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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nate Swift: Mr. Forgettable?

So far this spring, we’ve seen the media’s attention granted to a host of Nebraska receivers, like Menelik Holt, Curenski Gilleylen, and Chris Brooks. Thus far, those three have accounted for a total of 5 receptions and 101 yards in their respective careers. Meanwhile, Nate Swift has moved his way into the record books with very little notice from the mainstream media.

As it stands Swift has compiled the following stats:

· No. 3 in Nebraska Career Receiving Yards (1,535)
· No. 4 in Nebraska Career Receptions (103)
· Nebraska Freshman Records for Receptions (45), Receiving Yardage (641), Touchdowns (7)
· Third all-time in career 100-yard receiving games with 3 (behind Johnny Rodgers and Irving Fryar).
· First-Team Freshman All-Big 12 (The Sporting News, 2005)
· Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (AP, 2005)
· Two-Time Second-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2005, 2006)
· Two-Time Big 12 Commissioner’s Fall Academic Honor Roll (2004, 2007)
· Big 12 Commissioner’s Spring Academic Honor Roll (2005)

So, Swift needs just 41 receptions to pass Johnny Rodgers in career receptions. In addition, Swift needs less than 1,000 yards receiving to pass Rodgers in all-time career yardage and is just one more solid season from passing Terrence Nunn at the #2 spot in career yardage.

Yet few are mentioning Swift when discussing this year’s receiving corps. My question is why? In my estimation, he’s been our most consistent receiver for the past few seasons. Yes, Maurice Purify had more big plays and deserved the attention he received, but Swift also did some damage. For instance,

· In 2007, 28 of his 36 catches gained first down yardage (78%)
· On 3rd down plays all 11 of his receptions kept drives alive and moved the sticks
· In 2006, 16 of his 22 catches gained first down yardage (73%)
· On 3rd down plays 4 out of his 8 receptions kept drives alive and moved the sticks

So, again I ask: why is everyone forgetting about Nate Swift? Yes, we supposedly have a lot of talent coming up at the WR spot. But let’s not downplay the role of proven contributors like Swift and Todd Peterson. These guys know the offense, they’re skilled route runners, and they’ve proven their mettle in Big 12 play. The guys the media is currently spoon feeding us this spring? Not so much.

Just something to keep in mind when your college football fantasy (or real life spring game) draft comes around.

Nate Swift on YouTube:

Career Highlights:

My Favorite Highlight: