In a move that may tip the Panthers draft hand in a couple of respects, the Panthers spent the weekend getting a closer look at former at University of South Carolina Quarterback Stephen Garcia.
The team's prolonged visit with the former Columbia party animal may indicate a willingness to part with a late round pick to acquire his talents, as well as an intention of bringing in Garcia's former teammate and favorite connection Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffrey, who has spent the offseason slimming down and speeding up.
Garcia's infamous career at USC included (count 'em) five suspensions from the team due to marijuana- and alchol-related issues, yet he is a tantalizing enough talent to have kept the Ole Ball Coach finding it in his heart to let him back in the locker room.
Apparently the upside of Garcia's game is what Panther GM Marty Hurney sees in the much maligned athlete, after commenting to local reporters, "(Garcia) is an excellent arm talent with the potential to really carry a franchise ... (In college) he was really on when he was on."
When asked for comment, Head Coach Ron Rivera added the young Garcia bears a striking resemblance to former Pro Bowler Jeff Garcia, but would have to further evaluate his game before he could reach a verdict.
Garcia's 2010 junior season was the highlight of his college career, when he posted 3,000 passing yards and led his team to the SEC East Title before being routed by Cam and Auburn in the SEC Championship Game.
He was finally let go from the team before the 2011 season after testing positive for alcohol while under a zero-tolerance policy from the coaching staff. His absence forced the inexperienced QB Connor Shaw into action as the starter.
Happy April Fool's Day to everyone but Saints fans out there on the worldwide web! This one's at you, B-Dub.