Quarterback to get early start at UT
An early start at Texas could prove beneficial for both him and the Longhorns.
Tyrone Swoopes, a 6-foot-4inch athlete who is expected to play quarterback for the Texas Longhorns, plans to enroll in January and participate in the team’s spring drills.
Why prolong the inevitable? That’s ultimately what Tyrone Swoopes asked himself before deciding to enroll early at Texas and be on campus in time for the spring semester of school and, more importantly for Longhorns spring football.
Swoopes — Whitewright’s 6-foot-4, 225-pound athlete who’s expected to play quarterback at Texas — wasn’t necessarily intending on playing basketball, going to the prom and kicking back for the rest of the school year.
He had been contemplating getting to Austin in January for a while, and just needed a little extra assurance — from his mother, father and coaches — that it was the right direction.
“Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do,” Swoopes said.
He’ll be one four early enrollees this spring for the Longhorns, along with Celina two-way lineman Jake Raul-
Texas vs. Oregon State, 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Alamodome, ESPN, 1300, 98.1
erson, Houston Cypress Woods linebacker Deoundrei Davis and Butte (Calif.) College tight end Geoff Swaim.
The No. 19-ranked prospect in the AmericanStatesman’s Fabulous 55 will be the youngest of five scholarship quarterbacks when he arrives. Still, he isn’t planning on standing idly by and watching from the sideline.
“I saw David (Ash) got hurt a couple of times this year, and I’m not saying anybody else wouldn’t have gotten hurt, but I want to be ready if it does happen,” Swoopes said. “I’m not going to college to play anything else, so instead of just staying home the whole school year and playing basketball, I figured I should start doing football as soon as possible.”
His senior season fell well short of expectations. Swoopes battled a hamstring injury, completed 42 percent of his passes for 873 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions, and Whitewright went 1-9.
“People are going to say what they want,” Swoopes said. “One guy can’t do it all by himself. When the team loses, everybody loses. I’m not the only one losing, just like if we were winning it wouldn’t be all because of me. It’s a team effort.”
And he’s still well aware of those who say he’ll never be a capable quarterback at the Division I level. That’s another reason why he’s eager to arrive and get himself established.
“As a competitor, when somebody tells you can’t do something, you want to prove you can,” Swoopes said. “I just love to play football and play and compete with other guys.”
With the Longhorns having gone through a stretch as a program with a 21-16 record over the past three seasons, there’s pressure on Swoopes to help bring the Longhorns back to the top of the college football mountaintop. There’s also pressure on Swoopes to prove his worth to make a recruiting class currently ranked as the 20th-best in the nation by 247Sports a success.
Tie everything together, and it’s created some unreasonable expectations. Despite the improvements Ash made from his freshman to his sophomore year, fans seem desperate for a difference maker at the position, and some see Swoopes as the answer.
“People after games have been tweeting me about they can’t wait for me to get on campus,” Swoopes said. “Somebody tweeted me saying that I was better than Johnny Manziel. I know I’m not that close to him at all, so I already see the pressure.”
The draw with Swoopes and why Mack Brown and the Texas offensive staff chose to make him their quarterback take in this recruiting class is he’s got the ability to make things go well for an offense. He rushed for 1,187 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. It’s feasible that Texas could have a package right off the bat for Swoopes similar to the “Belldozer” set Oklahoma created for Blake Bell.
No matter his role, Swoopes won’t be shy once he steps into the meeting room and on the practice field this spring.
“I’m prepared as we speak right now,” Swoopes said. “Going down there and getting into the system and everything, I just need to get used to it for when my time comes so I can be ready.”
Whitewright’s Tyrone Swoopes (left) chats with Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin on the sideline during the Longhorns’ annual Orange-White scrimmage in April.
Recruit Tyrone Swoopes ran for 1,187 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior.