Before last week, the Pearland, Tex., native didn't know where his collegiate career was headed until he made his way to Morgantown, W. Va., for a visit. At its conclusion, he had his answer with a verbal commitment to the Mountaineers. "I loved it," Dustin Garrison gleamed. "I loved the atmosphere. The snow was kind of cool, I'm not used to that. My mom enjoyed it and I really like the town, the campus and the stadium."
Obviously excited he'd found a home with a BCS program, he showed a youthful exuberance with his understanding that he did not just commit to a football program. He committed to a new chapter of his life. Though Texas and West Virginia are quite a distance apart, it doesn't seem to bother Garrison much.
"I'm not concerned about the distance. My mom and I talked about it and it's not much of a factor. It helps when you make friends early. Terence Garvin showed me around and it was really cool," Garrison added.
The record-setting running back was not receiving much serious attention from bigger schools, particularly in his own area of the country. While stats may not be indicative of a prospect's potential, it's hard to not find something in a 2,842-yard ground performance his senior season that ended in a Texas 5A state championship. It isn't necessary to remind anyone familiar with the high school football landscape just how competitive the sport is in the Lone Star state. Be that as it may, West Virginia hasn't traditionally been known for its ability to recruit in the southwest. Dana Holgorsen and the adjoining members of his staff are, however, and uncovered the Houston-area star.
Garrison had not even been in contact with the Mountaineers until a few days prior to the Champs Sports Bowl, when new WVU running backs coach Robert Gillespie called to inform the young man he and coach Holgorsen would be going to Morgantown.
"Coach Gillespie was my main recruiter, but I talked to coach Holgorsen too," Garrison went on to say.
Most everyone in Morgantown is looking forward to the offensive prowess Dana Holgorsen possesses, based on his track record in previous years and certainly this past season. Garrison is among those and feels he will be a natural fit.
"I think I'll be mostly out of the backfield or going in motion, but I can line up in the slot if needed. They do a lot of things similar to what I did in high school, so it was a big deal knowing I'd be familiar with a lot of it," Garrison explained.
With Holgorsen as offensive coordinator and set to take over head coaching duties for Bill Stewart in 2012, Garrison feels there will only be bright things for the future.
"I feel confident in my decision and in Coach Holgorsen. I know what he's done in the past. Oklahoma State had one of the leading offenses in the nation I feel like I can make plays for the team."
Carrying confidence in equal measure with his ability to tote the football, Garrison believes he's headed for a solid career with the Mountaineers.
"I'm happy to be going to West Virginia. I'm confident in my decision."
WVU should be happy and confident with that decision as well.