He may not be the sure-fire home run fans hoped, but Texas Longhorns' quarterback recruit Tyrone Swoopes has the tools to be the program's future under center.
Swoopes' well-documented fall from the nation's top quarterback to falling completely out of the ESPN 300 and the Rivals 250 has fans doubting whether the small-town kid can play quarterback at Texas. But while he does need more work than originally anticipated there is no reason to doubt that Swoopes is up to the task, especially now that he will get extra work in the spring.
Here are the attributes that make Swoopes such a special talent and why they will allow him to have a successful career as a Longhorn and possibly beyond.
The top reason so many are excited about Swoopes is his ability to run the ball with a stride that is reminiscent of an all-time Longhorn great.
Just like Vince Young before him, Swoopes has the ability to outrun defenders while he looks like he is jogging. He ran a 4.77 in the 40-yard dash, but he plays much faster than that thanks to his vision and quickness. Once Swoopes finds his running lane, he plants and gets downhill in a hurry using those sweeping strides to get distance on would-be tacklers.
Swoopes is also similar to Young in that he can run the ball in any scenario. He scrambles very well and is extremely proficient running the zone read, which has taken the NFL by storm in the past year.
The doubts about Swoopes' as a thrower are certainly warranted. But as a runner and an athlete, he is as good as they come.
The ability to run is not unique to Swoopes. But add in his prototypical size, and you have one of the most deadly combinations feasible in college football.
If you could build a quarterback from any body type imaginable, he would look something like Tyrone Swoopes. At 6'5" and 230 pounds, seeing over the offensive line and taking some hits at the end of runs will be a non-issue. And his frame could handle even more.
When it comes to dual-threat quarterbacks, the difference between Vince Young and Denard Robinson is that Young was 6'5" and 230 pounds and Robinson is only 5'11" at less than 200 pounds. Swoopes is already Young's size with the frame to get up to around 250, meaning he will be the one dealing out the punishment while guys like Robinson wear down in less than half a season.
Speed and quickness is always lethal in the game of football. But the size to back it up is rare, and Swoopes has that in droves.
The last piece of Tyrone Swoopes' puzzle is his right arm, which is capable of making all of the throws once he gets some proper coaching.
There are a myriad of reasons that Swoopes fell so far in the rankings, but arm strength is not one of them. He throws one of the better deep balls you will see out of a high school prospect with impressive mechanics for someone his age. Where he runs into problems is throwing short, accurate passes in which he adopts a sidearm-type motion a la none other than Vince Young.
Currently the gold standard for dual-threat quarterbacks is Colin Kaepernick, who is essentially a runner with a big arm. That is Swoopes in a nutshell. While he may struggle with the precision aspect of the position, he has the arm strength to make every single throw in the book. All he needs is some coaching to make all of his throws look like his rainbow deep balls.
The ability to drop back and throw darts is the one thing that keeps Swoopes from basically stepping in and starting. He needs a lot of work in this department, but he certainly has the God-given physical capability to get the job done. Once he does, the entire country is on notice.