Garratt on his way – to Arkansas |

Garratt on his way – to Arkansas

Steve Yingling

Excused class absences have taken on a whole new meaning to Nick Garratt.

Garratt learned that the University of Southern California will be honoring him with the get-out-of-class-but-still-responsible-for-the-work passes later this week as he has been selected to travel with the Trojans for the season football opener at Arkansas on Saturday. He spied the road-game roster on Monday while scouring the school’s student athlete academic services on Internet.

“That’s strong affirmation that I’m going,” Garratt said. “It’s definitely a reward after all of the things I’ve been through; it’s a stronger light at the end of the tunnel.”

The freshman from South Lake Tahoe is one of 80 players who will be making the trip to Fayetteville, Ark., and it will be his first after redshirting last season.

Garratt was expecting coaches to confirm his roster spot Tuesday as student athletes are required to submit excuse forms to professors in each of the classes they will miss.

“I’ve had a really strong spring and a pretty good training camp,” Garratt said. “I know what I’m doing out there and last year I didn’t. It should be fun.”

The former Vikings’ linebacker had six tackles, including one for a loss, and recovered a fumble in intrasquad scrimmages on Aug. 17 and 20.

Garratt, however, isn’t satisfied with standing on the sideline on Saturday.

“Hopefully I can get an opportunity late in the game, or on special teams,” he said.

After shellacking the Razorbacks 70-17 a year ago, the Trojans are focused on not taking their first opponent too lightly.

“Coach (Pete Carroll) has been working with us, reminding us that this is the game of the year for them and they are gonna be gunning for us,” Garratt said.

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