Stephen Garcia never considered a job in sports media until this summer.
“Honestly, not even a little bit,” the former South Carolina quarterback said.
That changed when he was approached by Saturday Down South, a website that bills itself as “Home of SEC Football Fans.” Garcia, a favorite of SEC football fans since signing with the Gamecocks out of Tampa, Fla., will begin working for the website starting in August.
“I have never done anything like this before,” the former South Carolina quarterback said. Saturday Down South CEO Drew Roberts “said he wanted me to be raw and be me and not try to sugarcoat anything and tell it how it is.”
Never miss a local story.
How exactly he will do that, Garcia is unsure. He will not be writing for the website, he said, and expects most of his work to be done in on-camera analysis and on radio appearances.
“I am definitely going to be doing it, but I am not exactly sure what I am going to be doing,” Garcia said.
Roberts is waiting until mid-August to reveal that, but it will include a weekly video series, Roberts said.
“We want to turn some heads when we do (release it),” Roberts said. “I am going to embrace who he is and his past. However he wants to embrace it is fine. It should be fun. It’s a great fit for what we have been trying to do.”
Saturday Down South is hiring 15 reporters to enhance its SEC coverage this fall, Roberts said. Garcia will provide the balance to that traditional coverage, Roberts said. Garcia, who is once again sporting hair to his shoulders, was interviewed and hired at a blackjack table at the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, Roberts said.
“He said, ‘Do you want me to cut my hair?’ I said, ‘No, all of our fans call it the Stephen Garcia Mullet. You have to keep it,’” Roberts said.
Garcia doesn’t believe he can be impartial about his former team because of his affection for former teammates, he said.
“It’s going to be tough because I am still friends with Dylan (Thompson),” he said. “I still talk to all of those guys all the time so it’s going to be hard.”
Garcia currently is finishing up his season with the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm, where he is a backup quarterback. He hopes it is a step toward getting a tryout with an NFL team.
“I am trying man,” he said. “I am definitely taking the back door in there, trying to get my reputation back still. It’s a work in progress, and I am trying to have fun doing it.”
He has played in two of the Storm’s 14 games and is 1-for-5 for 6 yards and an interception.
“I am still learning this game,” he said. “It is completely different from the outdoor game and the CFL.”
Garcia, Steve Spurrier’s most-heralded quarterback signee, is third in school history in passing yards and passing touchdowns with 7,597 yards and 47 touchdowns.
“My arm feels better than it has ever felt,” he said. “I am in great shape.”