Elite combinations of strength and speed are rare in sports, but not so rare in the Garrett household.
As a high school senior in Arlington, Texas, Brea Garrett was a Class 5A state champion in two track and field events: The 100-meter hurdles and the shot put. She ended up at Texas A&M, where, two years later, she helped Aggies football coach Kevin Sumlin coax her brother, Myles, to follow her to College Station.
Myles Garrett was a consensus top-five recruit, and his rare combination of size, speed and athletic ability shouldn't be a surprise.
"Myles, he came out big," said Bob Wager, Garrett's high school coach at Arlington Martin. "As he matured, both mentally and physically, he applied that same ferocious work ethic to his talent. That's what separates him. He's got all three components: He's gifted athletically, has a tremendous work ethic and, oh by the way, high character to go with it."
Garrett was built for this, and the next step of an anointed career begins with Thursday's NFL Draft, where the defensive end is the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick to the Cleveland Browns.
"It doesn't take long to put video on and see the impact he makes on the field," Wager said.
As a high school senior against Weatherford, Garrett logged 8 1/2 sacks in a single game. Later that year, he turned heads at the Under Armour All-America Game by dominating practice drills with future Alabama All-American Cam Robinson trying to block him and LSU battering ram Leonard Fournette trying to run by him. In college, he racked up 32 1/2 sacks and 48 1/2 tackles for loss in his three seasons as an Aggie.
He's 6-foot-4, and since high school, Garrett has added 25 pounds to his frame to reach 272 pounds and trimmed his 40 time from a shade over five seconds to 4.64 seconds at the NFL Combine, to go along with a 41-inch vertical leap.
"Myles is still determined to show everybody that he can be one of the best players, if not the best player in the National Football League," Sumlin told NFL.com.
Oh, and the kid has a winning personality as well.
Garrett gained notoriety for his love of dinosaurs early in his career, and saved space in his goodbye to Aggieland for a shoutout to his favorite tacos in town. He spent time as a 17-year-old talking to teammates and coaches about his desire to get involved with humanitarian efforts around the globe. His go-to playlist features Marvin Gaye, Dean Martin, The Gap Band, The Isley Brothers and Anita Baker.
For most of his career (until recently re-opening a Twitter account), Garrett steered clear of social media. His parents describe him as an old soul, but his game is perfect for the NFL's new wave. As the league becomes more wide-open, pass rushers are rising up the list of the game's most valuable positions.
Still, Garrett's future won't be easy to predict. Of the 16 defensive players to go No. 1 overall in the past 50 drafts, only seven have blossomed into All-Pro talents.
Fellow physical freak Jadeveon Clowney was the most recent success story in 2014. Like Garrett, he was a high-profile, five-star recruit who spent his entire career in the spotlight. Clowney's Texans career got off to an injury-plagued slow start, but he broke out in 2016, despite his partner in crime on the defensive line, J.J. Watt, missing most of the season after undergoing back surgery. Clowney made his first Pro Bowl with six sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
The hit rate for defensive No. 1 picks turning into stars has essentially been 50 percent, but most of the defensive players who have struggled after going No. 1 have done so not because they couldn't handle the league talent-wise, but because their bodies couldn't hold up, like Steve Emtman in 1992. He landed on the injured reserve with a pair of knee injuries and a neck injury in each of his first three seasons and was out of the league after 1997. Aundray Bruce is the most notable exception. He left Auburn in 1988 as "The Next Lawrence Taylor." Instead, he started 42 games in 11 average seasons in the NFL.
Garrett has patterned his game after legends like Derrick Thomas, Bruce Smith and Taylor. He has the physique and poise to make it happen. The athletic ability defies comparison in many ways, but his closest relatives are Clowney, of course, and other stars like Khalil Mack and Mario Williams.
When a pass rusher stands out on paper and on draft boards like Garrett does, they stand out on the field, too. Injuries are the only consistent variable that prevents players like him from fulfilling their potential. Garrett has spent much of his college career as the clear-cut No. 1 overall prospect in the 2017 draft class, but some wonder whether Cleveland may surprise the pundits and take a quarterback with the first pick, rather than an elite pass rusher.
Coach Hue Jackson fired defensive coordinator Ray Horton in January and hired Gregg Williams, going away from a 3-4 and toward a four-man front. It could be a difficult transition for the Browns, who ranked 27th in yards per play allowed last season, but one that would pay off for Garrett, who spent his entire career at Texas A&M in a 4-3, the first season with Mark Snyder and the final two with renowned coordinator John Chavis.
Any failure for Garrett would likely be a larger indictment on the Browns franchise and coaching staff than Garrett. This is the same team that had two first-round picks in 2014 and used them on Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel. Both are already out of the NFL.
Garrett is the kind of player who could form a cornerstone for any defense. Whether in Cleveland or elsewhere, if he stays healthy, Thursday should be the start of a new chapter in what has already been a great career.