NCF On The Trail: Geoff Swaim

Juco TE Whiteley picks Longhorns

January, 8, 2014
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Texas picked up its first verbal commitment of the Charlie Strong era on Wednesday.

Arizona Western Community College tight end Blake Whiteley chose the Longhorns over Arkansas, Virginia, Purdue and several other offers, his father confirmed Wednesday.

The three-star prospect, a native of Canada, is 6-foot-5, 240 pounds and has four years to play three seasons at Texas.

Whiteley took an official visit to Texas in December, on the weekend coach Mack Brown announced his resignation, and decided the Longhorns were the right place for him even with Brown resigning.

In his lone season at Arizona Western, Whiteley caught eight passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns. He had more than 70 catches during his senior season at West Vancouver Secondary.

Whiteley was offered in early December after tight end John Thomas of Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College decommitted from the Longhorns. He fills a major need, since the Longhorns will have two seniors at the position in 2014.

Geoff Swaim and Greg Daniels emerged as trusted blockers in Texas’ run-heavy attack this season but were non-factors in the passing game, combining for six catches on the year. Whiteley provides a long-term option at tight end, but still has some growing to do.

Arizona Western coach Tom Minnick said Whiteley had little experience weight lifting or playing on the line coming from Canada. He learned plenty about blocking and lifting in his year of junior college ball.

“He was raw coming out of Canada,” Minnick said, “but he’s got the signs of being a great one when it’s all said and done.

Following the Tuesday decommitments of defensive tackles Trey Lealaimatafao and Courtney Garnett, Whitley is the 22nd commit of Texas’ 2014 class.

Signing day primer: Texas

January, 23, 2013
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Team needs: Texas hit the recruiting trail this year seeking improved depth on the offensive line and at linebacker. Its line got almost no production from backups in 2012, and an inexperienced linebacker group started six players last season and endured struggles throughout. With only nine seniors in 2012, the Longhorns don’t have many other holes that need to be filled by this class of recruits. The most irreplaceable cogs are safety Kenny Vaccaro and defensive end Alex Okafor. Both are potential first-round NFL draft picks whose production will be tough to match.

Help is on the way: The offensive line questions have been answered. Texas is set to sign one of the nation’s best classes up front with five commits, including No. 1 center Darius James (Killeen, Texas/Harker Heights) and No. 4 tackle Kent Perkins (Dallas/Lake Highlands). Contra Costa (Calif.) College tackle Desmond Harrison joined the class this week. Texas also landed ESPN 300 outside linebacker Deoundrei Davis (Cypress, Texas/Cypress Woods), who enrolled early and should contribute as a freshman.

Other key commits: Two more early enrollees, ESPN 150 lineman Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina) and Butte (Calif.) College tight end Geoff Swaim, should play right away. Texas also has pledges from ESPN 150 defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights), receiver Jacorey Warrick (Houston/Cypress Falls) and cornerback Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop). The Longhorns will pair Warrick with Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit), who broke the Texas state record for career receptions.

Other key targets: Holding on to Robinson is crucial. He has taken official visits to USC and Alabama and could make a late-second flip on signing day. With a pledge from Harrison, the biggest remaining priorities are finding another running back and wide receiver. ESPN 150 receiver Sebastian LaRue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) and Ole Miss running back commit Peyton Barber (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) could visit in January.

Texas adds juco OT Desmond Harrison

January, 21, 2013
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Texas kicked off on Monday what could be a fruitful final few weeks of 2013 recruiting by picking up its first verbal commit since October.

The Longhorns have landed pledge No. 14 from Contra Costa (Calif.) College offensive lineman Desmond Harrison.

The three-star prospect chose Texas over Arizona State, USC, Oklahoma and offers from more than 20 schools.

“This feels real good,” Harrison said. “I feel like I just made the best decision. It was a tight decision. It really boiled down to Arizona State and Texas, and they really made it difficult. It just felt like Texas was the best for me.”

Harrison had been leaning toward choosing Texas for a while, but the final decision was tougher than he’d expected.

“It was a last-minute decision,” he said. “Everything came down to the end. I was still thinking about it today."

A 6-foot-8, 310-pound lineman who is being recruited to play left tackle, Harrison took an official visit to Texas on Dec. 7 and is the program’s second junior college pledge, joining Butte (Calif.) College tight end signee Geoff Swaim.

(Read full post)

Four-star junior college tight end Geoff Swaim (Butte Community College) finally put pen to paper and signed his letter of intent to play for the Longhorns on Wednesday.

True to form, Swaim opted for a low-key ceremony with coaches, parents, family and a few friends.

“For me it’s just final, you know?” he said. “I’ve known this is where I have wanted to go for about six months now. For me now it’s just final. It’s done. I can actually start preparing for practice down there. It’s a huge opportunity too. I am real thankful for that opportunity.”

Swaim is the first member of Texas’ 2013 class to sign his scholarship. He will leave for Austin on Jan. 7 and hopes to arrive no later than Jan. 12.

His roll as a Longhorn has been defined since the moment he verbally committed to Texas in June. He’s coming in to block, block and then to block some more.

“That’s what I do. I like to hit. I like to bang,” Swaim said. “I am not going to be that guy that they have to worry if I am going to do my job. I know what my job is and I am going to come in and do it the best that I know how.”

Swaim, ranked No. 4 among all junior college tight ends, is hovering around 253 pounds right now, which is right where coaches like him for the time being. They’ve told him he’ll probably play at about 265-270 once he gets involved in their strength program.

Swaim has good hands too. He caught 11 passes for 88 yards and three touchdowns this past season.

He is likely to be the only tight end commitment Texas takes this class after Durham Smythe's recent decommitment.

TE Durham Smythe decommits from Texas 

December, 12, 2012
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Texas’ 2013 recruiting class has suffered another defection.

[+] EnlargeDurham Smythe
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comTight end Durham Smythe is the Longhorns' fourth decommitment for the Class of 2013.
Four-star tight end Durham Smythe (Belton, Texas/Belton) decommitted from the Longhorns on Tuesday. The longtime Texas commit confirmed his decision in a text message to HornsNation.

"I have nothing but respect for the coaches, commits, players and program," Smythe said, "but I had to do what I thought was right for me personally."

Weekend Rewind: Texas 

November, 26, 2012
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The combination of the Thanksgiving holiday and Texas high school football playoffs made it difficult for some players to make it to Austin for Texas' loss to TCU. Looking back, though, that could have been a good thing given the way the Longhorns played. Then again, it was on national television for the whole country to see.

One of those players who wasn't able to make it in was 2013 Texas commitment Geoff Swaim, who watched the game back home.

"I thought it was a tough game," Swaim said. "There didn't seem to be a lot of rhythm in the game, and when you don't have any rhythm it's hard to get anything going."

Despite the loss, Swaim isn't getting discouraged with his choice to commit to Texas and still thinks the lofty expectations of this team moving forward are well in reach.

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