Valentino Garcia is one of the best players from the Orlando, FL area in the Class of 2024.
The 6-foot-1, 295-pound Garcia, who attends Orlando Christian Prep, is an imposing player that works as an offensive lineman and defensive lineman.
Garcia has earned plenty of recognition during his career, such as: Elite Future Stars tryouts MVP, as well as being selected for the AUG Allstar Classic, Elite Future Stars, and Florida Elite Pro Bowl.
Garcia is humbled by the recognition.
“The recognition of the awards and the all star events mean the world to me. As a kid growing up wanting to play football very dearly, I was always doubted. But I never gave up. I worked as hard as I can to get to the position where I'm at today. I want to thank my mom and stepdad for helping me the way through and most Importantly, God. He was always with me through the hard times and I know he is with me now,” Garcia said. “The experience to be a part of those all star events was a very exciting, fun experience. I met new coaches and players. I made new friends and also met people I was already friends with. It was a great experience, just having fun with everyone there.”
No matter the opponent, every game Garcia is determined to give it his all.
Garcia is going all out.
The motor is always at full throttle whenever Garcia steps between the lines.
“My mindset at my position is to straight up destroy and dominate what's or who's in front of me,” Garcia said. “I'm a fairly quiet person, but when I go on that field, I'm a whole different person.”
Garcia has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the field. Garcia tells why he enjoys the game of football so much.
“What I love about playing football is meeting new teammates and coaches. Just the love and support people give to you through football is just awesome,” Garcia said. “I love meeting new coaches and teammates and just building up a new brotherhood.”
Garcia has learned many valuable lessons from playing football that he applies to his everyday life.
“Playing football has taught me many things in life. It has taught me to work harder and harder because not everything is given to you. It taught me to overcome adversity and to block out the negativity and replace it with positivity,” Garcia said. “Ultimately it has made my relationship with God even better and stronger, even through those tough times in life.”
Garcia shares his favorite memory of playing football.
“My favorite memory of playing was my last youth game before high school. Because obviously it's my last game before highschool and also because it was my last time I was going to see brothers,” Garcia said. “We overcame adversity and we made it to the semifinals before losing. We were always doubted but we didnt care, we showed why we were one of the best.”
Garcia takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Garcia makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.
“I really never gave my teammates advice because i'm a fairly quiet person. But if I had any advice to tell them I would tell them to thank God and your parents. To never ever give up on the game you love and keep on grinding to perfect your craft,” Garcia said. “Lastly I would tell them I love them dearly and so does everyone around you.”
Garcia is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.
“What I learned from my coaches to be a better person and player is that no matter what comes to your life never let it get in the way of achieving your goals. They taught me to be a better person outside of football, to surround myself with the right people and to be smart of my choices in life,” Garcia said. “The best advice my coaches have given me is to never stop what you do, keep grinding, keep working because one day you will make it.”
Garcia patterns his play after this standout.
“The player I look up to the most is definitely Aaron Donald. Just watching him dominate on the field makes me want to be a better player. His technique to get to the quarterback is just awesome,” Garcia said. “ I watch his highlights to see how he gets to the quarterback and I watch his techniques to get to the quarterback. So yeah, he is definitely my favorite player to look up to.”
Garcia lists Bible as his favorite subject in school.
“Without God I wouldn't be in the position I'm in right now,” Garcia said. “I love learning about the Bible and about him. It taught me many things in life.”
Garcia explains his collegiate aspirations.
“My dream college would definitely be the University of Florida. The reason why I would love to attend there is because coaches and staff look very professional and serious about what they do. Not just that the facility, the field, the uniforms, etc. are just unbelievable,” Garcia said. “Also it is pretty close to home so whenever I can visit home, I don't have to take so long. If I ever get an offer from them I'm almost guaranteed to sign with them.”
Garcia is striving for greatness in all that he does.
“My goals on and off the field are making it to the NFL and teaching people about football and life. I always wanted to make it to the NFL as a child. I remember me begging my mom to put me in football. She does not regret putting me in football now, she loves it,” Garcia said. “Off the field I would like to speak to people who would want to do football or any sport and motivate them to never give up on what you wanna do.”
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