QB Recruit Swoopes Wants to Be Own Man
For Tyrone Swoopes, it’s all about comparisons.
He’s the nephew of former Texas Tech star women’s basketball player Sheryl Swoopes; he plays like star-studded quarterbacks Vince Young and Cam Newton.
But Swoopes, the top quarterback prospect for the class of 2013, is relevant for more than to whom he can be compared. The native of Whitewright, TX - which is near Dallas - might be the one setting the bar for others.
“I hear Vince Young a lot,” Swoopes said, according to ESPN.com. “I try not to let it get in my head. I just think that Vince Young is Vince Young and Tyrone Swoopes is Tyrone Swoopes.
“I’m just trying to make my own name.”
There’s a reason that Swoopes can refer to himself in the third person. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound QB is a monster under center who looks like a man among boys during high school games for Whitewright High School, which competes in the state’s 2A division.
More than anything, he’s racking up the compliments on his play.
“This is my 24th year of coaching, and I’ve been around some special ones,” Whitewright coach Jack Wylie told ESPN.com. “But he may be the most special I’ve coached.”
To put that in perspective, Wylie counts former Texas A&M star receiver Jeff Fuller among those that he has guided when Fuller was a breakout star at Texas’ McKinney High School.
The reason many believe that Swoopes could be better than most and perhaps as good a college player as Young or Newton is that he has room to grow.
Swoopes has been playing quarterback only since seventh grade. But the young signal-caller certainly has a solid foundation of skills with which to work.
He can throw the ball 70 yards, according to most reports, and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. In a recent game last month, Swoopes rushed for 560 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground - only the second-best rushing game in the state’s history.
So who is after him?
As you might expect, Swoopes has a host of suitors and has fielded offers from all the Texas schools - Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas Tech and TCU - but also is getting a look from Stanford and Notre Dame.
Texas A&M has an in with his high school coach (Wylie), Texas Tech has his connection to Sheryl, TCU is extremely close to home and headed to the Big 12, Baylor can point to Robert Griffin III as an example of the video game numbers Swoopes could put up in Waco and Texas is, well, Texas.
ESPN.com described him as an A-B student who comes from a home in which academics were stressed, suggesting that Swoopes might consider playing in South Bend of Palo Alto despite the distance from home.
By all accounts, Swoopes is a freight train. ESPN reported that he regularly wins the award for the game’s hardest hit, benches more than he weighs and squats nearly double that amount.
So forgive those in the Lone Star State that are reminded of Young, who physically overpowered opponents en route to two Rose Bowl MVPS, the 2006 national championship and one of the greatest college careers ever.
But hold on, Longhorns fans, it’s not a foregone conclusion that Swoopes will follow Young to Austin or, for that matter, even stay in the state of Texas.
Swoopes said that he enjoyed a recent visit to - gasp! - Oklahoma on November 5, when the Sooners posted a 41-25 victory over Texas A&M.
“(Norman) kind of felt like home, because it’s not really that big,” Swoopes told ESPN’s Recruiting Nation Football. “The campus is pretty small, which surprised me. I had a real good time.”
Maybe, Swoopes really means it when he says he wants to be his own man.