Grady – Atlanta, GA
“We’re going to turn this program back around,” cornerback Damian Swann said on national television shortly after choosing to attend Georgia.
After the way Georgia closed its recruiting class, many forgot just how important Swann was in building recruiting momentum.
He was the first of the “last remaining elite instate players” to choose Georgia over other national powers.
Swann’s commitment came just when the program—and its fans—needed some good news the most.
Georgia was fresh off a 6-7 season and a humiliating loss in the Liberty Bowl. To make matters worse, Quan Bray and Xzavier Dickson picked other schools over Georgia on national television in early January.
Also, outside of Sanford Seay, the Bulldogs hadn’t gotten a public commit since August.
So these were dark days for Georgia.
But on January 8th, Swann made his decision to play at Georgia during the Army All American Bowl. Little did he know his commitment was the beginning of the change in perception Georgia so desperately needed. He was the first domino to fall of the remaining elite kids in the state of Georgia. Mitchell, Rome, Drew and Crowell were to follow. But it all started with Georgia winning the lottery, so to speak, with Swann.
HONORS: Army All American… Sporting News Top 100… SuperPrep All-America and All-Dixie teams… PrepStar Dream Team 150… ESPN.com #9 athlete, #76 overall prospect… Scout.com four-star player and #9 safety in country… Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11 Team, #12 overall prospect in Georgia, Class AAA All State Defensive Team… Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAA All State Defensive Team
STATS: Swann started all four years at Grady on defense, offense and special teams. As a junior, he recorded 800 receiving yards with 11 touchdowns, 30 tackles and four interceptions with one defensive touchdown
CHAD SIMMONS ON SWANN: “Swann has the ability to be a long corner because of his speed and change of direction, but he needs to improve on his overall technique. He has spent more time at safety than corner, so improving his back pedal, footwork and reading of the receiver will be needed. He has great potential and the athleticism to go a long way.”
AN OPPOSING COACH SAYS: “I think they’ve got a dang great one in Swann. He single-handedly… he kind of took over that game we played with them. We fought back and felt like we had momentum, and they threw a little ol’ stop route out to him, and he just turned on the rockets. He’s that kind of kid. He can take it to the house on any play.”
LEGGE’S FINAL WORD: From all I could tell Damian Swann was a Georgia lean for a long time, but that didn’t mean Georgia wasn’t getting heat from Alabama. Swann’s recruitment by the Bulldogs was indicative of just how well they did closing the deal with the prospects they signed. Georgia’s new defensive staff has been unyielding – they want taller corners. They are getting a taller, but lean, prospect in Swann who has very good ball skills. He’s a talent on the offensive side of the ball who will now transition into playing fulltime defense. It’s going to be interesting to see just how much Swann plays in the next few seasons. Georgia’s corners are pretty good going into 2011, and the depth is solid. Still, the coaching staff seems interested in playing skilled players as early as possible. Swann could be a good one by the time all is said and done, but he’s going to have to add some mass in the near future if he’s going to have a true impact on the gridiron.