Champions of The Round Table

 
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Damian Swann
Damian Swann is ranked as the No. 7 cornerback on Scout and the No. 7 athlete on Rivals. He's a versatile prospect who will make a quick impact as a return man and eventually could develop into one of the top defensive backs in the college game. 

He's gotten a ton of interest from all over the country, but it looks like the chase is down to two schools. 

Swann lists Alabama and Georgia as his top two choices, with Florida and Ohio State as distant third and fourth options. 

Most experts believe that it's really down to the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs, and expect Swann to make a decision sooner rather than later. He's wavered on setting a commitment date and may take the process deep into his senior year. 

"I am just taking things day to day now,” he said. “I am thinking about it, weighing my options, and trying to figure out what is going to be best for me," Swann said. "I'm not sure if I want to take visits first or not. I am still not sure.”

So while Swann ponders his future, lets do the same. You know the drill, here's the breakdown of the situation. 


What Swann Brings To the Table: Scouting Report and Highlights

Swann is a very athletic prospect with the potential to play either cornerback or safety in college, but his skill-set at receiver is also intriguing.

In high school, he lined up at free safety most of the time, but most experts see him as a corner on the next level due to his unique combination of size and speed. At 6'0" and 175 lbs, he presents an ideal candidate to match up against bigger receivers. 

He's got a great set of hands and has a knack for making big plays, but his man-to-man coverage skills are still a little raw.

Swann plays off of his instincts and athleticism right now, but when he gets to the next level, he'll need to rework his technique and learn to play more disciplined. The tools are all there, though. 

The Dual-Sport Athlete: Baseball and Football

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Most people that follow college football recruiting are aware of Swann's football abilities, but the four-star prospect is also a pretty good baseball player and is considering pursuing this beyond high school. 

“I have talked to [Alabama and Georgia] about playing baseball too and Georgia has already told me they are okay with that," Swann said. "I have talked to them a lot more about it than Alabama, but I think both schools would let me. I am not sure yet if that is what I want to do, but I am definitely thinking about it. I love baseball like I do football, so if I decide I want to play both, then this will definitely factor into my decision.”

Swann plays shortstop, centerfield, catcher, and even does a little bit of pitching as well. He's gotten some attention from professional scouts, but most feel that his ultimate future lies on the football field, and that is what will get him a collegiate scholarship.


Academics: Which School Offers Swann the Most Off the Field

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Swann, like many prospects, weighs education heavily into his decision and wants to pick a school that offers him a life outside of sports. 

“I’m just going to try to look at it like which school has the best academics for me,” Swann said. “Just in case I get hurt I have to look at it like, am I going to like going to school at this place for four years if I’m not playing football? That’s how I’m mainly looking at it."

So where do Swann's options rank academically? Here are the 2010 National University Rankings: 

- Florida: 47th
- Ohio State: 53rd 
- Georgia: 58th
- Alabama: 96th


Straight From the Horse's Mouth: What is Swann Saying?

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With recruiting, it's always important to pay close attention to what a prospect is saying. It often opens up some insight about their true feelings toward one school or the other, and can be a great indicator of where they're leaning.

In Swann's case, it really could go either way. Here are the top quotes to pay attention to: 

"I love the coaching staffs at both of those schools [Alabama and Georgia] and the atmosphere. I think either one of those schools would be a great fit. I don't have a leader between the two." 

“I have really liked Alabama since I got my first offer and went down there early. They are a big-time program with a great defense and I have liked them since the beginning. With Georgia, it is a school that I have always wanted to go to growing up being from Georgia."

"I’m looking at the kind of program it is, where are they going to be in the future, how is the program going to be in two or three years?”


Weighing the Options: Alabama and Georgia

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While Swann has grown up as a Georgia fan, you'd be surprised how little that plays into the decision for most prospects. These may be high school students, but with their futures on the line, more times than not, allegiances are put aside and a decision is reached on merit. 

Swann wants to go to the school that's not only in good shape now, but will be for years to come. He wants to go to the school that will let him play baseball on top of his football commitment. And last, but apparently most important, Swann wants to get a good education. 

Georgia offers the better education, but Alabama offers the better prospects on the football field. Both schools don't seem to have much of an issue with letting Swann take his skills to the baseball diamond. 

Alabama is still ranked as a top 100 school academically, though, so we aren't talking about a major drop off. 

But can the Bulldogs match the potential of the Crimson Tide? That seems like much more of a stretch. 


Predicting Swann's Commitment

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At the end of the day, Alabama offers a brighter future for Swann. Defensive backs are drawn to Nick Saban and his coaching staff, and for good reason, they know how to develop talent. 

If Swann is going to make the switch from corner to safety, where his NFL prospects would be greater, he's going to need a lot of work and that will require a top-notch staff. 

This isn't a knock on Georgia, but they don't have the track record of developing corners and safeties like Saban. 

Swann will have the chance to take the field with fellow 2011 prospect Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, and from the backbone of what could be one of the best secondaries in the country.

He recognizes that, and the fact that the Crimson Tide's defense will likely be rolling throughout his tenure. 

Swann might be a Georgia boy, but this coveted prospect will head to Alabama when the time comes.