August 23, 2008

South Carolina safety heads to dream school

Greenwood, S.C. safety D.J. Swearinger has known for a long time that he wanted to wear Tennessee orange. He grew up a fan of the Volunteers and when he picked up a Tennessee offer this summer, he picked up the opportunity to make a dream come true. On Saturday afternoon, Swearinger completed that dream and committed to Tennessee.

"I had wanted to commit last Saturday when I was going to be on campus for their scrimmage and I was going to commit then," Swearinger said. "Something happened and I didn't go and I just went ahead and committed this Saturday. I called Coach Slade, the defensive back coach and we talked for a while and I told him I had some good news and that I wanted to commit to Tennessee. He was getting really excited and stuff."

Along with Coach Slade, Swearinger also talked to Coach Dan Brooks and finally Coach Phil Fulmer.

"Coach Fulmer seemed like he was the most excited about the commitment of all the coaches," he said. "We talked about 25 minutes and we had a great conversation and he just said to give all the coaches a call and let them know about the commitment."

Though the commitment almost came a week earlier, that does not quite tell the story of how long he has been seriously considering the Vols. In fact, his recruitment effectively ended the minute that Tennessee offer came.

"Tennessee, they've been my childhood favorite since I've been coming up and I've been telling people I wanted to get that offer," he said. "That day that offer came that pretty much ended my recruitment but I wanted to take some visits and see if there were some other schools that would interest me. My visit was very nice, the coaches, the players. I watched film with Coach Slade and how they used the safeties. I can see myself there the next four years of my life."

At 5-foot-11, 192 pounds, Swearinger is a hard-hitting safety with great instincts and hips, showing the ability to cover receivers one-on-one at the Chapel Hill Nike Camp. His commitment to the Volunteers came despite loads of other offers and opportunities.

"It was pretty much Tennessee and everybody else but if anyone had a chance with Tennessee it would be North Carolina and then South Carolina had a small chance."

Swearinger will be taking an official visit to Tennessee and while he hasn't ruled out taking other visits, he has no more in mind at this point.

Swearinger is a three-star prospect for Rivals.com and the No. 28 safety in the nation.


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