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April 13, 2013
Son of Cal great who participated in The Play to walk on
David Garner, son of Dwight Garner who made the most controversial lateral in "The Play", has accepted a preferred walk-on offer from Cal and will join the team this summer.
The 5'11", 185-pound University School defensive back camped with the Bears as a junior, before picking up scholarship offers from the likes of Northern Colorado and Gardner-Webb. With a 3.7 GPA, Garner also garnered interest from Georgetown, Holy Cross, Harvard, and Penn.
"Coach (Randy) Stewart called me, he saw my film, along with the defensive coordinator Andy Buh, and they all like me down there," Garner told GoldenBearReport.com on Saturday. "Obviously it's too late to get a scholarship, but they've given me the thumbs up, 'you can walk on'.
"My dad went there, that was his alma mater, he was in The Play, he was the one they thought his knee was down. Obviously that helped facilitate the whole process."
The Rivals 2-star said he couldn't be more pleased with the way things worked out.
"Yeah, I am pretty happy. Academic-wise, it's a great school -- the No. 1 pubic school in the nation, very prestigious and they just got a whole new football facility built.
"I was born there, so I have family down there, my grandparents down there, uncles, aunties, cousins, California is like my second home."
Nicknamed "Batman", the hard-hitting defensive back had 28 tackles, an interception, and two pass deflections playing safety for University, which won a State 3A Championship to cap a 13-0 2012 season.
"Coach Stewart, explained to me my opportunity," Garner said.
And with an incredibly thin secondary that was also hampered by injuries throughout the Spring, it's a very real one.
"Hopefully I'll show it out up there," Garner said. "My dad thinks the opportunity is great, he's excited. There's no other place he'd like me to be. Obviously he wouldn't like me at Stanford."
In addition to his now-famous backwards pass in the the five-lateral kickoff return touchdown that gave California a miraculous 25-20 win over John Elway-led Stanford in the 1982 Big Game, Dwight also had a brief stint as a kick returner for the Washington Redskins in 1986. Dwight finished his Cal career with 1,048 rushing yards, 1,027 receiving yards, and nine total touchdowns.
"He's getting me ready," David said.
And that preparation may just include watching a YouTube clip a time or two.
"In total, I've seen it about five times," David said of The Play. "Whenever I see it it's with my dad and he's bragging about it."
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