#47 Fullback Kennard Swanson
Sophomore, 6'0, 253 lbs.
Stats in 2014: Swanson started four games and played in eleven, recording a measly 28 rushing yards, but an impressive 206 receiving yards. He was a clutch player, seemingly able to get a big play at the right time. Not bad for a guy who came in thinking he'd just be blocking.
Spot on Spring Depth Chart: None. The depth chart doesn't have a fullback this year, but Swanson would be the starter if the position were there.
How He Came to USF: From Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland. He played fullback and defensive tackle in high school and got a lot of interest from a lot of colleges. His offers included, but were not limited to, LSU, West Virginia, USC, Ole Miss and Purdue. He was committed to LSU, but was hindered by low test scores. He improved academically and committed to USF in late February, 2013.
Recruiting Rankings: Three stars from all of the major recruiting sites. Everyone had him listed as one of the top five fullbacks in the country.
Projected Playing Time: Swanson used to line up as the traditional I-formation fullback, but now that everything is from the shotgun, he will be positioned differently. He will sometimes be lined up as the lone running back, where you would expect Mack or Johnson, flanking the quarterback in a zone read look. Sometimes he'll be the second back in a split back formation. That's where I think he is best, because he can be the extra blocker on a blitz, or be the lead blocker on a sweep, but he could get the ball and run it himself, which should catch the defense off guard. He will also be a great guy to dump the ball to in times of trouble. Swanson won't be listed as a starter, but he will probably appear in every game as something of a specialist.
Fun Fact: Swanson never practiced catching passes in high school; he developed his catching skills as a member of the scout team in 2013 and last season on the field. "I honestly never played a position where I had to catch the ball, so I never really knew. It's just something I've gotten better with since I've been here," he said after his emergence as an offensive threat.
Highlights: Here is a clip of Swanson catching a 22-yard pass against Wisconsin, and here he catches one for 17 yards against ECU.