts down the third day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State wide receiver RJ Garcia II.

#3 RJ Garcia II
Ain’t no breakout like a Big 12 Championship critical touchdown catch breakout, right, RJ Garcia II (3)? Look for more of this in 2023!
Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Goal No. 3: UNITY. Come together as never before.

#3 RJ Garcia II

Redshirt Sophomore | 6-0 | 176 lbs. | Land O’ Lakes, Florida
RJ Garcia II
RJ Garcia II
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Renaldo J. Garcia II (b. Jan. 1, 2003) is a play-making wide receiver from Berkeley Prep in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, who redshirted in 2021 and is majoring in communication studies.

Garcia saw time in three games as a true freshman but was able to preserve his redshirt. He had a 6-yard reception and a 3-yard rush at Kansas during his limited playing time.

He was a reserve wide receiver who saw time in every game during the 2022 Big 12 Championship season, totaling seven catches for 70 yards and a very critical touchdown.

Perhaps his biggest catch of the year came on a 25-yard touchdown in the third quarter of the Big 12 Championship game to give K-State a 21-10 lead over TCU.

Garcia, who enters 2023 as a confident starter at one of the outside wide receiver positions, also had a 17-yard catch against South Dakota and a 10-yard reception at Baylor.

He prepped 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.

Garcia 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.

He was named to the 2020 Sports Illustrated All-American 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 primary recruiters were former wide receivers/fullbacks/tight ends coach Jason Ray and former wide receivers coach/offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham.

Starting quarterback Skylar Thompson had some good things to say about RJ in 2021 that, at the time, indicated Garcia was not a lock to redshirt during 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.

Here’s what head coach Chris Klieman had to say after Garcia signed in December 2020:

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...

Garcia’s new position coach, wide receivers coach Matthew Middleton, had this to say:

His change of direction has gotten a lot better. He is shifty and has really good hips. He’s fluid, so he understands that he can win at the top of any route, and he’s also worked on not going to the ground after catching the ball. He’s developed his lower body and has strength to stay up after making the catch.

(Studying is) important to RJ and he embraces it. He asks really good questions. He has a conceptual understanding of what we’re doing, so that allows him to play faster. If something doesn’t make sense, RJ will speak up and talk about it, and get the answer so he can move forward and the whole room can move forward. He doesn’t just ask the questions for himself, but for the whole room to have knowledge.

I would be remiss if I ended this entry without mentioning Garcia’s hilarious “Cats Talk” video series with his various teammates that features his dry wit and mischievous personality. If you haven’t watched these entries yet, do yourself a favor and do so today: