Garcia returns to Columbia for USC Pro Day - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Garcia returns to Columbia for USC Pro Day

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A much thinner, more focused Stephen Garcia returned to Columbia on Wednesday for the first time since his fifth and final suspension to participate in USC's NFL Pro Day.

Going from 245 pounds to weighing 218 pounds, Garcia credits his training regiment in Tampa Bay where he works out two to three times a day roughly six days a week. He also cited cutting back on drinking just about all together.

Garcia, of course, was the Gamecocks former embattled quarterback until a few weeks into the 2011 season where he was outright dismissed from the team for failing a mandated alcohol test.

Garcia has kept in contact with coaches and his former teammates, but that still didn't make the trip back to Columbia any less surreal.

"It was a little weird coming in to Columbia, but I went to lunch yesterday and a few people came up to me and say they really support me and wish me luck, so the support here has been awesome," Garcia said.

The Tampa native says he's now focused on the draft and hopes that he'll get a chance to make a roster spot. He also doesn't shy away from his past issues with scouts who have asked.

"They asked me what happened in the past and are you clear-minded and are you ready? Do you keep in contact with the guys back at school? You've just got to be truthful with them. I think they appreciate it," Garcia said. 

But what if Garcia's pro dreams don't work out? He says he's willing to look into a career in the military.

Garcia was spotted throwing to his favorite wide receiver and fellow potential pro, Alshon Jeffery, at the event.

Jeffery and Garcia were joined by Antonio Allen, Jason Barnes, Terrence Campbell, Stephon Gilmore, Melvin Ingram, Marty Markett, Kyle Nunn, Rodney Paulk, Travian Robertson, Joey Scribner-Howard, Rokevious Watkins, C.C. Whitlock and Jay Wooten at the scouting event.

Pro Day allows the players to show off their athleticism to potential NFL teams.

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