Greenwood , SC defensive back D.J. Swearinger is used to picking things up quickly. When he was in the 9th grade he played on varsity and started a few games at outside linebacker. In 10th grade he moved to safety and immediately started there. He believes he can make a similarly smooth transition once he gets to college.
"When I choose a school, I want to be on the field right away, "Swearing said confidently. "I want to play for a defense that is known for being a good defense."
Based on the way Swearinger attacks opponents, early playing time is a distinct possibility. A number of schools have certainly taken notice of his aggressiveness. The eleven programs that have already offered are Michigan, Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Illinois, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest and N.C. State.
At this time his top three schools are Tennessee, North Carolina, and Michigan. Michigan. The Volunteers and Tar Heels currently have an edge on the Wolverines, but it should be noted that Michigan is the lone member of the trio that hasn't had the talented prospect on campus. Because of that the Maize & Blue has worked extremely hard to stay fresh in Swearinger's mind.
"Coach Gibson and Coach Schafer came down to visit twice," he recalled. "Coach Schafer told me how much they like what I can do on the field. Coach Gibson likes the way I come down from my safety spot and hit. I like to roam and hit anything on the field. Coach Gibson was the one that offered me on the phone. I like Coach Gibson. He is a cool coach to talk with. I call him and we talk about football. He wants us to stay in touch so we can get to know each other better. I was just thinking about Coach Gibson yesterday (Thursday). I think I am going to give him a call this weekend."
Swearinger has kept an eye on the Wolverines from afar, and thus far he likes what he sees.
"Michigan is a nice program," he said. "I like Coach Rodriguez. I really like what they do on the offensive side of the ball we ran the same offense last year".
Michigan has its work cut out for it though. Swearinger grew up watching SEC football and especially loved Tennessee. In addition, a strong trip to Chapel Hill recently has vaulted North Carolina up his list.
"I had a very nice visit to North Carolina," Swearinger reported. "Coaches Butch Davis, John Blake, and the defensive coaches showed me a lot of love. Tennessee is real nice too. The coaches and all… they didn't talk about just football. They talked to me about more than just that. They really impressed me.
The discussions about things other than football are key and will be significant factors in Swearinger's final decision.
"Academics are very important," he said. "Plus I want coaches that care for me like family… coaches that will push me to my limits."
Each of the schools in Swearinger's top three will have an opportunity to further their cases in the fall when he takes official visits for their campus. For the time being he is more focused on getting his team ready for the upcoming year.
"I will be just working out the rest of the summer trying to help our younger guys get ready for the season," Swearinger explained. "We are practicing 7-on-7 drills right now with our team. We are just making sure we try and get enough reps in before the season starts."