May 23, 2008

Swanson ready to take the next step

Friday evening will be another big step in the life of Jack Swanson. It will be graduation night and a time to celebrate all the hard work he has put in at Naples High School, including a state championship in football last season. But, the future Hawkeye is ready to take the next step in his life and is excited about the opportunity that awaits him starting this summer in Iowa City.

Q: What have you been doing since signing day?

SWANSON: I finished up the track season and we finished 5th in the 4 x100, so that was good. I am just finishing out school and we have graduation on Friday.

Q: How are you feeling about graduation day?

SWANSON: Really good. Glad it is here. It has been a good run and I am excited to be finished with high school.

Q: Talk a bit about your football season. The whole season had to be pretty special as you have time now to reflect on it a bit.

SWANSON: It is still pretty unreal. After it happened, I had a couple of dream, or I guess you could call it a recurring nightmare, that we had to replay the game and lost. It has sunk in with me and it was pretty special.

Q: Last year at this time you were starting the real process of looking at schools, including Iowa. Reflect back on how things came together for you in picking Iowa.

SWANSON: A this point last year it was getting pretty hectic and all of the attention really came out of nowhere. I started to narrow it down and some schools stepped up and other moved down. I got my list of schools to Iowa, Northwestern, and Florida International. Then I started planning trips, like the one that I made to Iowa when I committed.

Q: Where you sold on Iowa pretty quickly on the visit?

SWANSON: I wouldn't say I was sold the minute I came, but I visited Northwestern the day before and when I came into the Iowa Football complex, it was a whole different level. I was pretty much astounded.

Q: What are your expectations in your first year on campus?

SWANSON: I really don't have expectations. I know the coaches don't make any promises, so I am going to go into camp and do what I can. I just need to do what they expect me to do and if that means that I redshirt and learn the defense, then that will be fine. But, if they want me to just play on special teams, then I will do it to the best of my abilities.

Q: When are you headed to Iowa City?

SWANSON: I am coming in the middle of June and workout with the team for two weeks and do my orientation. Then I am coming back home for the rest of the summer and then my parents are going to drive me back up and move in at the end of July.

Q: Are you doing any all star games?

SWANSON: No, our county doesn't have an all star game. We are one of the only counties that doesn't have an all star game.

Q: A lot of times they call a safety a quarterback on defense. What is the most important thing for a safety to do?

SWANSON: I think for any football player, you have to aggressive. I don't think you can play football any other way. As a free safety, I moved from quarterback, so I kind of see my role like that of a quarterback. I think safeties being on the back end, you have an advantage in that other guys are sort of locked in being close to the line. I think the safety has a different view of the game.

Q: Coach Phil Parker filled two roles in a lot of ways because he is the guy who started recruiting you and he will be your position coach. What do you think of him so far?

SWANSON: I really like him. He is all he is cracked up to be. He is a little crazy, but in a good way. I think he has a great personality and I have enjoyed spending time with him.

Q: Will you grow a beard while you are at Iowa?

SWANSON: (laugh) Not until I establish myself at Iowa.

Q: So it could make a comeback?

SWANSON: (laugh) It could make a comeback. I miss the beard look, but a lot of females don't miss it, specifically my sisters, my mom, and my girlfriend.

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