What it means: UGA needed an exceptional running back coming into the 2017 season. After all, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb were going to leave, and bodies were needed on the roster to take over.
But Michel and Chubb didn’t leave, and the Bulldogs decided to take just one running back - D'Andre Swift. The Pennsylvania native finishes runs hard and had very good lateral movement. Both of those things are key to success in the SEC.
He’s also got very good patience and vision, which seem to go hand in hand. He doesn’t panic when tied up behind the line of scrimmage. Swift doesn’t have elite SEC speed, but he’s more than functional in that department. Often speed is an overrated attribute of a back in this day’s SEC. If you can’t get past the linebackers your speed is irrelevant anyway.
Durability is the name of the game in this league, and that shouldn’t be a problem for Swift. He’s built to live in-between the tackles in this league. You really have to tackle Swift… he’s not just going to go down. Relentlessness is a major attribute for him.
Georgia got a heck of a pickup in Swift. They held off most of the rest of the country to sign him. And the reality is that his decision to pick and stay with UGA shows just how big a brand name Georgia and the SEC are outside of the South.
Kirby Smart and company should be praised for winning this battle.
Dean Legge saw him live: 2015 St. Joseph's Prep (PA) vs. Oconee County
Brian Dohn says: Swift is a powerful, explosive and strong runner. He has quick feet and can make subtle cuts in the hole or make a player miss in the open field. He is rugged and physical, and can run between the tackles or outside. He is thick and durable and tough to bring down on first contact. He plays with a low center of gravity. Swift also is a plus catching the ball, and he runs routes well.