BEAVERTON, ORE. — D’Andre Swift just shook his head at the questions.
The conversation went like this: There has been significant buzz over the last month pointing him to Georgia. Does he see it? Where does that come from?
His answers were concise, but it didn’t sound like a young man seeking to throw anyone off that conclusion because he wanted to keep folks guessing. A general sense of “Not so fast” ensued. Is his mind made up yet?
“It is not,” Swift said for Nike’s all-star “The Opening” prospect camp. “Not at all. I want to complete the process and get to see all the schools I need to see and then I’ll be able to make my decision in late August or early September.”
He said that spike in momentum to Georgia has already happened before with another school during his recruiting process.
“I don’t know where that came from,” Swift said. “I guess people felt I visited there three times and everybody started thinking that. But I did the same thing earlier with Penn State. But I don’t pay attention to what everybody says. I always try to keep a level head and keep everything square. I wouldn’t put any one school ahead of any other right now.”
Swift said he needs to visit Alabama, Clemson and Florida State again before he makes his decision.
He said he has five top schools and does not have a leader. That’s even though the nation’s No. 31 overall prospect was projected to commit to Georgia by 10 of the last 11 predictions by 247sports’s popular “Crystal Ball” Feature. Those picks date back to late April.
He mentioned the relationships he has with Kirby Smart and running backs coach Dell McGee as a big draw to Georgia.
“My parents like it,” Swift said. “It is a great town to be in. The academics are also good.”
He said all of his Top 5 schools of Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Penn State are recruiting him very hard right now. He could not single out any school as the one that was coming after him the hardest. Not even over the last two weeks. It was just too close for him to call.
Swift felt that Clemson and Georgia were the best fits for him academically. Which schools have had the most effective pitches?
“Georgia and Clemson and Penn State have done it the smartest way,” Swift said. “By adding my family into it the most and being real vocal with my parents. That was the right way to do it because without my parents I don’t know where I would be right now.”
His parents like Alabama, Clemson and Georgia the best, he said. The Georgia commitments at The Opening this week have also been in his ear.
“They always tell me to be a Dawg and give me that woof woof,” Swift said. “Its just fun like that when we get together.”
Swift plays for St. Joseph’s in Pennsylvania. His high school team travels to Mission Viejo in California to open the season on Sept. 2. When he makes that trip and checks into his hotel room on that trip, he will announce his decision.
The running back position is crucial for Georgia for the Class of 2017. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are not expected to be back for their senior seasons and the program must reload at that spot. The Bulldogs seem to be in extremely good shape for Texan Toneil Carter, but it seems like there is significant recruiting left to do to land Swift.
That’s warranted as Swift looks to be one of the most versatile playmakers in town at The Opening. He feels that Georgia will only sign two running backs.
“If a school is only taking two running backs then they are only taking two running backs,” Swift said. “If one commits then that will change my process, but then most likely I will want to see other schools as well. So this is all really on my time right now.”
He likes how the schemes fit his skill set at Clemson and Georgia. The strongest attractions to Alabama were the school’s vast tradition and also the knowledge of head coach Nick Saban. Clemson and Georgia were also the best fits for his future major in broadcasting, he said.
When he commits, the 5-foot-11, 210-pounder will take official visits afterward.
Swift was not sure about the playing opportunity at Penn State. There are veterans ahead of him who will return next season. He felt that the chances to come right in and earn key snaps were very good at Clemson, Florida State and Georgia.
He considers himself a “pleaser” off the field.
“I just like to put a smile on people’s faces and trying to be a better vocal leader for my team,” Swift said. “I just like to do the little things I can to help make another person’s day.”
The other thing to keep in mind with Swift’s decision is the package deal with his first cousin Mark Webb, Jr. Webb told DawgNation earlier this week at The Opening that Georgia was the school he would choose if National Signing Day came this week.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.