It’s good to have options, and Trojans football player Jovan Swann has plenty.
Still in the process of completing his junior year at Center Grove High School, the 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive lineman already owns scholarship offers from 13 different Division I football programs.
Don’t be shocked if the list grows in the coming weeks.
Swann, if he so chooses, can break down the current list geographically (nine different states) or by conference affiliation (six), or by recent bowl bids or even the lack thereof.
And though all of Swann’s suitors are unique in their history, uniform colors, coaching philosophies and game-day traditions, they walk common ground in a young man’s heartfelt appreciation of their interest.
Swann takes none of the attention for granted and is being mindful not to fall into such a trap.
“It’s truly a blessing to have the offers I have. I pray each day and thank God for all the blessings I have,” said Swann, who last season shook off his share of double-teams to finish second for the Trojans’ defense in sacks (8.5) while accumulating 46 total tackles.
“There really isn’t a no-brainer college choice for me right now,” he added. “Every school has something I like.”
Or in the case of Indiana University, someone.
Jovan’s brother, Mario, is a 2013 Center Grove graduate who is currently a redshirt sophomore defensive back for the Hoosiers. Mario Swann started his college career at Eastern Michigan University and sat out the 2014 football season to comply with NCAA transfer rules.
The youngest of the Swann football standouts insists having his brother wearing cream and crimson won’t necessarily influence him one way or another.
“My father wants me to play wherever I want to play. I’ll have a top five (schools) by the beginning of summer. Right now I’m just keeping an open mind,” Jovan said.
Swann was born in Detroit and lived there until the family moved to Greenwood in 2001.
He remains a devoted University of Michigan football fan even though the Wolverines have yet to offer Swann a scholarship (two Division I programs from his home state, Michigan State and Western Michigan, have offered).
Swann is currently projected as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com.
However, by playing for a program such as Center Grove’s with its four straight semistate appearances and megawatt conference affiliation (Metropolitan Interscholastic), it’s possible he could be bumped to four-star status between now and the conclusion of his senior season.
Just knowing big No. 51 is back to help anchor his defense is enough to make Trojans coach Eric Moore smile.
Swann — along with ends Devon Wilson and Cameron Tidd, safety Connor Steeb and middle linebacker Jackson Sodrell — is expected to form the nucleus of what could be one of the program’s stingier defensive units in recent seasons.
Moore said he believes one of Swann’s main strengths in the eyes of the college coaches coveting him is an ability to play nose tackle, tackle, or either weakside or strongside end at the next level.
“Jovan is a great pass rusher. Great strength and long arms, and he’s pretty athletic,” Moore said. “College coaches see this versatile athlete who can play any of the four spots and has the size to grow into.”
Mario Swann, who’ll take the field for IU’s annual spring game Saturday as a solid 6-1, 205, is proud but not at all envious of his “little” brother’s success.
“Jovan is a big guy, but he’s always had the drive to one-up what I’ve done. He’s so big now I avoid any physical competition with him. Right now it seems the only thing I can beat him in is a foot race,” Mario Swann said.
“But that’s my little brother. I always want what’s best for him.”
THE SWANN FILE
Name: Jovan Swann
Family: Parents, Mario and Jolanda; brother, Mario, 20; sister, Milan, 14
Favorite TV show: “Ridiculousness”
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite movie: “Men of Honor”
Favorite athlete: Ndamukong Suh
Favorite team: University of Michigan football