Garrett Earlywine bound for Texas Lutheran
Nixon-Smiley senior Garrett Earlywine signs his letter of intent to attend school and play football for Texas Lutheran University in Seguin. Earlywine is joined by his father, Chris; his stepmother, Nichole; his stepbrother, Colton Trammell; and his stepsister, Lexi Trammell.
NIXON -- Garrett Earlywine has been a big part of the Nixon-Smiley Mustang football team for several years, and as such, a number of colleges took notice. One school particularly interested in Earlywine was Texas Lutheran University (TLU) in Seguin, and on March 28, the senior wide receiver made it official by signing his letter of intent to the Bulldogs.
According to Mustang Head Coach Carlton McKinney, the path to TLU began last year, when he sat the senior down and asked him about his plans and interest in playing at the next level. McKinney then put out some feelers, and got a good response. Several schools in Texas and Oklahoma had interest, but the final decision came down to Hardin-Simmons University and TLU.
“The distance was an issue,” Earlywine said of Hardin-Simmons, located in Abilene. “But really, I just felt more comfortable at TLU.”
That decision went over well with his parents, also, who are glad he is staying close to home, though sad to see their oldest child “leaving the nest.”
Earlywine said he loves the aspect of teamwork, and is looking forward to being part of the Bulldog team. He is excited to play football at the collegiate level, but knows it will be his biggest challenge yet. He is also excited about the opportunity to continue his education, and is leaning toward criminal justice, as a steppingstone to a career in law enforcement.
Another step he is taking toward his future is his involvement with the National Guard. When Earlywine isn’t in school, playing sports for the Mustangs, or working, he stays busy training.
While he won’t be moving very far away, it will still be a major transition for Earlywine, and he admits to being both excited and a bit saddened. He has so much to look forward to, but will miss being with his family, friends, and all the people he grew up with.
Among those he will miss are his Mustang teammates. Earlywine said this year’s team was special, and he didn’t fully realize it until the team’s playoff loss to Refugio.
“They were a much bigger team, but we fought hard. We never quit,” he said. “It really made me realize this was a special season.”
Earlywine and McKinney hope that level of team spirit not only remains, but also continues to grow. McKinney sees his receiver’s signing as not only a great day and decision for Earlywine, but for the entire Mustang football program.
“This is a rare opportunity for our kids. This doesn’t happen very often at this level, or from Nixon-Smiley,” McKinney said. “Garrett has worked hard, and been a great leader. I’m glad to see he is being rewarded for all his hard work, and I know this will help inspire others to work hard, too.”