Tennessee is still looking for immediate help on the offensive line heading into the 2018 season. Whether that’s someone who can compete for a starting job or provide quality depth, the Vols’ new coaching staff has been adamant about trying to find some more options at that unit. And they found someone who might be able to do just that.
According to a report from Rivals, the Vols are set to host junior college offensive tackle David Swaby on an official visit this weekend. Swaby plays for Navarro College in Corsicana, California and will have either three or four years to play. He’s a member of the 2018 recruiting class, meaning he’ll be eligible for this upcoming season.
The massive offensive lineman measures in at 6-foot-9, 315 pounds according to his 247Sports profile, and he currently holds offers from Baylor, Ole Miss, Houston, Arkansas State, and others. He unofficially visited Houston on Monday and is set to take an official visit to Tennessee this upcoming weekend. He’s currently unrated by recruiting services, but he was given a two-star rating out of high school by the 247Sports Composite rankings and was set to play for New Mexico as part of the 2016 signing class.
But grades kept Swaby from taking the field. And he had to take the JUCO route instead.
Now, however, Swaby’s grades seem to be in order, and he’s been contacted by several schools who need immediate help on the offensive line. And that includes Tennessee.
“They told me they have one spot left,” Swaby told Rivals. “Coach Pruitt said it can’t be a position where they hit or miss. It has to be a home run. They are extremely excited to get me on campus and for me to get a feel for the place by meeting the coaches and players.”
Ole Miss has scheduled an official visit with Swaby for June 1st, and Oklahoma is trying to get him to visit there as well. So even if Swaby enjoys his visit to UT’s campus, it’s unlikely he’ll make a decision this weekend and close his recruiting. He simply has too many teams interested in him to go ahead and shut it down.
And when you look at his film, you understand why teams are pursuing him.
Swaby is a giant wall of an offensive lineman. With his huge frame and weight, he’s nearly impossible to move. His film shows several defensive linemen trying — and failing — to even budge him on passing downs. And he’s able to maul defensive ends on run plays as well. But he doesn’t just let his size do all the work; Swaby plays through the whistle and is aggressive too. And he’s not going up against a bunch of small guys in the JUCO ranks either. Some of the defensive linemen he faces on his film are a pretty good size. His footwork is solid, and he can move well for his size too. He plays a little high at times, but that’s expected when you’re as big as he is.
The huge offensive lineman played primarily at right tackle for Navarro, and there’s a good chance that’s where he’ll get a shot for Tennessee if he decides to join the Vols. If Trey Smith can come back healthy in the fall, he’ll likely be the Vols’ starting left tackle. But UT didn’t have a solid right tackle option this spring and have yet to figure out most of the offensive line in general.
Tennessee didn’t have enough healthy players this spring to field a full two-deep depth chart of scholarship players on the offensive line. That will change this fall when players return from injury and three-star JUCO transfer Jahmir Johnson and three-star incoming true freshman Taylor Antonutti join the roster. But the Vols still need some better depth at the unit, and Swaby would be the biggest body in the entire group if he comes to Tennessee.