The Southern Oregon University football team's fruitful South Medford connection just got a little stronger.
Raiders head coach Craig Howard announced that former Panthers Adrian Garcia and Jack Singler have enrolled for the winter quarter and will join the team for the 2014 season.
Garcia, a wide receiver, graduated high school in 2013 and transferred from University of Oregon. Singler — the son of South Medford head coach and ex-Raider offensive coordinator Bill Singler — graduated in 2012 and spent the last two seasons playing quarterback at De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif.
Both cited their desire to return to the Rogue Valley and play alongside former teammates Matt and Ryan Retzlaff as reasons for signing.
"My goal is always to get the best players from the local high schools and we got a couple really good ones here," Howard said. "They could see we throw the ball a bunch and have a lot of success, and we're excited that they want to be a part of it."
Garcia, a speedy 6-footer, was a first-team all-conference performer on both sides of the ball as a senior. He accumulated 58 receptions for 778 yards and 11 touchdown as one of the state's premier receivers and nine interceptions at defensive back.
As a Raider, he'll strengthen what was already the top-scoring offense in the NAIA at 47.2 points per game. The Retzlaff's fingerprints were all over that number: Ryan's 85 receptions were tops in the country and his 1,191 reception yards were fourth, while Matt's 19 touchdowns were sixth in the country and his 60 receptions 22nd. Another Medford product, Jeremy Scottow, who attended North, was fourth on the team with 34 receptions for 393 yards.
"I see the success they're all having and it seemed super fun," Garcia said. "I got that itch and I wanted to play and be a part of it all again."
The 6-2 Singler was a second-team all-conference performer in high school, but his best work was in front of him. As a sophomore this fall, he completed 57.2 percent of his passes (215-for-376) for 2,646 yards and 31 touchdowns with just seven interceptions.
"I followed SOU all season with Matt and Ryan being there and the program's at a really good, exciting point," Singler said. "It's exciting to me that there's football being played this way in the Rogue Valley. I can't wait to get going."