By John Davis, Oxford Citizen
Eric Swinney, the lone commitment at running back for the Rebels in the the 2015 signing class, is set to play in tonight’s Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Swinney, who plays at Sandy Creek High in Tyrone, Ga., flew out to California last Tuesday, three days after he came to see Ole Miss practice at Georgia State in preparation for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
Last Sunday, Swinney (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) was named to the Class AAAA All-State team. He was also selected as one of two running backs by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the All-Metro team as a member of the Southside team. It was the second time in his career Swinney was named to those teams.
Swinney, who rushed for more than 1,800 yards this past season for Sandy Creek, was honored to be selected.
“It just proves that all my work is paying off,” said the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Swinney. “Most of it comes from my teammates. Without them I couldn’t do it on offense and defense. I couldn’t perform without them.”
Sandy Creek was unable to get past the third round of the AAAA playoffs this season in a year Swinney broke all his school’s rushing records.
“To me, I’m always hard on myself. I don’t think it was my best year because we obviously didn’t get to the state championship,” Swinney said. “Personal wise, I think last year (2013) was my best year. I had an OK year in terms of stats and everything.”
Because he was headed to play in the All-Star game, Swinney wasn’t able to watch the Peach Bowl person. He was excited that the Rebels were in his hometown.
“That was the first time I got to see the team practice and it’s good to see what it’s going to be like six months from now,” Swinney said. “I’m 100 percent Ole Miss. I come on my official visit January 23rd.”
Swinney is scheduled to visit Ole Miss the same weekend that another top Ole Miss target, linebacker Roquan Smith, is expected in Oxford. Smith plays for Macon County High, and the two have gotten to know each other. Smith just got through playing in the Under Armour All-American game on Friday.
Swinney said he was going to try some of the recruits and convince them to come to Ole Miss while he was in town.
As for the Semper Fidelis Bowl, a game that features some of the nation’s top recruits, Swinney was looking forward to the experience.
“I’m pretty excited about that, to get to play football one more time high school wise and go up against great competition,” Swinney said. “Flying out to California is going to be pretty nice, too.”
Tonight’s game can be seen on FoxSports1. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.