Great hands. Runs precise routes. Lunch pail guy. Not afraid to make the tough catch over the middle. Another coach on the field. We're all familiar with the superlatives used to describe modern Caucasian receivers. However, Ryan Swope cannot be typecast. Ryan Swope is not Wes Welker. The reason? I HATE WES WELKER, and I love Ryan Swope. Also, he's incredibly fast. He once ran the 100 meter dash in 10.7 seconds and runs the 40 in the 4.4 range. Wes Welker would punch Tom Brady in the ovary for that kind of speed.
Ryan Swope arrived on campus in 2009 as part of Mike Sherman's first full recruiting class. Though primarily a running back in high school, he was recruited as a wide receiver. Rivals ranked him as the 66th best player in Texas, and he chose A&M over Texas Tech (good call). Like most of his class, Swope contributed immediately, seeing playing time in 12 games his freshman season, mostly as a returner and backup receiver, catching 19 passes for 172 yards and 1 TD.
During his sophomore campaign Swope rose to prominence as an offensive weapon to be reckoned with. He broke Rod Bernstine's record for receptions in a season with 72, and sealed the victory over Oklahoma with a huge 64 yard TD reception.
In 2011, Ryan Swope strode onto the national stage. He had six 100-yard receiving games and was chosen as second team All-Big 12, finishing with 89 receptions for 1207 yards and 11 touchdowns. He broke both his own A&M record for receptions and Jeff Fuller's A&M record for receiving yards.
Prior to the 2012 season Swope was one of three Aggies chosen as preseason All-SEC, along with Sean Porter and Luke Joeckel. Most fans (including myself) expected him to shine in Kevin Sumlin's offense, and he did not disappoint. It appeared to take him a few games to get into a rhythm, but he really hit his stride in the meat of the SEC schedule, finally catching fire with a huge game against Arkansas. He caught the game winning TD at Ole Miss and amassed 36 catches for 453 yards and 3 touchdowns during the crucial midseason four game stretch against LSU, Auburn, Miss State, and Alabama. Ultimately Swope finished the season in fine style with another 100+ yard performance in the Cotton Bowl for a final tally of 72 catches for 913 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Ryan Swope wraps his A&M career as one of the greatest offensive players to ever wear an A&M uniform. He will be placed squarely in the middle of the best A&M receiver debate, alongside Jeff Fuller, Terrence Murphy, and Albert Connell.
Here is brief list of some of his accomplishments:
- A&M's All-Time Leader in receiving yardage, with 3,117.
- A&M's All-Time Leader in receptions, with 252.
- 2nd most receiving touchdowns in A&M history with 24.
- Holds A&M records for receptions in a season and most receiving yards in a season.
- 14 career 100-yard receiving games, including a 206 yard performance against Baylor in 2011.
- A&M's All-Time Leader in Hair by a receiver.
2013 Cotton Bowl: Manziel to Swope 4th Down Touchdown Pass vs OU (via SECDigitalNetwork)