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October 30, 2012
Swoopes fighting through a tough senior season
The 2012 season has not gone quite the way Tyrone Swoopes had envisioned. One of the country's top quarterback prospects, Swoopes has battled through injury this fall and he and his Whitewright team have struggled to an 0-8 record.
Swoopes is used to experiencing success at everything he does, both on the field and off. He excels in every sport he tries, he's a strong student in the classroom and he's a high-character player who others look up to. This season's struggles were not expected, and though it's been humbling, Swoopes continues to keep his head up and he's hoping him and his teammates can finish the last two games on a high note.
"It's frustrating, of course. I've talked to my dad and (Texas assistant) coach (Bryan) Harsin about it," said the Longhorn quarterback commitment. "They're just telling me that it's a learning experience at this point. Everything that I'm doing now, learning now, will make me better in the future. I just have to keep fighting and not give up.
"We have a lot of pride on the line (the next two games). We've had a lot of injuries, people around here have lost hope in us. We want to finish the year strong, want to finish with one win, hopefully two."
The Whitewright team has been hit hard by injuries all year, including a hamstring that has kept Swoopes out of one game and limited him in others. He had worked his way back to full strength but re-injured his leg last week. Despite the setback, Swoopes expects to play this week when Whitewright plays at Bells.
On the recruiting front, Swoopes has never waivered from his early commitment to the Longhorns. He was in Austin for UT's win over Baylor and he's planning to return for the game against Iowa State in two weeks.
Swoopes has been taking online English and science courses this fall in order to graduate early. He'll enroll at Texas in January and will go through spring workouts with the Longhorn team in 2013. It's been an extra workload for the Rivals100 member, but he said it hasn't been too much of a struggle and he's ready to get started on his UT career.
"I've been able to handle it pretty easily. It just requires having to do the classes with nobody in there with you. It's kind of boring, but I've handled it pretty well," Swoopes said.
"I'm just trying to get in there (to Texas), learn the offense and help the team as best as I can. I'm not saying I'm going to go in there and play right away - if I have to call plays, be a cheerleader on sidelines, I'll do it. Whatever I need to do, I'm ready to be a part of it."
The 6-5, 229-pound Swoopes is set to play in the Army All-American game in January. He's currently ranked as the country's top dual-threat quarterback prospect and he chose Texas over offers from the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Baylor, Notre Dame, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
An athletic playmaker that has starred on offense, defense and special teams for Whitewright, Swoopes is a dynamic runner as a quarterback and he's worked hard in the last year to fine-tune his passing mechanics. He knows he still has room for improvement in his work as a passer, and the Texas coaches, most notably Harsin, have told him they're anxious to get started.
"He had told me before they wanted me to do come in early, but they didn't pressure me into it. It was my own decision, but they're pretty excited about it.
"I think (Harsin) is just more excited about my mobility because I can run the ball pretty well. I'm not saying their quarterbacks now aren't athletic, I think he's just trying to do a little bit different things with me when I get there. Hopefully I'll be good at it, and I'll get it down when it's my time to get in there and play."
In seven games this year, Swoopes has averaged close to 10 yards per carry on 106 attempts while finding the end zone 14 times. He has completed 78 of 181 passes for 797 yards and 8 touchdowns against just 2 interceptions.