Meet Geoff Garner

May 19, 2009

Geoff Garner took two years off from football while he went on his mission to Panama City, Panama. Now that he is finally back in the states, he looks to continue his football career as an offensive tackle for Oregon State. Many fans might speculate how well Garner will be able to perform after taking a long break from such a quickly growing game, but Garner does not believe his mission has affected the ability for him to continue playing. He admits he has a lot to learn, but he is determined to prove to Beaver Nation and the Pacific-10 Conference that he deserves to be on that field this upcoming season.

Describe yourself in a nutshell...

I come from a really good family; I love them a lot. They taught me how to work hard in life, so I have tried to work hard academically and in sports. I feel a little overwhelmed getting into college right now. I haven't experienced college yet. My first term I did really well, but this term I have some tough classes and football,l like learning the plays and the techniques. I am up for the challenge and willing to work hard every single day.

What was your mission to Panama like?

For two years I left and went to Panama. Basically it was two years of learning how to serve people and to teach them about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was pretty much just trying to be selfless. It wasn't easy; it was pretty hard learning the language and learning to adapt to their culture, but over time I learned to love the people and I loved every single day of it. I worked hard and I served them with all my heart and I don't regret a single second of it.

It helped me grow up and to learn how to live on my own. It helped me learn how to deal with different situations with different kinds of people and how to adjust to all of it. It put me in situations that weren't comfortable, and I had to learn how to adjust. Basically it made me grow up and showed me life is tough, but you can still try to make the most out of every situation and make the best of it, and that's what I did. Once I was able to do that, I was able to enjoy it more and more every day.

I was able to see the entire country. It was really beautiful and tropical. I saw the Panama Canal and the city, it was really nice. The country as a whole was really beautiful, and the people were wonderful.

Why Oregon State?

The main reason I came to Oregon State was because of Coach Cavanaugh. When he came to recruit me I was really impressed. I liked it and I knew what I saw in him, I saw that he would be able to get me to my full potential. That is something that you look at with coaches and the program. When I looked at this program I could see it was on its way up and doing really well. I can't say more about Coach Riley. He alone has his own résumé and his own standard. He is outstanding and is probably one of the best coaches in all of America and I feel privileged to play for him. I loved everything about Oregon State when I came up here; it just felt right. I have never regretted it for a second.

People may think you taking two years off from football might hurt you, what do you think?

The biggest thing is they thought, `would you lose something by going on your mission?' and I think the biggest thing I have realized now is I haven't lost anything. I was able to maintain my physical standard of where I am at; my athletic ability hasn't decreased, and now that I am here, I am realizing there were a lot of things I didn't know about football before. In high school it is about your athletic ability and competing, and my size helped me out, but now that I am here, I am learning its technique and intelligence, more than just athletic ability. I am working hard trying to study the playbook and to get better every day. Every single day I try to get better at something, and as long as I am progressing every single day, it gets me closer to contributing for this team and being a big help.

Why football?

I love the game atmosphere. I really loved basketball and baseball too, but when it came down to it, football gave me the scholarship offers. I love to compete and I found the niche for football with my size. It just fit and it just felt good.

Other than football, what do you enjoy?

I really love basketball and I like to hang out with family and friends. I also like music a lot; I drum, I'm a drummer. I have made some music with my friends. I am really into sports and competition no matter what I do. Whether its ping pong or video games, I am always trying to have fun and compete.

What kind of music do you play?

Kind of punk rock stuff. I like all kinds. Anything that sounds good, but mainly punk rock.

What is your worst habit?

Procrastinating. Sometimes I procrastinate too much, but I am getting better.

Who is going to win the Super Bowl in 2010?

I want to say the Arizona Cardinals because they were supposed to win it this year. I am from Arizona so I will pick the Cardinals to go back.

Who/what inspires you on and off the field?

My family. I come from a really close family. My parents and my older brothers and sisters, and I recently became engaged, so my fiancé as well. The people that are closest to me in my life and talk to me everyday really inspire me to do what is right and to do well.

Do you have a major?

Business finance. Right now I am not really working towards the business part of it because I have to get a lot of the prerequisites done, but as time goes on, that will be my major unless something drastic happens and I change my mind.

What are you looking forward to this season?

I think we have a chance to win the Pac-10 with the talent we have here. I just want to be a part of that every single second and to be able to contribute and help. As I get better, I am helping my teammates get better and I really just want to push this team and be a contributor. I'm not concerned about my play as much as I want to make the guys around me better, to make the atmosphere better and make this a better team.

To catch up on all of the Meet the Beavers interviews from this season click here.

Beaver Fun Fact: Oregon State was named the most 'family friendly program' for the second consecutive year.

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