August 7, 2013

Swinney relishes offer

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Sandy Creek running back Eric Swinney isn't hurting for offers or exposure at this point.

The junior standout has already made a name for himself on the field with 1,420 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in an impressive sophomore campaign.

He has done the same on the recruiting trail as he holds a dozen offers before taking a snap in his junior season.

On Tuesday, however, Swinney got another offer and this time it was from a school close to home.

"The Georgia offer went down yesterday," Swinney told UGASports in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "I called coach (Bryan) McClendon up and talked to him for a little bit. He just told me, 'we want to officially offer you now. I talked it over with the coaching staff and we want to offer you a scholarship.'"

The Georgia running backs coach had a clear message for Swinney during their conversation.

"Coach McClendon told me that he really wants to coach me," Swinney said. "He also said that they only want to take one running back in the 2015 class and that I am the guy that he wants to sign."

Swinney says that being the only running back a team is prepared to take doesn't have a great impact on him, but he is aware of Georgia's depth at the position.

"It really doesn't matter that I'm the only back a school plans to take," he said. "There are a lot of running backs at Georgia now, so I understand why they are only taking one back. It doesn't really affect me. I want to play early and I want to be a factor early on, so that might be a big factor but I'm going to have to wait things out and see where things stand. It could hurt Georgia with me, but things change all the time so we will see. I just have to watch and see what happens.

While depth charts and other factors will likely play a role down the line, Swinney says that he is happy about the offer from his home-state school.

He even grew up a fan of the program.

"Georgia sends people to the league, and the graduation for Georgia football is really good," Swinney said. "I really want to graduate with my degree. That is the most important thing to my family and me. Growing up, I was a Bulldogs fan. I was watching them all the time. Just the tradition there and stuff like that, that is why I really like them. Athens is also a great college town. I really like Georgia. It is a down to earth place and it is close to home. I wouldn't have to go far to get back home."

Other major programs have been recruiting Swinney hard since his sophomore film circulated this off-season, and a number of those programs have made a strong impression on him already.

"Tennessee and Ole Miss have impressed me early," he said. "Florida State, Vandy, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Auburn are in there, too. I like what I have seen from all of those schools."

Narrowing down an offer list to a list of favorites can sometimes be tough, and Swinney has mentioned that graduation rates and playing time will factor into his decision.

The biggest factor, however, will be where he fits in the best.

"Wherever I feel the most comfortable will be big," Swinney said. "I want to feel like I am at home. I don't want to be home sick. I want to feel comfortable around the coaching staff and to have a great relationship with the players."

When it comes to a decision Swinney says that one could come soon after his junior season.

"I'm looking at sometime toward the end of the spring," he said. "I may decide then or early summer. I'm not sure yet but sometime around there."

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