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Charlie Garner Comes to Town, NFL Great to Have Jersey Retired


This video shows Charlier Garner's highlights from his high school career at Stuart High School.

When they handed out jerseys on Charlie Garner's freshman football team, he got No. 30.

"I went home and told my mom that I wanted No. 33," said Garner, who wanted to wear that jersey in honor of legendary Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett. "She told me 'Charlie, well, now you got to make people want to wear No. 30.'"

Since Garner graduated in 1989 from Stuart High School, where he posted more than 2,000 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns in his senior year alone, football players at the Falls Church school have been begging to wear his No. 30.

Garner, a multi-purpose player who played with four NFL teams and made the Pro Bowl in 2000, is still considered by many to be Northern Virginia's greatest football player... ever.


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PHOTO: This Oct. 11, 1998 photo shows Redskins LB Marcus Patton trying to tackle Eagles running back Charlie Garner. Photo by John McDonnell, The Washington Post.





After Friday, wearing Garner's No. 30 at Stuart will no longer be an option as the school will retire his jersey prior to the Raiders' 7:30 p.m. home match up against Yorktown.


The ceremony is part of Stuart's 50th Anniversary celebration.

Stuart athletic director E.W. Nowland said that Garner will speak to the team before the game, do the coin-toss and then be presented with a framed No. 30 jersey, which will match the one that will hang in the school's gymnasium.

"My fondest memory was from my freshman year because we all didn't know what to expect," said Garner. "We were just bright-eyed kids walking out onto the football field and, before you know it, we had an undefeated season and we were looking forward to our senior year because we knew we were going to be good."

Garner's senior year was his best. His 2,000 yards and 38 touchdowns in 1989 made him a first team all-state selection, Virginia's Player of the Year and a Washington first team Post All-Met. He is still 18th overall in the VHSL record books for career scoring with 362 points.

In 1992, Garner set junior college records for rushing yards in a game (430) and yards in two consecutive games (765) at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona before he transferred to the University of Tennessee.

Garner was drafted 13th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1994, which launched an 11-year career that saw him play with the Eagles, the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccanneers. Garner was a Pro Bowl selection in 2000 and was part of Oakland's Super Bowl team in 2003.

A 37-year-old father of three, Garner now resides in Tampa Bay, where he runs youth football camps and clinics and also works with a group that helps men between the ages of 18 and 40 recapture their dreams of playing football.

He will spend the weekend here with family and friends.

"It's a honor and a priveledge because [J.E.B. Stuart] itself is bigger than me, it was there before me and it will be there after me," said Garner.

Follow Charlie on Twitter.

By B.J. Koubaroulis  |  October 15, 2009; 5:49 PM ET
 
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Comments

i'll be there tonight, rain and all, go raiders!

Posted by: destewar | October 16, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

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