|Bowling Green right place for Paul Swan (10-25-13)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Friday, 25 October 2013 06:21|
Paul Swan thought he was set for college football when things came crashing down in 2008.
Swan, a native of Nashotah, Wis., had been proactive in his college recruiting by sending out a highlight tape to colleges in the Midwest.
He received interest from North Dakota State and Bowling Green State University.
After attending a camp at Bowling Green and being offered a scholarship, Swan made his commitment to BGSU.
But, he was stunned when Gregg Brandon was relieved of his head coaching duties at the end of the 2008 season.
‘‘I was kind of freaking out a little bit. The staff that I was recruited by, the staff that I had gotten to know, they were probably all going to be gone,’’ said Swan, currently a fifth-year senior for the Falcons. He’s a two-year captain and a three-year starter at linebacker. ‘‘I was going to stick with BG if they honored their scholarship to me. It was a place that when I went there, I really liked.
‘‘I got to know the old coaching staff, and I didn’t know if these new guys were going to come in and totally change what they wanted, and come in and see that they didn’t like me,’’ added Swan, who is the only player from Wisconsin on BG’s roster.
When Swan made his official visit to Bowling Green, it was the first day Dave Clawson was on the job as the Falcons’ head coach.
‘‘He flew from where ever he was, all the old (assistant) coaches were still there,’’ Swan said. ‘‘It really showed a lot about coach Clawson’s character, to be there after just getting the job.
‘‘It really showed me a lot, and I knew he was going to be a great coach for me.’’
After watching tape on Swan, Clawson hoped he would keep his commitment to Bowling Green.
‘‘Paul’s a competitor. Football is very important to him,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘He has got some natural leadership skills. He’s just one of the those players, and one of those people that other people are drawn to.
‘‘He’s always team-oriented,’’ Clawson added. ‘‘He’s a great kid. I absolutely think the world of him. ... He just has all those intangibles.’’
Clawson added that Swan is very effective in delivering the message to the team about what needs to be done.
When asked what the message is this week for the BG-Toledo rivalry game, Swan said: ‘‘It’s just focus; be locked-in. We don’t want to look at this as a revenge game ... We’ve been beaten three straight times. My class hasn’t beaten Toledo as a player. We were on the team in ’09 that beat them, but we were redshirted.
‘‘It’s another game. It’s another team on our schedule. It’s a MAC (Mid-American Conference) game, so it’s obviously a championship game,’’ Swan continued. ‘‘We want this one bad, because it’s our rival, because we haven’t beaten them, but we have to make sure we’re not making it out to be bigger than what it is.’’
Kickoff for Saturday’s BG-UT game is 2:30 p.m. at Perry Stadium.
‘‘He’s going to be a key guy for us this Saturday, because Toledo certainly has a stable of very talented running backs,’’ Clawson said about Swan. ‘‘Paul is going to have to play big this week for us to be successful.’’
Swan is third on the team with 37 tackles, including 21 solos, and he has 165 career tackles. He moved to middle linebacker this season.
Swan has worked on all aspects of his game since arriving at Bowling Green, by continuingly building on the previous year.
‘‘If you look at the strength levels and the speed levels that Paul came here with and where he is now, he’s just made incredible advances,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘He’s very steady, and his preparation is excellent.
‘‘He’s a poster child for what we want players to do here when they get here.’’
When asked how he wanted to be remembered for his time at Bowling Green, Swan said: ‘‘He was just a hard-nosed guy, who worked hard every day, a player who came out and gave his all every play.’’
Swan is majoring in exercise science with a goal of becoming a strength coach.
He would like a shot at the National Football League.
‘‘It’s definitely something that I want to try for,’’ Swan said about the NFL. ‘‘Football has been such a big part of my life, I don’t want to look back 10 years from now and not have tried, and have a bunch of regrets.’’
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