4-Star SF Prospect Cole Swider Commits to Villanova over Duke, Syracuse, Xavier

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2017

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Villanova added a playmaking forward to their 2018 recruiting class Friday when Cole Swider joined the fold. 

Swider told ESPN's Jeff Goodman about his decision to play for the Wildcats, noting his relationship with head coach Jay Wright helped make the choice. 

Swider, who checks in at 6'7" and 210 pounds, is a 4-star prospect, per Scout, and the No. 69 overall player and No. 16 power forward in his class. The Rhode Island native committed Friday after trimming his list of schools to four finalists in Syracuse, Xavier, Duke and Villanova.

Michael McAllister of Scout noted he took official visits to the Blue Devils, Musketeers and Orange and unofficially visited the Wildcats multiple times.

Swider's game stands out because he can do a number of things well. He can extend his offensive arsenal beyond the three-point line, which causes problems for some opposing power forwards, and he can also battle down low in the post.

He is also a capable defender and can help control the glass on both sides of the floor. Swider also boasts enough versatility to play either the 3 or the 4 at the collegiate level, which should help him earn early playing time. 

Swider was asked to describe his overall game, per Evan Daniels of Scout, "Shooting the ball well, hustling, getting to the basket off of people running out to me and just playing tough and hard."

If he continues to shoot well and play "tough and hard," he could be one of the better players Villanova lands in the 2018 recruiting cycle at an important time. Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart each graduated this year, and the Wildcats are looking for long-term replacements to carry the program forward.

Swider can serve that role on both ends, and he represents a recruiting victory over Xavier, who is one of Villanova's marquee competitors near the top of the Big East.