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Originally published Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 8:07 PM

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Puyallup lineman Joshua Garnett headed to Stanford

The blue-chip recruit hopes to follow in the footsteps of another top lineman who chose the Cardinal — Bellevue's David DeCastro.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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PUYALLUP — When Joshua Garnett went to Stanford for his first unofficial visit, he recognized David DeCastro immediately.

He remembered watching the Stanford standout play for Bellevue High School. Garnett paid attention as DeCastro developed from a blue-chip recruit to an All-America guard and now a potential first-round NFL draft pick.

In DeCastro, Garnett saw a player he could emulate, someone who accomplished the kind of things he hopes to achieve.

So it's no surprise they clicked on that trip to Palo Alto, Calif., and it seemed fitting that Garnett, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound Puyallup senior, announced Thursday he will follow in DeCastro's footsteps and play for the Cardinal.

"What I really liked about those guys, we really talked about life," said Garnett, who also spent time with Jonathan Martin, another NFL-bound Stanford lineman. "We really talked about what can separate you from the rest of the pack. We don't talk about Stanford football or going to bowl games. What we really talk about is, 'What can I do to set myself apart from Day 1?' "

When Garnett, one of the nation's top-rated prep linemen, made his announcement at Puyallup High School, he enlisted the help of twin sister Rachel. T-shirts representing UCLA, Cal, Miami, Washington, Oregon, Stanford and Michigan were hanging on either side of a Puyallup Vikings banner. He talked about each school and pulled down the shirts one by one. When only Stanford's and Michigan's remained, Rachel brought out a bag containing a Stanford hat.

"Football-wise, they're almost the same exact school," said Garnett of his two finalists. "They're both great places to be at. I definitely could have gone to either school and made the right decision. But I felt that, in my heart, Stanford was the place for me."

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