To say Garrett Scantling has come along way from his days at Episcopal High School is an understatement. A two sport standout for the Eagles, he was the 2A state champion in the pole vault and finished 5th in the high jump as a senior. On the gridiron he tallied over 1,200 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns, While track and field that was his ticket to college and the the University of Georgia, it was football that was his true passion.
"Football has always been my first love and I knew I always wanted to go back to it," he said. I did not play football in college because I was all in with the decathlon. I did not want to jeopardize my scholarship so I kept doing track and set my other dreams aside.
As a member of the Bulldogs, Scantling earned first team All-American honors four times. He placed in the top three indoors three seasons, and will go down in UGA history as one of the best decathletes to come through Athens. In 2016, he was fourth at the Olympic Trials, just missing out on a spot on Team USA at the Rio Olympics. Scantling knew at that point his heart wasn't in track anymore.
"I wanted to do something different," he added.
That something wasn't too unfamiliar, it was a trip down memory lane, a trip back to those day's on the football field. Simply trading in the spikes. The only thing he had to work on was sharpen is his routes and work on getting in and out of his breaks.
"Everything else just came along with it. I have always had my hands and have been working on my speed for six years so all I really needed was the route running and to refresh my knowledge of the game," Scantling noted.
Scantling's agent set up a workout with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons based on interest from the coach he was training with and the rest was history.
"They were impressed enough to bring me in and sign me. I will be heading to training camp to get used to everything the NFL has to offer and then working as hard as I possibly can to make the 53 man roster. I am so glad the Falcons saw potential in me, I can't wait to join the brotherhood and show them what I can do," said an enthusiastic Scantling.
Scantling isn't the first athlete to dabble in both sports with names like Jeff Demps and Marquis Goodwin, and he certainly won't be the last. Is there a chance we will see him do both down the line?
"Because I did the decathlon it is too time consuming to train for both so I am officially retired from track and field. Only football from here on out," he explained.