Packfan_old
                                                                UW football: Swan tops the charts at receiver

                                                                                                                                                        TOM MULHERN

608-252-6169                                                                                                                                                        

On the first day of practice for the University of Wisconsin football team last week, junior Luke Swan lined up as one of the wide receivers with the No. 1 offense.


Imagine the odds you could have gotten a year ago, had you been prescient enough to predict Swan would somehow work his way to the top of the depth chart at the start of this season.

"I'm not really sure," Swan said when asked how many people would have predicted that. "I don't know exactly what the outside world thinks. But I definitely have confidence in myself."

Swan is a walk-on from Fennimore who still has yet to be given a scholarship, much as that pains UW coach Bret Bielema.

"Swanny's a guy that was right there on the bubble the last two years," Bielema said of the scholarships awarded to walk-ons. "He's a guy I've been very impressed with, going into fall camp, just because of the way he's caught the ball. It's very important to him. You can see (how much) he wants to get out there."

With six true freshman receivers on this year's team, Swan's role on the team has never been more important.

Receivers coach Henry Mason was certainly making a statement, of sorts, when he put Swan as a starter to begin camp.

"The thing we try to do with our offense, each wide receiver position has a personality," Mason said. "I just felt, at this point in time, that we start the first day with (Swan) out there."

And just what personality does Swan bring to the position?

"He knows exactly what to do," Mason said. "His personality and the way he goes about his business is exactly how I want all my guys to play.

"He comes every day, he works hard, he wants to be coached, he's respectful and he wants to do well. He goes to school. He works hard at that. He's a guy that's a walk-on, who works as hard as anybody.

"Just take the football out of it - I have a lot of personal respect for him, for what he has done and how far he has come since he walked in the door."

Xavier Harris, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has caught the ball extremely well and has made the biggest impact among the freshman receivers. It doesn't hurt that Swan and Harris play the same position.

"We're fortunate (Harris) plays the same position as Luke Swan," Mason said. "Luke can coach him. He knows the offense in and out. (Harris) has always got a pacifier, someone there to lean on when it's like, 'I'm not quite sure.' "

Swan did everything but blush when Mason's comments were passed along to him."Wow, it puts me back a little bit, I guess," he said. "I would like to become a coach some day, so that's really an honor."

Swan has modest physical abilities. He's listed at 6 feet, 196 pounds and is not supposed to be fast enough to play in the Big Ten Conference.

"You've got to be on point with everything and use the abilities you have and maximize them by knowing everything you can," he said of how he gets by.

Swan spent four practices with the No. 1 offense, before being sidelined with what appeared to be a slight muscle pull.

It seems like only a matter of time before Harris and possibly some of the other touted freshmen pass him.


Yet, Swan caught the ball well and senior quarterback John Stocco certainly had no reservations throwing to him, before Stocco underwent knee surgery Friday.

"I just want consistency," Mason said. "I want to know what we're going to get on a daily basis. When you have younger players, or guys who haven't played much, normally guys are up and down. All we want to know is what we're going to get daily. When we know that, we can plan accordingly."

Right now, it looks like those plans include Swan, when he gets healthy.

"It's definitely a good thing, a good starting point," Swan said of being on top of the depth chart at the start of practice. "I don't know where it's going to go from here, but I'm just going to come out every day and improve and see where it leads me.

"Who knows what's going to happen? But I'm excited for the year."
Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home.

You just can't fix stupid!

2006 Wissports Hall Of Fame Inductee



Quote 0 0
Packfan_old
yes. Tony, Wi
Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home.

You just can't fix stupid!

2006 Wissports Hall Of Fame Inductee



Quote 0 0
BadgersRule34_old
Quote:
ORIGINAL: longball

I wasn't arguing with you either. I was just reitterating the point. And actually, I think the Leonhard story is a bit better than the Hampton story. Leonhard actually got some nice honors and came from a school with a far inferior football program than Lancaster's. Didn't he come from like Tony or something?


A bit better? No offense to Hampton, but Leonhard was an All-American and I believe set the Big Ten record for interceptions. Hampton hasn't started a game yet.
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longball12
"Swanny's a guy that was right there on the bubble the last two years"

Then throw the guy a friggin bone and at least give him a partial scholarship. If he is at the top of the depth chart and a guy that will contribute this year, then give him something. Just my opinion. Always a nice story when a guy walks on to a D1 school at gets a scholarship. Another Jim Leonard story. I hope to see him scoring this year. And for those guys that think he isn't fast enough for D1, then try tackling the guy. His first step used to break most guys ankles.
Proud And Loving Father Of An Angel Named Derek - 8/4/13

Twitter - @iamlongball
Quote 0 0
tj91_old
Quote:
ORIGINAL: BadgersRule34

Quote:
ORIGINAL: longball

I wasn't arguing with you either. I was just reitterating the point. And actually, I think the Leonhard story is a bit better than the Hampton story. Leonhard actually got some nice honors and came from a school with a far inferior football program than Lancaster's. Didn't he come from like Tony or something?


A bit better? No offense to Hampton, but Leonhard was an All-American and I believe set the Big Ten record for interceptions. Hampton hasn't started a game yet.



actually Hampton has started a game. Last year against Bowling Green. I was there, he was in coverage the very first play from scrimmage..........just after being on the kick-off team.

I believe it even says so in his Bio in the Badger Football Program

Like I said to some guys tonight.......I hope both Swan and Hampton stay healthy the whole year, and we get to see playing time from both. It would make for a fun year!
Quote 0 0
Packfan_old
Quote:
ORIGINAL: longball

"Swanny's a guy that was right there on the bubble the last two years"

Then throw the guy a friggin bone and at least give him a partial scholarship. If he is at the top of the depth chart and a guy that will contribute this year, then give him something. Just my opinion. Always a nice story when a guy walks on to a D1 school at gets a scholarship. Another Jim Leonard story. I hope to see him scoring this year. And for those guys that think he isn't fast enough for D1, then try tackling the guy. His first step used to break most guys ankles.


Jim Leonard / Zach Hampton [8D]
Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home.

You just can't fix stupid!

2006 Wissports Hall Of Fame Inductee



Quote 0 0
longball12
Quote:
ORIGINAL: Packfan

Quote:
ORIGINAL: longball

"Swanny's a guy that was right there on the bubble the last two years"

Then throw the guy a friggin bone and at least give him a partial scholarship. If he is at the top of the depth chart and a guy that will contribute this year, then give him something. Just my opinion. Always a nice story when a guy walks on to a D1 school at gets a scholarship. Another Jim Leonard story. I hope to see him scoring this year. And for those guys that think he isn't fast enough for D1, then try tackling the guy. His first step used to break most guys ankles.


Jim Leonard / Zach Hampton [8D]


Both who got scholarships right? Which would then prove my point. Hampton saw a lot of the field last year and we all know about Leonard.
Proud And Loving Father Of An Angel Named Derek - 8/4/13

Twitter - @iamlongball
Quote 0 0
Packfan_old
I didn't say he didn't get a scholarship... I was agreeing with you. Jim Leonard, Zach Hampton, and Luke Swann should all we great Walk-on stories. I also think Swanny should get a scholarship!
Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home.

You just can't fix stupid!

2006 Wissports Hall Of Fame Inductee



Quote 0 0
longball12
I wasn't arguing with you either. I was just reitterating the point. And actually, I think the Leonhard story is a bit better than the Hampton story. Leonhard actually got some nice honors and came from a school with a far inferior football program than Lancaster's. Didn't he come from like Tony or something?
Proud And Loving Father Of An Angel Named Derek - 8/4/13

Twitter - @iamlongball
Quote 0 0
wisportswriter
I remember back when Swan decided to walk on at UW and forego scholarship offers at lower levels. He was decried by a lot of people at the time.

I don't hear those people any more.

Funny.
Being a reporter is as much a diagnosis as a job description. -Anna Quindlen
Quote 0 0
Packfan_old
Another article on Swanny in todays Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=488667
Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home.

You just can't fix stupid!

2006 Wissports Hall Of Fame Inductee



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