The culture and coaches at Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach, California, provided a “second family” for tight end Mark Redman and his teammates.
After meeting University of Washington football coaches and players, Redman found the same close-knit culture. Quarterback Ethan Garbers and Redman both found it appealing, and the two friends discussed Washington among their pool of offers and the chance of ending up as teammates once again.
The saying goes that just 2.8 percent of high school football players go to Division 1 programs. The process itself brings decisions that together affect athletic careers and educational pursuits. Developing a relationship with the coaches is a crucial component, according to Redman.
Redman appreciated Chris Petersen’s passion for the game and his interest in the players’ success as he weighed various college options.
Petersen stepped down as the Husky head coach following last season and Jimmy Lake was promoted from defensive coordinator to become the next head coach.
The coaching change clearly didn't affect Redman or Garbers' decisions because they felt the UW demonstrated the ability to recruit and successfully develop talent.
Garbers threw 71 passing touchdowns in high school, third most in California state history behind former Husky Jake Browning and Chase Garbers, Ethan's older brother who's now with California.
Despite being somewhat unknown nationally in his junior season, Ethan Garbers landed a spot on the nation’s premier quarterback competition, the Elite 11.
Prior to COVID-19 concerns bringing athletic operations to a pause indefinitely, Garbers was set to battle it out in the UW quarterback competition with Jacob Sirmon and Dylan Morris during spring practice. The opportunity was shelved until a later date.
Redman will join a competition with three other scholarship tight ends on the Husky roster, Cade Otton, Jacob Kizer and Devin Culp.
Competition between Redman and Garbers goes well beyond the football field, where they won a state championship. The camaraderie between the two is unmistakable.
The Corona Del Mar football family dynamic shines between the two football brothers who first opposed each other on the Corona del Mar freshman basketball team.
Redman laughed when he recalled Garbers “playing dirty and throwing elbows."
"What the Huskies are getting in Garbers is a guy who knows how to win," Martin said. "He passed for 71 TDs but he also got tough yards on critical downs with his legs to keep drives alive."
Redman jokingly said that Garbers' ability to drive his team down the field didn't immediately translate to driving something with four wheels.
"He had to take the driving test three times before he passed," said Redman with a chuckle, noting that he passed the test in his first attempt.
"I think that their competitive nature against each other paid dividends in their drive to the state championship," said Mike Martin, Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated's football analyst. "They took disappointment and used it as motivation."
Redman says most things between him and Garbers involve a competition -- even in finding words that would win an argument.
“Ethan's a pretty smart kid when it comes down to it,” Redman said. "In a debate, he usually wins."
Their rivalry even extends to who has the best hair.
"My hair is unbelievable," Redman said, in comparing his to his close friend.
Redman and Garbers enrolled for spring quarter at the UW, but because of pandemic concerns they've had to take classes on line and wait for their college football careers to begin. At least they're in it together.