USF, UCF now battling for Lake Gibson fullback
USF and UCF are now battling for Kennard Swanson, a top-rated fullback recruit previously committed to LSU and Florida, according to Keith DeMyer, his coach at Lakeland Lake Gibson.
DeMyer said both LSU and Florida had backed off on Swanson because of academic concerns, but the Bulls and Knights, having studied his transcripts, think Swanson is close enough academically that he could reach NCAA requirements with a strong spring and improved test scores. He's due to take the ACT on Saturday and is expected to take an official visit to UCF on Monday, with a trip to USF likely next weekend, DeMyer said. The new interest from the Bulls and Knights was first reported Thursday by Rivals.com.
Swanson -- 6 feet and 245 pounds -- is rated as the nation's No. 2 fullback by both Rivals and 247sports.com. DeMyer said USF head coach Willie Taggart himself called Lake Gibson on Thursday to speak with coaches. UCF has an edge in that the Knights have been recruiting Swanson throughout the process, while USF didn't begin recruiting him until Willie Taggart was named head coach in December.
The school knows Taggart well, as he and assistant Ray Woodie signed a defensive tackle, Devante Terrell, from Lake Gibson while at Western Kentucky last year. Lake Gibson has been good to USF -- quarterback Matt Grothe played there, as did defensive end Claude Davis. DeMyer said he's never had a player sign with UCF.
Swanson's academics remain a concern, but DeMyer said USF and UCF are willing to sign him and hope for improvement in the classroom, something LSU and Florida weren't willing to do. The two future Big East rivals will battle for Swanson's signature over the next week or two.