HOOVER, Ala. — South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and his former quarterback Stephen Garcia, now a Saturday Down South employee, shared a reunion Tuesday at SEC Media Days.

Garcia helped the Gamecocks win the SEC East in 2010, knocking off No. 1 Alabama in the process, and played quarterback for South Carolina from 2007-11. Garcia also beat Clemson twice, but was suspended five times before eventually getting kicked off the team midway through his senior year.

After trading messages in the last few days, including a chuckle-inducing voicemail by the Ol’ Ball Coach that Garcia listened to early one morning on the Saturday Down South RV, the much-anticipated face-to-face took place Tuesday morning.

“Stephen’s here!” Spurrier said with a hint of glee upon recognizing his former player in the media room.

Garcia and Spurrier last saw each other at the 2013 Outback Bowl between South Carolina and Michigan, but talk occasionally. Spurrier’s wife, Jerri, and Garcia are particularly close, with the former still sending birthday gifts to his children.

“I think our relationship’s perfect right now,” Garcia said. “I’m a huge Spurrier fan. I think they’re good people. I wish I wasn’t so damn hard-headed when I was playing for him, but you live and you learn.”

Spurrier mentioned Garcia several times during his Media Days press conference Tuesday, cracking that Garcia belonged on the set of Duck Dynasty with his long hair.

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“That Alabama game, he was the best quarterback in the nation that day. There’s no question about that,” Spurrier said, referencing the big upset in 2010.

Garcia even managed to ask Spurrier a question on camera, wondering what the offense would look like with quarterback Dylan Thompson replacing Connor Shaw. It was a big step for Garcia’s media career, one that he spent a significant amount of time discussing and fretting about behind the scenes Monday.

“I was very nervous. I haven’t blushed like that in a long time,” Garcia said. “It was definitely intimidating asking him a question along this side of the media. It was very entertaining, though.”

Garcia also had a chance to talk to Spurrier off camera.

“He said, ‘Stephen, you grew the hair out, huh?’ I said, ‘Yes sir,'” Garcia recalled. “One of the other guys told me Coach Spurrier mentioned to him, ‘You know, I kind of like his long hair. I wish I would’ve let him have it.'”

Since 2011, Garcia has played some arena football, but has spent this week granting countless radio and TV interviews, particularly to the South Carolina contingent, while also embracing his new role for Saturday Down South.

“It’s completely different,” Garcia said. “I forgot how bright these lights are. It’s been three years since I did my last interview. Being on this side and asking people questions is a lot different.”

As for South Carolina, Garcia has spent the week on and off camera almost in awe of how much Thompson has improved as a quarterback. The two remain close friends.

“I think Dylan’s going to absolutely kill it personally,” Garcia said. “That’s not just being biased. You see the linemen they have nowadays. It’s a good time to be a Gamecocks fan. They’ve got these linemen. They’ve got Mike Davis, who’s one of the best backs in the league, if not the whole country.

“I think the play-action with Dylan and how much he’s improved, I think they’ve got a really good shot this year.”