After setting school records in receptions (89) and receiving yards (1,207) in 2011, it seemed unlikely that Ryan Swope would be able to replicate his breakout junior season with the departure of future No. 8 overall draft pick Ryan Tannehill to the pros.
However, the emergence of Heisman quarterback Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M translated into a 2013 Cotton Bowl victory for the Aggies and another solid season from Swope.
This former running back displayed some awfully soft hands as a slot receiver and showed a knack for finding a cushion in the defense. Not to mention that added advantage of having running back strength, which he uses forcefully in his blocking ability.
Here are five video highlights from Swope's career at Texas A&M.
After a close first half, the Aggies opened the floodgates on a struggling Sooners team in a 41-13 Cotton Bowl victory.
Of the 27 unanswered points scored by Texas A&M in the second half, Swope contributed six of his own with a clutch reception on 4th-and-5 that resulted in a 33-yard TD.
Utilizing a quick slant route, Swope was able to use his quickness to make the catch and shake off a would-be tackler.
Swope's history of concussions may be a red flag to NFL scouts, but his toughness as a slot receiver is not in question.
During a game against the Cowboys in 2011, Swope showed no fear going over the middle to make a play for then-quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but in doing so, he was fair game for Oklahoma State defensive back Markelle Martin, who made helmet-to-helmet contact with the receiver, forcing an unnecessary roughness call.
After being given a few minutes to gather himself, and with chants from the stands for "Swope," the junior got to his feet and jogged off the field in true tough-guy fashion.
Against Baylor in 2011, Ryan Tannehill tossed six TDs en route to a 55-28 victory over RG III and the Bears, and while Tannehill may have gotten the game ball that day, it wouldn't have been possible without some help from his trusty receiver Ryan Swope.
Swope's stat box against Baylor was a highlight in itself as he caught 11 passes for 206 yards and a career-best four TDs. Two of Swope's scores went for 68 yards each, including this one in the third quarter on a catch over the middle.
What should have been a routine tackle for a Baylor defensive back turned into six points for a determined Swope, who easily shook off the defender.
Down by four, late in the fourth quarter, the Aggies faced a pivotal 3rd-and-3, and Johnny Manziel knew exactly who to heave the ball to with the game on the line.
Coming out of the slot, Swope beat his man to the corner of the end zone and made the over-the-shoulder grab to put his team in a position to get the win. Swope's timing is impeccable here, as he's able to find the football over his left shoulder and set himself up for the big play.
Just weeks prior to a matchup with the Bulldogs, Swope was forced to the sideline after sustaining a massive hit from Louisiana Tech defensive back Craig Johnson. That play resulted in the fourth concussion of Swope's career.
However, midway through a battle with Mississippi State, Swope elected to dish out punishment instead of receiving it when he absolutely leveled Bulldogs linebacker Cameron Lawrence. No. 25 added another highlight to his repertoire and picked up a big thank you from his scrambling quarterback.