Pat Swilling, Jr., has proved that he can play both football and basketball at a high level.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder picked off seven passes and broke up 12 more for the Crusaders during his junior campaign, playing in what many would label a Rover position – combination of safety and outside linebacker.
As soon as football ended, Swilling took his skills to the hardwood where he averaged 20 points, six rebounds and four assists, playing the one and two-guard positions.
Basketball has been on Swilling’s mind of late as he has spent the hot summer months in the confines of multiple basketball gymnasiums – camps at Georgia Tech, Virginia, Alabama and Southern Cal – and playing AAU ball all the while.
The dual-sport athlete is still mulling over the decision of which sport to pursue in college so that he could just focus on one. And at the moment Swilling claims football offers from LSU, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Virginia, Ole Miss, and Tennessee, to go with basketball offers from Georgia Tech, LSU, USC, Southern Miss, Tulane and Vanderbilt.
“Basically my decision is going to be tough, but I’m going to look at where my brightest future is going to be,” said Swilling, who wants to make his choice before the start of his senior year. “A big factor is where I go to school and how that school can help me get to the next level in whatever sport I choose.”
Although he does not know which avenue he will take just yet, Swilling says that he does have a top three schools that are getting most of his attention. His ties to Georgia Tech are heavy, but he does have a genuine interest in his state school and one more that offered recently.
“I really can’t put them in order right now because I don’t know what sport I’m going to pick, but if I had to list a top three it would definitely be LSU, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss,” said Swilling.
The versatile athlete has plans for LSU even though he will not attend the LSU High School Session II camp in July due to his schedule. Hoe does, however, wants to get in a detailed unofficial visit before his senior year begins.
“I’m not going to the LSU football camp, but I would really like to fit in an unofficial visit some time next week or at the end of August if I can’t fit it in,” he said. “I will want to combine football and basketball in one visit if they can do that, but I am seriously looking at LSU and Coach [Trent] Johnson as an option.”
So where does LSU fit in the mix with the other top schools?
“LSU is the home school. I have a lot of friends from New Orleans who already go there and a bunch of my classmates that are going up there after high school,” he said. “It would be great for my parents to be able to easily watch me play and LSU is one of the schools that is recruiting me for both sports. Coach Don [Yanowsky] is recruiting me for football and Coach [Trent] Johnson is recruiting me for basketball.”
The guard prospect has seen what Johnson is doing with the program and appears to be impressed with where he has taken LSU in just one year, which includes a regular season SEC championship.
“Coach Johnson really has that program on the rise and they will definitely make things interesting in my recruitment,” stated Swilling.
Swilling’s ties to the Georgia Tech program has been mentioned before and are too strong to not touch on again.
“Georgia Tech has the whole legacy thing going for them because my dad [College Football Hall of Famer Patrick Swilling, Sr.] and two uncles all played ball there and one of my uncles was an All-American there,” explained Swilling. “The city of Atlanta is great and would be a great place to live even after graduation. The academics at Tech are really good and that’s really important to my family.”
Swilling may not even know what sport he will pursue, or where schools are ranked for his services. But he has been getting a lot of feedback on his skill sets in both sports as he is hearing different takes from many coaching staffs.
“Each coaching staff is different in where they want me to play, but most are saying that I should play outside linebacker or a safety type role because of my speed (4.55), and a few are looking at me potentially as a defensive end,” said Swilling. “A lot of coaches are throwing the hybrid idea around, including LSU. In basketball, I am probably going to play the one or the two spot.”
To have so many options in both sports is a reward for all of the hard work that he has put in over the years. Not many high school juniors have this predicament facing them and Swilling knows it.
“I know, it’s a real tough decision that I have to make really soon…I guess you could say its crunch time,” said Swilling with a laugh.