Westlake RB discusses A&M visit

Austin Westlake is once again churning out top-notch talent, and the Chaparrals' running back, Ryan Swope is receiving lots of attention from schools around the country. What does he think about A&M and what are the odds that he Austin native heads to College Station? Aggie Websider visits with Swope about that and more.

One of the most storied high school football programs in Texas is once again producing high level Division I talent. Austin Westlake (TX) running back Ryan Swope is already getting serious attention from several major programs, and for good reason.

Swope rushed for over 1300 yards and added nearly 600 yards receiving out of the backfield, but it's his speed that has many schools recruiting the 6-foot-1, 197-pound back.

"I ran a 4.39 40 at the Texas camp last year, and I ran a 4.32 at a conditioning camp," Swope said. However, it's more than speed that makes him the No. 74 prospect on the 2009 M&W Report/Aggie Websider Top 100. His versatility and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield makes him a valuable commodity.

"My speed helps me turn the corner and outrun the defensive pursuit," Swope said. "But I feel I have good vision to find the holes and I'm confident in my hands. My father used to work with me a lot when I was little and I've always had good hands." Swope realizes that he needs to get stronger and continue to improve his overall skill set heading into his senior year and then onto the collegiate level. Many programs have already identified him as a quality college running back, and he already has two offers to show for it a year before Signing Day.

"Actually, I was just offered by Texas A&M today and Texas Tech has offered me," Swope said. "I attended OSU's junior day. Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis has been by several times to watch me and they are interested in me. I'm going to their junior day on the 23rd."

Swope grew up in Austin and followed the hometown Texas Longhorns, but he says that he's open and wants to take his time with the recruiting process and enjoy the attention for now.

"I followed Texas growing up, but I also watched all the Big 12 teams and followed the performance of teams like Texas A&M," Swope said. "I'm open right now. I want to see some schools and take it easy and not rush my decision."

The Westlake product attended the Aggies' first junior day a few weeks ago, and he plans to return for a second day this coming weekend. He sees the new coaching staff turning things around in College Station.

"The A&M coaches are great. I think they will be successful," Swope said. "They plan to run a pro-style offense and they see me as a fit because of my ability to run and catch the ball. I'm looking forward to going back up there and talking to them again and just getting a better feel for the people and the university."

Many schools are showing interest in Swope including LSU, Cal, Virginia, Oregon, Nebraska, and Oklahoma State among others. However, Swope admits that he'd like to stay closer to home so his parents can watch him play.

"I'd have to say that the three in-state schools Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech are my top three choices for now," Swope said. "But I plan to evaluate all of my options and I'll see where that leaves me. I'll talk to my parents about it and we'll see what's best for me."

The Chaparral running back would prefer to make a decision this summer, but that will depend on how comfortable he feels in making a final choice. In the meantime, he wants to enjoy the process and take-in what each program has to offer.

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