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When Marquette senior Joe Garland was looking at colleges, he knew exactly what he wanted in the next stage of his life.
Garland committed to Elmhurst College Friday to play football and to grasp his ideal college environment.
“The final decision was between Elmhurst and Augustana (College),” Garland said. “One big thing about Elmhurst was the location. It’s 20 minutes outside of Chicago. You can see the skyline from the field. There are a ton of opportunities for jobs and that’s where I wanted to be. I’ve wanted to be up there for a long time.
“Also, it was the education and the football program that is there. The school is top notch and going up there on visits, I felt so comfortable with the guys and the coaches I met up there. It seemed like when you walked into a room all the coaches already knew who you were. The guys were cool and they even said ‘Once you’re on the team, they treat everybody the same.’ There isn’t a difference between a freshman and a senior. It’s a big family affair.”
The family-like atmosphere is something Garland is familiar with from his time at Marquette which helped the Crusaders make it to the Class 1A quarterfinals this past fall.
Garland played many different roles during his time with the team as he was a defensive end for two years, a quarterback his sophomore season, an offensive tackle his junior year and was a tight end his senior campaign, which is where he wanted to be all along, Crusaders coach Tom Jobst said.
“I think they’re getting a very good football player,” Jobst said. “He’s a good athlete. He’s intelligent. He works hard. He has good size. He’s reliable. He has all the things you look for in a player. Also, he has the great attribute of putting the team first.”
Garland, who also played basketball and baseball at Marquette, said the scripted weekly routine of football helped him decide the gridiron because it would make the transition into college life easier.