The Texas Longhorns helped secure their post-David Ash future in 2013 Whitewright (Texas) quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, who has already signed all his paperwork and is enrolled at Texas for the spring semester so that he can participate in spring practice.
A consensus four-star prospect, the 6-4, 230-pound Swoopes drew comparisons to Vince Young early in the process and was rated as a five-star recruit, but some tough performances at The Opening and Elite 11 soured some national opinions on him and resulted in 247Sports and ESPN listing him as an athlete. 247Sports even dropped him as low as 30th in the state of Texas.
Swopes held offers from Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and UCLA prior to committing to Texas.
Perhaps it shouldn't have been that surprising that Swoopes struggled at events in which he was not able to use his legs, the biggest threat in his arsenal, by far. And because he had little experience at camps, combines, or playing in 7-on-7. It didn't help his cause that he ran in the 4.7 range at The Opening, either.
A track and basketball athlete in the football offseason, there were times when Swoopes would go months without even picking up a football.
Here's the evaluation of Swoopes after the US Army Bowl:
Whitewright quarterback Tyrone Swoopes -- Of all the Texas commits in attendance, the week was probably the most important for Swoopes. His delivery looked more crisp and elevated since his time at The Opening last summer and his performance in practice on Thursday was the best that he's looked to many of those in attendance.
The game was not exactly a highlight for him, though he had few opportunities. On the first drive, he fumbled when he tried to avoid Al-Quadin Muhammad in the backfield, but failed to protect the football and had it stripped. He also missed a wide receiver who had a step on his opponent on a pass that didn't quite have enough air under it.
Expectations have been significantly tempered since last spring as he's spent more time in the spotlight at various events and then had a disappointing senior season. It's not exactly time to start raising them sky-high again, but Swoopes did demonstrate improvement, both from the summer until the start of bowl week preparations, and then during the week of practice.
He won't be a serious part of whatever quarterback competition takes place in the spring as he benefits from enrolling early and redshirting. The big takeaway from the week is that he continued to flash enough potential to become a good college quarterback. And flashed more consistently than he has in the past at some events.
As a result of that all, short-term expectations for Swoopes should be tempered, but he's also still in many ways the prospect that many thought he was early in the process -- a high-upside dual-threat quarterback capable of making big plays in both the running and passing game.
By 2015, if Swoopes can demonstrate a developmental curve with any type of upward momentum, the Longhorns could have quite a quarterback on their hands.
Recruitment timeline: Swoopes committed to Texas in February of 2012 and remained firm throughout the process prior to enrolling early.
Tyrone Swoopes (early junior highlights) (via 247SportsStudio)
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