Having to Choose Sides

Although a talented hoops player, it's hard for Pat Swilling, Jr. to turn his back on his football background, especially when his father played such a prominent role in New Orleans. With the talent he possesses on the field, colleges are hoping that he turns out like his old man.

NEW ORLEANS – Make no mistake about it, the minute you arrive in Louisiana, you know that you are in LSU Tiger country.

While the NFL's Saints and NBA's Hornets are the king of the Crescent City, the ‘Geaux Tigers' are the champs of the Pelican State, with every other house proudly sporting a LSU flag or every third car sporting a blue Tiger bumper sticker.

Pat Swilling Jr. has a pinch of everything in his background – he's a huge LSU fan, his father, Pat Swilling Sr., made five Pro Bowl appearances as a linebacker with the Saints and he has the talent to make an impact at the next level.

A two-sport athlete for Brother Martin High School, Swilling has drawn interest on the basketball court, as he averaged 21.0 points, six assists and six rebounds per game as a sophomore and dropped 36 points as a junior.

"Scoring that many points against Jesuit, who is a huge rival to, us was pretty big," Swilling said.

At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Swilling also is sound on the football field at the safety position, making it hard for him to pick which future route to take.

"I am really not sure yet what I am going to do, but I know that I couldn't do both," Swilling said. "I know that as soon as I focus on one sport that I'll improve a lot at that sport, but it's going to be tough when I have to decide."

At 6-3, 210 pounds, Swilling's poise on the athletic field has caught the eye of a number of schools. Already holding a scholarship from Tennessee and first-year head coach Lane Kiffin, Swilling has been hearing from Connecticut, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

"A lot of the schools that started showing me attention for basketball are showing love for football," Swilling said. "I don't know too much about Wisconsin, but I don't know a lot about most of the schools. I haven't taken a lot of visits yet because of basketball."

One school that Swilling knows a lot about is LSU. Hearing from football coach Les Miles and basketball coach Trent Johnson, Swilling seems to be anxiously waiting an offer from the Tigers in either sport, which would help him breath easier in a stressful recruiting process.

"LSU is at the top of the list, regardless if it is football or basketball," Swilling said. "I call LSU my home school and they have a great program in football and basketball. It was a cool seeing them make some noise them in the (NCAA) Tournament. LSU has a lot to offer its players."

A talented guy who's athleticism carries over from the basketball court to the football court, Swilling is an intriguing prospect that could make his mark at the safety position. Either that, or he'll be dishing out assists as a point guard. That decision can wait for now.

"It really does not matter too much to me because I just want that chance to be a part of the team and get an education," Swilling said. "That's the most important thing."


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