Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Hog fans play role in linebacker's visit plans
Arkansas fans have aided the Razorback coaching staff in convincing highly sought linebacker Jimmie Swain IV set up for an official visit for the Auburn game on Nov. 2.
Swain, 6-3, 228, 4.46 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Olathe, (Kan.) North is a TCU commitment with approximately 18 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Oregon, TCU, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Stanford. He said the Hog fans on Twitter encouraged him to give Arkansas a look.
“The fans they help a lot because it shows they support their team very much and they know the recruits they’re trying to get in and they’re really, really supportive of Arkansas,” Swain said. “So I just felt like that might be the kind of atmosphere I might want to come check out.”
Swain also mentioned the heavy dose of handwritten letters from the Arkansas coaches for his interest in the Hogs. He said he talks to defensive coordinator Chris Ash and linebackers coach Randy Shannon on a regular basis.
“They just try to keep updated with me and things going on with my life,” Swain said. “I try to stay up-to-date with things going down on Arkansas because I know I’ll be up there for the Auburn game.”
Swain, who has a 335 pound bench press and 420 squat, is rated a 4-star prospect by national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. He said his family just wants him to be happy with his college decision.
“They’re comfortable with where ever I go,” he said. “I just want to see that there is an opportunity for that football program to do well in the coming years. That’s a thing I look for personally and also I really want to be well acquainted with the business program because that’s what I want to major in no matter where I go.”
Sam M. Walton College of Business, ranked 26th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report among the nation’s public undergraduate business. He qualified for the business organization DECA’s national event in Anaheim, California earlier in the year but was unable to attend because he took part in a Nike Camp in Chicago.
“That’s something I’ve really been interested in and a part of since I started high school,” Swain said. “So I’ll definitely want to take a look at their business program and get some information on internships and different influential people that have graduated from the business program and corporations and things like that are involved in their business program and things like that. So that will be a another big factor for me. Nothing like distance will really play a factor for me.”
In addition to Arkansas, Swain is planning to officially visit TCU and Oregon.
“Those are the three I have right now,” he said.
After his playing days are over, Swain hopes to be a sportscaster for ESPN.
“I just think that really shows that you’ve had a lot of influence in the NFL,” Swain said. “You had a very good career not just on the field but you made a good impression on people in the league and people sort of look up to you in the league to get that opportunity. I know Ray Lewis is now doing it and he’s very well respected in the NFL.”
If broadcasting doesn’t pan out, Swain wants to stay in something sports related.
“I still want to still be involved in sports in some way like in a sports marketing standpoint and connecting people the NFL with people like Pepsi and Cola Cola commercials and things like that,” Swain said.
Swain is already looking ahead when it comes to managing his money.
“I’ve started reading some books on how to handle your money,” he said. “Hopefully if I get the opportunity to be in the NFL I would use that money and save it. I wouldn’t spend any exuberant the first four years in the NFL and start to save it up and invest it so I could have a very nice retirement when I ended up not wanting to work anymore.”
He credits his mother, Aretha Jackson for his forward thinking and maturity that’s beyond most people his age.
“I’ve grown up not being like the richest family in the world, kind of like blue collar and seeing my mom struggle with bills and everything like that,” Swain said. “I kind of made the decision myself I never wanted my kids to go through something like that. I’ve very thankful for the way my mom has raised me because it taught me how to value money and respect it. But at the same time, I want my kids to have the opportunity to do what they want to do even if they have nothing to do with sports.”
Swain, who has a 3.8 weighted grade-point average, has sought out others with expertise to help him be better prepared for the future.
“I started reaching out to some of my friends parents who are better off,” Swain said. “Like my friend, our quarterback Cole’s father is a financial broker. I’ve had plenty of discussions with him on the ins and outs of money and he’s given me some books to read on money so I’ll know how to handle it when I attain it through investing or through my degree or through football in the NFL. How to use it in a positive way to like make the bank system work for you as to oppose to working against you.”
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