The Tigers have officially inked 4-star LB commit Kevin Swint of Carrolton, GA to their 2020 signing class. Swint joined the class during Clemson’s first elite Junior Day back in January. He made sure to secure his spot early, and has since been one of the class’ most vocal recruiters.
Perhaps the biggest question regarding Swint involves what position he will actually play in college. Will it be Inside Linebacker, Outside Linebacker, or even Defensive End? There are 2 schools of thought here. First, that he will continue growing and will ultimately grow into a Weakside DE. The size and length are there, and as the near 32 inch vertical leap as a Junior indicates, that explosiveness could lead Swint to where his future lies. Moving Swint to DE could also help smooth out the numbers out for an extremely young ILB corps.
The second school of thought is that Swint will remain at LB. It looked as though Swint gained bad weight between his SO and JR seasons. Swint potentially does have the frame and athleticism to stay at LB, however, the bad weight greatly hampered his change of direction and lateral ability. This is why you saw him drop down the rankings, as he was “positionless” and difficult to project as a prospect. If you get Swint coming downhill he will knock your block clean off, but that’s not all a LB must be able to perform in the modern game.
The jury is still out on what position he will play, although I believe he would increase his value as an Edge defender. He has the necessary traits to thrive in a purely MIKE role for Venables, after all, he thrives coming downhill towards the Line of Scrimmage especially while blitzing. Asking Swint to move laterally and/or change direction can prove to be much more difficult, and it is for that reason that he’s better suited to play as a Weakside DE as opposed to what would be him strictly limited to the MIKE spot in order to mitigate his lateral weaknesses. What position Swint sticks at is still a mystery and his contributed to his minor fall in the rankings. He could realistically stick at either position, although it ultimately comes down to Swint’s preference, the coaches’ preference, as well as how Swint’s body develops over the next few years.
Swint is an interesting take in this class. As Tommy outlined, Swint’s position is in question and his size at 240 pounds is intriguing. As Coach Venables said one of Swint’s major attributes is hitting with “concrete in your helmet.” He can hit.
He has a huge wingspan, but his arms aren’t skinny—they are grown man, DE arms (natural big and strong). His legs are tree trunk certified. I think he could end up at defensive end, but I see him also sticking as a large MLB who easily gets up to 240 and can run sideline to sideline with that weight. He will need to work on agility and maintaining his short space quickness as he adds weight, along with improving his overall instincts, if he stays at LB and if he goes to DE then he will need to improve his bend and learn technique, but he is a mold of clay.