VIDEO AT BOTTOM . . .
Grady’s Damian Swann is a great high school football player and a big-time college prospect. Everybody knows that.
What a lot of folks don’t know is that he’s also hot-hitting, slick-fielding, base-stealing baseball player as well. And it’s a sport he’d like to play beyond high school.
“I’ve talked to a couple of schools about it and they’ve said they wouldn’t mind me playing baseball if that’s what I want to do,” said the 6-foot, 175-pound athlete. “I’m not really sure yet if I’m going to pursue it as a walkon in college. But I’m really considering it.”
Swann has even gotten some looks from professional baseball. But it’s his play on the gridiron as a defensive back, wide receiver and kick returner that has brought him national recruiting recognition.
“A couple of scouts got my number at a couple of showcases,” said Swann, who plays shortstop, center field, catcher and some pitching. “But, I mean, it hasn’t really been crazy like football has been. And getting all the recognition in football that I have, I really look at it as football is going to be my ticket to where I want to go. I’m not saying that I couldn’t make it in baseball. It’s just that football is already here and laid out for me. All I’ve got to do is take it.”
Swann definitely has some good opportunities. He received a scholarship offer from N.C. State on Wednesday. That was number 15 overall.
Standing out among the other 14 are Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Virginia Tech.
“I’d say Alabama has been my top school for the past couple of months, probably since my season ended,” said Swann, who said he’s hoping to drive over to Tuscaloosa this weekend. “And then Georgia and I have Florida and Virginia Tech. Those are some people I’ve really been in a lot of contact with. Those are the top four.”
Not included on Swann’s list is Georgia Tech, which happens just a short drive from Grady.
“It was but I just decided it’s too close to home,” Swann said. “Me going to Tech, I think it would be a big distraction knowing home is 20 minutes away. I think I should be at least an hour, hour and a half away, somewhere by myself where I can really focus on what I’ve got to get done and not worry about all the people that I grew up with.”
Swann attended Georgia’s first junior day on January 30 and was planned to return last weekend but could not due to a baseball conflict. He plans to get back to Athens as often as possible in the coming months.
“I’m going to stop by every chance I get to really get a feel for Coach Richt and Coach Bobo and Coach Lakatos,” Swann said. “I want to see if that’s where I want to be.”
In the final anaysis, what will Swann’s criteria be?
“I’m just going to try to look at it like which school has the best academics for me,” he said. “Just in case I get hurt I have to look at it like, am I going to like going to school at this place for four years if I’m not playing football? That’s how I’m mainly looking at it. Then I’m looking at the kind of program it is, where are they going to be in the future, how is the program going to be in two or three years?”
In addition to baseball Swann also runs track. So far he’s been able to balance school and recruiting without too much trouble. But he knows it’s only going to intensify.
“It’s been pretty good so far considering it’s my junior year,” Swann said. “But everyone who’s giving me advice is telling me it’s going to get worse as the year goes on. It’s going get hectic soon I expect but it hasn’t been too bad so far. I’m enjoying it right now.”