Ole Miss has added another impact player to its 2015 class in the form of 4-star running back Eric Swinney.
Hugh Kellenberger of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger provided news of the prospect's decision:
Eric Swinney, a four-star running back, has committed to Ole Miss.— Hugh Kellenberger (@HKellenbergerCL) May 16, 2014
His coach, Chip Walker, provided posted an image to Twitter of the announcement:
Congrats to Eric Swinney! Ole Miss Rebel pic.twitter.com/TnXV01BwTs— Chip Walker (@ChipWalkerSC) May 16, 2014
The Georgia native is one of the best running backs in his class thanks to his physicality. He might not have elite speed, but he hits the holes hard and punishes defenders who try to tackle him.
Walker explained it best to Todd Holcomb of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Swinney is a downhill, hit-it-hard guy that’s going. Both can run around you and make you miss, and both can catch the ball really good, but Swinney is very physical when he runs the football. You can see times on tape last year in big games late where it looks like they don’t want to tackle him anymore.
The young player also has impressive vision that allows him to find the opening anywhere on the field. He follows his blockers well, which enables him to pick up more yards on plays than most other running backs would in similar situations.
Finally, Swinney has great hands that and is a useful receiver out of the backfield. Jeremy Crabtree of ESPN.com noticed this ability first hand:
In 2013, Swinney totaled 1,149 yards and 22 touchdowns rushing. He added 325 yards and four scores receiving as he continued to develop his game.
These skills have helped the 5'10", 188-pound prospect become the No. 12 running back in the country and the No. 12 overall player in the state of Georgia, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.
Swinney received scholarship offers from virtually every school in the Southeast and eventually narrowed his choice down to Florida State, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss and Tennessee in March. After much thought, he decided that he was going to play for the Rebels.
The running back has the talent to step in immediately for his new team, but he might be redshirted in his first year to put on a bit more weight and strength. With his style of play, getting some extra time in the weight room is vital.
Still, Swinney has the skill to break into the starting lineup before too long and become one of the best running backs in the conference. If he can continue to improve and he gets productive blocking in front of him, he will be a star at the next level.
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