Mason Garcia steps into lead quarterback role for ECU football

“You got to be the most prepared out of anyone on the field.”
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 5:28 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - ECU football preaches next man up but for years Quarterback one has been solidified as Holton Ahlers.

Mason Garcia has waited his turn and the ball has been passed to him this spring.

“Holton was always there. Holton wasn’t going to come back for his last year but it was the best decision he made. It was the best decision for me to sit back and learn another year,” says ECU quarterback Mason Garcia, “Coming into spring behind him you are just seeing everything quicker. Be able to do it. It’s not perfect but it’s going to get there.”

“Those guys in the first huddle, even though they haven’t been in the first huddle a whole lot, they have all been in the program,” says ECU head football coach Mike Houston, “It’s not like they don’t know what they are doing, can’t go out there and do it. They have been preparing for this.”

Preparing is now the biggest step in the journey for ECU quarterback Mason Garcia. He says it takes extra effort every day so he is ready for practice, and eventually games.

“You gotta be prepared. You got to be the most prepared out of anyone on the field. You have to take everything to the next level. Be the first one in the locker room, last one in the locker room,” says Garcia, “Be a leader for younger guys. You know Raheem (Jeter) came in. Trying to teach him as much as Holton taught me. It’s great to get around the guys and feel like that man to lead the group.”

Garcia has been a leader already with his play during 11 vs. 11 on Saturday this week he broke a big run for a touchdown.

“Mason is a very gifted athlete,” says coach Houston, “I think he has had a positive start to spring practice.”

Garcia says Holton didn’t leave him high and dry either. Questions for the professional football bound quarterback are just a phone call away.

“First day of practice, the first person to text me after practice was Holton asking me how everything was going,” says Garcia, ‘You know me personally I am going to give him my best grade of how practice went. He is just backed up behind me. We talk every day. That’s my best friend.”