Swain getting serious
Jimmie Swain is, as the kids say, done playin'. He's attacking this whole recruiting thing. The four-star linebacker trimmed his list to five a few weeks ago, and it won't be long until another, more precise cut is made.
TCU, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon and Stanford are still standing … for now. Two of them are getting the boot. And they're getting it soon. See, Swain doesn't think he has time for five official visits. Instead, he plans to make just three. And that's bad news for a pair of coaching staffs.
"I don't see the need for five officials," Swain said. "I'd like to have it down to three by the time school starts. I can start taking officials on my first day of school. That's Aug. 14 for me. It will be sometime around there."
Swain says he has no idea which teams will make his second cut at the time being. All he knows is that it's going to happen soon. By the time the Lee's Summit (Mo.) High School star starts his senior year in August, his trips will be planned.
Each option has its perks. Swain says narrowing his list to five "wasn't hard at all." He expects the cut to three to be more difficult, though.
"Each school had something specific about it that made me attracted to it, whether it was academically, athletically or just the general atmosphere of the school," he said. "There's something I like about each school that puts it on top of the other schools in one category."
The draw to Stanford is obvious. Swain says "they have unbeatable academics as well as being ranked No. 7 in the preseason." He discusses tradition when he speaks about Michigan. On the topic of Michigan State, he talks about the coaching staff and the relationship he's built with head coach Mark Dantonio. His line of thinking is similar when it comes to Oregon and his favorite position coach, Don Pellum.
But the longest and perhaps most interesting explanation comes when he begins to describe what he likes about TCU.
"TCU is the only one of the top five I've visited already. When I went down there, I just enjoyed the campus and the team and the way they practice. Coach Patterson and I talk on a regular basis. I just loved what I saw when I went down there. Ever since then, I have just been all about TCU. I just loved the atmosphere and everything about that school."
He doesn't use the term "set in stone" or word "final" when discussing his final five options, but he comes pretty close to doing so. So while it probably isn't impossible for a new program to force its way into the mix, Swain says it's highly unlikely.
"I can't think of anywhere else that is going to change the way my top-five is right now," he said. "I can't think of a school that could come in now and change that."
Swain says he hopes to make a commitment early in his senior season. He has set a loose timetable of "sometime in September" for a verbal commitment.