Lake Gibson's Swanson Says He's Going to LSU
Tue. June 05, 2012 at 10:01 p.m. | By Solange Reyner
By SOLANGE REYNER
LAKELAND | Kennard Swanson, a defensive lineman, likes to punish opposing players who try to gain any yardage against his team.
He'll attempt to do the punishing part in college, too, but in the other direction.
Swanson, a 6-foot, 245 pound junior lineman for the Braves, said Tuesday that he committed to play collegiate football for Louisiana State University, a decision he made almost a week after LSU coach Les Miles offered him a full athletic scholarship.
The twist: He'll have to learn how to play as a fullback on the offensive side of the ball, a position LSU, and many other colleges who had offered him scholarships, projected he could fare well at the next level.
"I prefer the defensive side of the ball, but I don't mind playing on offense," said Swanson, the second player in the past year from Lake Gibson to commit to an SEC program.
Trent Taylor, a freshman defensive lineman at Tennessee, had 14 sacks and 66 tackles last year for Lake Gibson. He could see some time as a starter this year, which means he and Swanson could potentially face each other in the future.
Swanson, who had 11 sacks and 46 tackles last year, also was used as a running back in short-yardage situations, scoring eight touchdowns in that role.
He was considering offers from Pittsburgh, South Florida, Southern Cal and five other schools. The decision to go with LSU was easy.
"They're recruiting him as a fullback, but if they can't use him they'll move him to the defensive line," Lake Gibson defensive line coach Robert Whitaker said. "That's why he chose to go that route. He'll also be playing in the best conference in the United States and possibly competing for a national championship year after year. It's a win-win situation for him. He's not going and looking anymore. This is what he wants."