Swilling sorts it out

Patrick Swilling Jr., the two sport star from Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, has high major offers for both basketball and football, and has two decisions to make, what school and what sport?

Elite level high school athletes all struggle when trying to select a college. For Pat Swilling, the decision is twice as hard. Like other standouts, Swilling is weighing offers from a number of high profile schools. The difference is, the 6'4 New Orleans native is has offers for both basketball and football. A sharp shooting combo guard, Swilling is also a lock down defensive back.

"It's a tough decision, I love them both, I have a strong passion for both sports. I know time is getting short, so I have to decide soon. I just have to decide which sport will provide me with the best shot at excelling at the next level."

Playing for Brother Martin, Swilling had a solid senior season on the football field leading the Crusaders into the state playoffs. Having fielded offers from school such as Auburn, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, LSU, Miami, Mississippi, Southern Miss, Tennesse and Virginia Tech, but if he decides to follow his father's footsteps, he already knows where he is headed. "If I do decide to play football, I'll be heading to Colorado. I feel its the best fit for me, and I really like the coaching staff."

With the football season behind him, swilling took to the hardwood and has basketball stock continued to rise throughout the season, and in the end he led Brother Martin to a class 5A state Championship with an MVP performance. "It felt great to win it all. DJ, Schane and the rest of the guys really stepped forward. No one thought we could do it and we proved them all wrong." There were a lot of eyes on Swilling during the championship game, including Marquette's Buzz Williams and Oklahoma's Jeff Capel. "It really meant a lot to me that they were there to see me play in that game."

With the football decision narrowed down, where is Swilling looking if he decides to play basketball? "I have it narrowed down to Oklahoma, Marquette, UCLA, Alabama, Florida and Baylor." said Swilling. In making his decision, the 6'4 guard feels the type of ball a program plays is more important than where they play. "It doesn't matter what conference I play in, if you are playing D1 basketball, its tough wherever you play. Down here all you hear is SEC, but there is a different national champion every year and they're from different conferences every year. To me, it is more important how they play. I feel I can play in both a full or half court offense, but I prefer to get up and down the court, run and gun, I like to shoot the ball, but I can slow the game down if needed. I think the best fit for me may be a mixture of both styles. I can play full court man-to-man defense if needed."

Swilling knows he will have an adjustment when he gets to the next level, but feels he can make an immediate impact. "I have the body style and size to play both guard positions. Playing football really helped me to develop my strength and size. I believe in my shot, I have nice range and I can attack the rim. The biggest change for me is that I will need to know and understand the game better. I'm being recruited as a combo guard, so I will need to learn to facilitate, and also become more of a scorer. I really need to work at becoming a student of the game."

With the school year winding down, Swilling has some work to do before he decides. "I would like to make a decision during the signing period, but if I am not ready, I won't worry about. I want to make sure I am right. I want to visit Colorado, Alabama, Oklahoma, UCLA & Marquette. I want to see all of the schools for myself. I really want to get to know the players and coaches. I want to be sure the coaches will be around while I am there. It is important to me that the school has a strong tradition with a strong and loyal fan base. I also want to get a good look at the school side of things too. When I am done with the visits, I will sit down with my parents and we will decide what is best for me."

Where ever he decides to continue his career, Swilling knows what the school will be getting. "I'm a laid back person, but I'm competitive. I refuse to lose at anything I do. On the field, on the court, swimming laps in the pool with my brother or playing video games, I want to be first. If anything new comes out, I want to be the first to do it, the first to try it and I want to win."

Overtime: Getting to know Pat Swilling Jr....

IWB: The city of New Orleans is known for their food, so what do you recommend in New Orleans?

PSjr: New Orleans Food & Spirits in Bucktown, that's my favorite. I'm there every Friday and my teammates and I go there after every game.

IWB: My favorite is Mother's, have you ever been there?

PSjr: Of course.

IWB: What's the best thing to get at Mother's?

PSjr: It's Mother's, you can't go wrong with anything you get there!


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