July 23, 2013

Spartans in top 5 for 4-star LB

One of the players that the Michigan State staff is looking forward to having on campus this fall is Jimmie Swain of Lee's Summit High School in Missouri. SpartanMag.com was able to speak with the 4-star standout and we have the latest details on his recruitment.

Michigan State currently has an excellent trio of linebacker commitment for the class of 2014, but they are still looking to add one more player to the mix. The player that grabs that final scholarship spot will have to possess not only outstanding linebacker skills, but have the length to be potentially a pass rush specialist and come off the edge. At 6-foot-3, 220-pounds with 4.5 speed, Swain has the skill-set that Spartan Head Coach Mark Dantonio is looking for.

Swain has racked up an impressive list of BCS scholarship offers from all over the country. In all he has over 25 scholarships on the table, but he recently narrowed his list down to a five top suitors which includes Michigan State, Michigan, Oregon, Stanford and TCU. We spoke with Swain about his thoughts on Michigan State University.

"I really like the Spartans and everything about the strength and conditioning program as well as Coach Dantonio's coaching style," he said. "I also like the family atmosphere the team has. I love how they have a reputation for great defense! I just always liked Michigan State for a long time, even before I even knew I had a chance to play college football. I mostly speak with Coach (Brad) Salem."

The Spartan reputation for defense under Coach Dantonio and Coach Narduzzi is nationally known. Michigan State has ranked near the top of the nation the last few years in defense and is expected to be a dominant force once again this fall.

Swain was able to attend the St Louis Rivals Camp Series earlier this spring and he was one of the top performers overall at the event. He ended up being named the top player at his position group and Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell had the following to say about him.

"Swain was the most spirited player at RCS St. Louis. He worked himself into an absolute frenzy during warm-ups and carried that energy through the day. Physically, he looks the part. His straight-line speed and long arms make him fantastic in space."

The ability to play fast and effective is something that all college coaches preach. Spartan Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi has hammered home this concept at Michigan State and it is probably the #1 reason why they have been so successful. The Spartan have been labeled as playing "SEC style" defense in the Big Ten, but is really just about recruiting players who can the ability to play both physically and mentally fast.

With a top 5 that includes schools from Michigan, Oregon, California and Texas, Swain indicated that he definitely wants to get on campus of several of his top choices before he makes his decision He intends on using a few of his official visits to learn more about each school, and in the mean time, he wants to focus on helping his Lee's Summit team be successful this fall.

"Right now I think I'm just gonna focus on my high school season for the rest of the summer," he said. "Then i will get my official visit set up so I can figure out which school is the best place for me."

As with most recruits, where Swain ends up will come down to a combination of factors which includes academics, atmosphere and the relationship he builds with the coaching staff.

Swain is also a solid student academically. That serves to enhance his value as a player that represents himself well both on and off the field. SpartanMag.com will continue to follow the recruitment of Swain in the coming weeks.

SpartanMag.com Take: Watching Swain's film it is easy to see why Head Coach Mark Dantonio hopes to have an opportunity to coach a player like him. His style of play is somewhat similar to current starter junior Taiwan Jones. Swain does an excellent job of shedding blockers and has the speed to close quickly and make plays in the backfield.

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