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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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March 11, 2009 3:37 PM

Garcia hoping for the best

Posted by Bob Condotta

As mentioned yesterday, I talked for a while with Juan Garcia at UW's Pro Day on Tuesday.

While 15 former Huskies worked out for NFL scouts, the reality is that Garcia is the only one who has a much of a chance to get drafted --- four who worked out are players from earlier than 2008 so they wouldn't be eligible to be drafted, anyway.

Garcia said he is down to 299 pounds from about 330 last season, and he looked noticabley slimmer.

He also said he was finally 100 percent from the Lisfranc injury that hampered him all of last season.

I've noticed a lot of debate on here about Garcia and the fact that he struggled at times last season.

It's a tough call for a player like Garcia -- try to play through it, at maybe not 100 percent? Or sit out until you are 100 percent? Garcia decided to try to do the former, and it was the coaches who decided he was their best option even at maybe 70-80 percent. And if he didn't play, what would people have then said about his commitment to the program?

Garcia talks about his injuries when asked but goes out of his way to make clear he's not trying to make excuses.

"You can see that I was playing on one foot,'' he says. "But I'm not making excuses. I was playing and I take responsibility. I blame myself that I came back. It's one of those things that you are proud you came back, but at the same time I'm disappointed in my play.''

Garcia said if he had come out after the 2007 season he thinks there is little doubt he would have been drafted. Now, he's not so sure.

"I see myself as a later round, free agent type of guy,'' he said. "I talked to some coaches and I said 'just bring me in. Don't (worry about drafting me), just bring me in.'''

His injuries and UW's struggles last season means he's on the bubble to get drafted.

But he says he doesn't second-guess deciding to return for a sixth season in 2008.

"It was good that I played, got to play my last year,'' he said. "But the way it went and my injuries, sometimes I wondered that I shouldn't have played at all. ... but you can't regret anything. It's been a fun journey. I can't look back. I'm happy with my decision,''

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