LostLettermen.com is a college football and men's basketball website. With national signing day on Feb. 1, they look ahead to one of the top QBs in the 2013 class: Tyrone Swoopes.
For Texas high school quarterback phenom Tyrone Swoopes, it's all about comparisons.
He's related to former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes; he plays like star-studded quarterbacks Vince Young and Cam Newton.
But Swoopes is relevant for more than comparisons. The native of Whitewright, Texas, (an hour north of Dallas), might be setting the bar for others soon as one of the two top quarterback prospects for the Class of 2013, according to Scout.com.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound QB is a man amongst boys for Whitewright, which competes in the state's 2A division.
Last fall, Swoopes ran for 2,336 yards and 29 touchdowns on 181 carries (that's 12.9 yards per carry) and another 1,342 yards and 15 touchdowns through the air.
Swoopes rushed for 560 yards and seven touchdowns in a single October game, the second most in Texas history in a state that has produced running backs such as Adrian Peterson, Earl Campbell and Eric Dickerson. But Texas Tech fans hoping they have an inside track to Swoopes because Sheryl played in Lubbock better not get their hopes up. The quarterback has never met the WNBA legend who is the cousin of Tyrone's father.
"I know she went to Texas Tech and she's pretty good and she played in the WNBA, but I really don't know too much about her," Swoopes told Lost Lettermen in an interview last month.
The college suitors interested in Swoopes' services are already lining up, but Swoopes genuinely seems completely undecided about where he will play college football.
"(The) most important thing is just me being comfortable with the coaches and the campus and the atmosphere and just being comfortable and not forcing myself to go somewhere because I like the school," Swoopes said. "But go somewhere where I like the people, the campus and the school.”
As expected, the major in-state programs are already reportedly after Swoopes, including Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas Tech and Baylor. He’s also being recruited by the likes of Oklahoma, Oregon, Notre Dame, Auburn and Stanford.
"I haven’t really narrowed it down yet but I’m sure coming up soon I’ll start doing that,” Swoopes said casually.
Trying to speculate where Swoopes will land is nearly impossible, but it won't stop fans from trying.
Texas A&M has an in with his high school coach (Jack Wylie coached former A&M WR Jeff Fuller), Texas Tech has the connection to Sheryl, TCU is extremely close to home, Baylor is quickly on the rise and Texas is, well, Texas.
And don't rule out the possibility that Swoopes leaves the state as the Sooners and Ducks have already caught his eye.
"I did (grow up as a Texas fan) until like middle school and then I started liking (Oklahoma)," Swoopes said. "So I don't really have a favorite (team) right now ... but I like to watch Oregon play, I like their uniforms, too."
It's clear that Swoopes would look good in any uniform.
The reason many believe that Swoopes could be better than most -- and perhaps one day worthy of comparisons to -- Young or Newton is that he has plenty of room to grow.
Swoopes has been playing quarterback only since seventh grade. And the young signal-caller is just oozing with raw talent. He can reportedly throw the ball 70 yards and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. All you need is the game tape from his 560-yard outburst, or any tape of his highlights to see Swoopes’ future is very bright.
"I don't know, the offensive line was just blocking well, the receivers were blocking well on the outside and, with them blocking, I was just able to find some creases and score," Swoopes humbly explained of the performance.
Swoopes still sees plenty of room for improvement in his game. He wants to work on his passing and decision-making since it’s so easy to rely on his athletic ability to get out of trouble.
"I think what I have to work on is when the pocket breaks down, don't just drop it and run, keep my eyes downfield and find the open receiver instead of just take off running," Swoopes said.
He will have his senior year in high school to do just that. Swoopes no doubt wants to rebound from a 63-7 loss in the first round of the state playoffs -- a game in which he also injured his since-healed shoulder.
"It's starting to get realer,” Swoopes said of the recruiting process. "A little while back it just didn't really seem like all that real or interesting to me, but now it’s starting to get real and I kind of like it."
He'd better because the Swoopes Sweepstakes are just getting started.
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