MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Dustin Garrison's senior year statistics in Class 5A in Texas look like a typo.
In 16 games, he rushed for 2,827 yards and 46 touchdowns ... in the top classification in what is arguably the country's best state for high school football ... for the undefeated state champion.
Yet they only tell part of Garrison's story, a story that's better told by two other numbers: 0 and 29.
Despite all he did for Pearland High, Garrison walked off the field at Cowboys Stadium Dec. 18 with a state championship and more than a mile-and-a-half of yardage to his name, but no Football Bowl Subdivision scholarship offers.
"That had to be the toughest time for me," Garrison said. "I wasn't sure what I had to do. All along my mom kept telling me to be patient, but after the state game, I expected a lot more phone calls and none came in. I figured if nothing else, I'd probably go to a smaller school."
Things changed, and today Garrison will sign and send a National Letter of Intent to play football at West Virginia. He is one of 17 players who were committed to WVUs 2011 recruiting class Tuesday night.
Five others - including one walk-on - signed and enrolled last month and don't count toward the 2011 class.
When Garrison arrives during the summer, he'll try to get No. 29 on his jersey.
No one on WVU's current roster wears it and the number is deeply significant for Garrison.
"It comes from the hurricane," Garrison said. "Katrina hit New Orleans Aug. 29."
It changed Garrison's life forever and, in his mind, for the better.
"I think about that all the time and I get asked that all the time," he said.
"I don't think this could have happened at any other place. If we went back to New Orleans, there's a chance I'd get a scholarship and go to college. But when I got to Texas and I learned about Texas football, I realized this was something I could do."
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GARRISON GREW up in New Orleans on the West Bank and was a 12-year-old enjoying the summer of 2005. Then came the warning: Hurricane Katrina would be a dangerous and devastating storm.
His parents, Daryl and Nina, packed the family and left the city Aug. 28 and headed west toward Houston.
"I was able to grab just some clothes, but I wasn't really expecting anything to get destroyed," Garrison said. "We'd seen hurricanes come through New Orleans all the time. We expected it to be a regular old hurricane. Grab some clothes, spend a couple nights in the hotel and come right back home."
They endured hours of traffic to get out of town and encountered full hotels at every stop until they ended up in Pearland, a suburb southeast of Houston.
A day later, television told the story.
"I remember watching the news and seeing the horrible flooding," Garrison said. "It had never been that bad before. Homes were just destroyed. Things like that they showed on the news showed it was a lot worse than what we expected. I kind of knew we wouldn't be going back."
Nina and Daryl enrolled Dustin, his younger brother, Dillan, and younger sister, Da'Maya, in Pearland's schools. Dustin was about to begin seventh grade. The Garrisons made friends in Dave and Mignon Dejohn, who lived in Pearland and wanted to help.
"They came to our hotel one day and threw my sister a birthday party - it was her birthday that day," Dustin said. "They offered to let us stay with them for a while until my parents got back on their feet."
The Garrisons returned to New Orleans briefly and saw their house was severely damaged. Dustin's uncle has since made the repairs and loves there now. Within a few months, the family was living on its own in Pearland. A year later, Dustin had a new baby sister, Destiny.
"It was a stressful time," Dustin said. "We were staying at the hotel for weeks not knowing what was going to happen next and then once the door opened and the Dejohns took us in and we got into schools and I got to playing football again, it was great. After all that, you couldn't ask for much more."
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GARRISON STARTED playing football in seventh grade and was on the Pearland varsity team when he was a sophomore.