Jimmie Swain is in absolutely no rush. His two scholarship offers aren't going anywhere. The Lee's Summit, Mo., linebacker appreciates the invitations from Iowa and Kansas. Really, he does. He could actually end up choosing one of the two schools. It's just that he wants a few more options.
And while the recruitment needle still sits unmolested at two in part because a cracked tibia limited him to just seven games last season, there's a chance it could make a jump soon. Enter Illinois. The Illini have recently ramped up their recruitment of Swain, and things are seemingly getting serious.
"They keep on telling me that they want me at Illinois and they want me to play there. They haven't offered yet, but I mean …"
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And so a visit has been planned. Swain will get an up-close look at Champaign and the university it houses during the school's junior day on Mar. 9. It wouldn't be unrealistic for the Kansas-city area standout to expect a verbal offer at that time. At this point, though, he has no idea what his reaction will be should that take place.
The trip, after all, is in the name of exploration.
"I haven't gotten to know Illinois that well," Swain said. "I can't really comment on what I like or don't like about them yet. That's why I'm taking the visit."
Illinois isn't the only new school sniffing around the 6-foot-10, 210-pound Swain, though. Kansas State has involved itself in his recruitment. As has Missouri and Michigan State. Just less than a full year before he'll sign a national letter of intent, the buzz around him is building. The situation isn't exactly dire straights.
As for visits, Illinois is the only school written on the schedule in Sharpie. Swain won't speculate as to which school's he'd like to award official visits as of yet. It's too early for that, and his offer list isn't long enough to facilitate such a guessing game.
He doesn't mind tossing out ideas for other unofficials, though.
"I'd love to go up and visit Iowa because they've offered me and I'd like to get to know some of the other the staff members up there," Swain said. "Maybe I'll visit there, to watch spring practice. I'd also like to make it up to Michigan State at one point. I hear they have a very beautiful campus and I want to meet the staff and the players."
Built-in biases or ties to specific programs don't exist in Swain's world. The high school junior didn't start paying attention to college football or the NFL until two years ago. He says he only does so now because it affects him directly. He has no dream school ad is without a childhood favorite. He's as objective as prospects these days come.
"It doesn't really make a difference to me if I stay close to home," Swain said. "The only factor I would really consider as far as playing close to home is that if it would inconvenience my family to go watch me play. I wouldn't want to do that. But I wouldn't, like, not go to a far away school just because I want to stay close to home."