Sam Webb: When did Michigan get into the mix for you, and what are they saying to you right now about their interest level?
Jimmie Swain: "During the recruiting process I really hadn't been recruited by Michigan at all, but my coach had expressed to me that they weren't taking many linebackers this year. I was a little disappointed because it's Michigan. I thought they were a really big school, but I understood that if you have enough linebackers… you don't need to take any. That's understandable. But then I found out that two of their linebackers had gotten injured and they were no longer able to play football, which is obviously terrible. It's terrible thing to be injured to the point where you can't play the sport you love anymore, but after that happened they started looking for linebackers. I guess my name came up in the meeting room they've been recruiting me ever since then. (Monday, Jeff Hecklinski) was at my school. (Afterward on the phone) he told me I was pretty high up on the list for guys they were going after. I think that's pretty much how my recruiting from Michigan started."
Sam Webb: As far as an offer is concerned, where are they in that process? Do they want you to visit first? Do they need to watch more film? What did they say about an offer?
Jimmie Swain: "Yeah, they need to evaluate some more. (Hecklinski) said he loves my film, but they have to go up the chain of command before they can offer a kid."
Sam Webb: Kind of give me an idea of what you know about Michigan at this point. Also, what your interest level is?
Jimmie Swain: "Well, my interest is growing at a very fast rate. I didn't really have an interest because I didn't think they were taking any linebackers, but right now it's starting to grow, because just knowing that I actually can research them now, and there's actually a reason to, that's very helpful in the recruiting process. I know they are very good academically, and they have one of the bigger stadiums in college football. I believe it's called the Big House. But besides that, I don't really know much about Michigan because I didn't really think I needed to do any research, because once again, I was told they weren't taking any linebackers this year… so I didn't do any research on that school."
Sam Webb: Alright, so Michigan State. You mentioned that the Spartans have offered you. Obviously they're showing interest in you. Tell me about your interest in Michigan State and what familiarity you have with them at this point.
Jimmie Swain: "I have a high interest in Michigan State. Before my recruiting process even started, I was hoping to get an offer from them, and get the communication open with them. It's obviously a good school and everything like that, but they were on my list of people I was interested in before my recruiting process even started, and before I knew it was going to start."
Sam Webb: What got you so interested in Michigan State?
Jimmie Swain: "Well, it wasn't really anything momentous in particular, but last season I just watched a few of their games, and I didn't really know much about them because I wasn't really too into watching football. I just played and I didn't watch it too much. But starting my sophomore year I really started getting into it, and they were one of the teams that stood out to me just the way they play, and just watching them. They didn't always win, but I still like the way they play and just the style of the team and everything like that. Then I started doing a little bit of research on them and that just made my interest grow even more. With things that Coach Dantonio is doing and the things the strength and conditioning coach is doing… I think that together just made my interest really high in them, and then – so those are some of the reasons why Michigan State was high on my recruiting list."
Sam Webb: Let's talk recruiting in general, as we wrap up here. Kind of give me an idea of what your decision criteria will be.
Jimmie Swain: "I would probably say I'm going to look at the graduation rates in the school. I want to know if they're graduating players and they value academics as much as they value the athletics. I personally want to major in business, business administration in particular. I want to know if that's one of the majors that the school I want to go to offers. I would want to look at that, their School of Business and how reputable it is and the connections that that business school has, like major companies in the business world for job opportunities and things like that for after I finish playing football. Then after those things of course it comes to the football. I want to know that there's opportunity for success, not just for me, but also for the team to go to bowl games and things of that nature. I have no problem with coming in and competing for a spot and things like that. Competition breeds success, but I just want to make sure that there's opportunity for success while I'm there. I want to know that the team has a good team dynamic; that everybody's not fighting all the time, because that's not conducive to winning. I also want to know that there's more of a family atmosphere. That will be another factor. I want to know that there's a good coach to player ratio, like I can come and talk to my coach about anything, something besides football, and he would be able to talk with me about that. He doesn't have to give me like a super motivational speech, but you know, just being able to talk to him about those things, and have a relationship like that outside of football with my coaches, and I think those are pretty much the biggest things that are factors to me when I will be making my decision."
Sam Webb: Have you and your family discussed a timeline for making a decision?
Jimmie Swain: "What I'm going to try to do is try to nail it down to five schools by June, and then from there, after I do that, I can do some major research into those schools, and maybe do a couple unofficials, and then I want to get it narrowed down to three by the start of my senior year, and then take officials to those. Then based on how those go and the other factors that go into everything, take like a couple weeks and go over those things, and then make my decision. So probably mid-way through my senior season I'll be looking to make that decision."
Sam Webb: So have you visited any schools yet, be it last year during the year, or so far this spring?
Jimmie Swain: "Yeah, I visited Illinois, I've been down to TCU, I've been to Kansas, I've been to K State, I've been to Mizzou, you know, some of the closer schools. I've been to Northwestern; I visited there. They offered me. Those are the ones I think I visited so far."
Sam Webb: Odds of you making it up to Michigan or Michigan State? Do you think you're going to be able to make it to either or both of those schools before you narrow your list down?
Jimmie Swain: "If I do, I think it's going to have to be an official, just because of the distance. It's really far away."
Sam Webb: How much of a hindrance will the lack of visits be for those schools like Michigan and Michigan State. Is that going to be a big limitation for them?
Jimmie Swain: "No, sir. That's obviously a problem, but distance for me, personally, that's not a problem thus far. Being away from home and things like that, that's not really a problem for me when I'm making my decision; so that doesn't really enter into my recruiting process or anything like that. That's not a factor to me when making my decision on where I want to go."
Sam Webb: Last one for you. You're going to narrow your list down in the summer, but are there any schools at this point that are kind of starting to stick out to you. I know you haven't narrowed it down yet, but are there any that are starting to rise to the top of making that cut?
Jimmie Swain: "Right now, my recruiting process is completely open, because it's still somewhat early in my recruiting process, so I'm just keeping it open right now and just making sure I weigh all my options before I start cutting people.
Swain's Interest in UM & MSU Growing
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