Tampa, FL (WACH) - "I should have listened," said former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia in his first interview since being dismissed from the Gamecock squad last October.
Garcia has been silent for three months after being suspended from the team for failing an alcohol test.
According to Tampa television station Bay News 9, Garcia conducted an interview with Bright House Sports Wednesday at the Cooper Speed and Strength facility in Tampa, Fla.
The three months of silence gave Garcia time to be with his family and reflect on the decisions he made in college.
"Those three months, I was so upset with myself that I was trying to displace the blame elsewhere. It wasn't anyone else's fault. It was 100 percent my fault," Garcia said.Related Stories Garcia dismissed from Gamecock squad Garcia's former teammates say USC needs to move on Reports: Garcia suspended for showing up to team function after drinking Stephen Garcia guarantees no more trouble Gamecocks' Garcia a hot topic in Columbia
Garcia was no stranger to trouble while at USC. He was suspended five times during his stint with the program, mostly for violoation linked to partying and drinking.
"I felt like I could get away with a lot of stuff that I obviously couldn't get away with."
He admitted that he was not ready for the constant pressure of being a public figure while playing at South Carolina. "Everybody's looking at you all of the time. You have every single person in that city, that state watching you at all times. It took me a while to figure that out and learn it. I think I finally figured it out."
Garcia said that his current relationship with South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is "alright."
"I sent him a text message to congratulate him on a successful year and his successful knee replacement...and he called me right back."
Garcia is now working out three times a day and hoping for a shot in the NFL. "It's a whole new me," he said. "I just pray for forgiveness, really."
Garcia will be back on the field on Jan. 21 to play in the Battle of Florida all-star game.