I love this kid, size reminds me of Skrepenek and play reminds of Jake Long....watch out.
...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
Coach Hoke and his staff have made a habit out of filling recruiting classes up rather early with little to no defection. That trend has already started again in the 2016(!) class with the very early commitment of OL Erik Swenson. Swenson is just a sophomore but already stands at 6’7” and tips the scales at right around 300 lbs. His size, athleticism, and rather solid technique for a young player has earned him some big-time offers from the likes of in-state programs, Illinois and Northwestern, along with Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech. As soon as Michigan offered him he wasn’t shy about naming the Wolverines his leader and it was only a matter of time before he made it as official as he can for now.
As a sophomore what kind of a player is Erik Swenson right now? What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?
I’ve already gotten a lot faster and stronger off the ball. I still want to develop my punch so I can really deliver a blow to somebody. My pass blocking is probably my biggest strength right now and I wouldn’t say I really have a weakness just some things to perfect.
When you arrive in Ann Arbor in a couple of years what kind of player do you want to be then? How would you like to be different from now?
I just need to be bigger, stronger, and faster. The rest of it will come with training and coaching.
I know you’ve been to Ann Arbor quite a few times. How many visits have you made and why do you like going there so much?
I’ve been there six times and they get better and better each time. The people, city itself, the coaches, the facilities, the restaurants. I just love it up there.
Liking it so much did you ever even think about anywhere else?
Northwestern was a little hard to say no to, but not that hard compared to Michigan. (Laughs)
You mentioned the coaches, tell me about your relationship with them.
They’re wonderful! Their wives act like they’ve known you for 20 years already. You can just tell that they all really care about you. The entire family feel is not forced at all. It’s very genuine.
So when did you definitely know that Michigan was going to be the place for you?
Right after the Notre Dame game. I wanted to wait until my season was over to announce it but I knew it after that game. I just knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else and no other college could compare to Michigan.
Tell me about how your commitment actually happened.
I called Coach Funk on Sunday night (11/24) telling him that I wanted to verbally commit and then on Saturday at the game I was able to shake all of the coaches hands and they just smiled and said welcome to the family.
The commits for Michigan are notorious for being close before they even arrive on campus. Has that started for you yet?
Yeah a little. Ian Bunting is probably #1 as far as who I’m closest with right now. All of the guys are friendly though. It was easy to see during my last visit.
I know there are only a few 2016 with offers from Michigan right now but are you eyeing anybody to recruit?
Not really yet. I tweeted at Issac Nauta soon after I committed. I’m definitely eyeing him for sure!
The number 77. What’s that mean to you and especially to you at Michigan?
Yeah man, I talked to Coach Hoke about that already. I just asked how do you get #77 and he said that he picks if you are worthy enough to wear it. That was pretty much it, but I know it’s a big deal.
Legends numbers, The Big House, the history. Tradition is obviously a big deal at Michigan. What does it mean to you to be a Michigan Man?
I think it is a great honor to be considered a Michigan Man. I can not wait to play on that field.
Erik Swenson is another great ambassador for the Wolverine football program. He was very polite and well spoken and his passion for Michigan is very clear and he will wear the uniform as proudly as anyone. He has a chance to be one of the highest rated offensive linemen in the midwest so nabbing him this early is a pretty big deal. He already has near prototypical size for a left tackle and he still has two more years of high school ball to hone his skills and grow. He could be an absolute monster by the time he gets to Ann Arbor. The number 77 has to be earned and after talking with him I think Swenson will earn it.
I love this kid, size reminds me of Skrepenek and play reminds of Jake Long....watch out.
That's what I thought as well. While I don't remember Skrep's size I do remember him starting as a freshman and being a stud offensive lineman. Hopefully Swenson can become a 2 time all american as well.
I hadn't heard that 77 was becoming a number that a player needs to "earn." I hope it doesn't turn into another #1 jersey that has become basically retired. I suppose that they could make it into an official legend's jersey but I think we've already got enough of those.
thought Jeremy Gallon should have worn the #1 jersey this year.
But it looks like the best reciever on the team will be wearing #21 for the forseeable future. Maybe if/when we get two great recievers at the same time we can give out both numbers.
But I like the idea that if you want to wear it, be prepared to live up to it.
keeps an informal list in his head of numbers that are not tossed on the pile to be handed out with no regard for history.
"so I can really deliver a blow to somebody" - the nasty streak that good linemen have.
from outside Hoke's office, "Now I say to you, Erik, upon this rock I'll build my line and all the powers from the snakepit in the south will not conquer it.
I see what you did there. :)
So true, yet not something you often hear from recruits!
i've been to columbus about 30 times and have probably spent more than 6 months there. despite the fact that it's a considerably larger city, it has fewer good restaurants than AA.
Hopefully he'll be the next great one after the next great one.
Ugh...enough of this earning numbers/being worthy bs. If the kid wants the number, give it to him. If another O-Lineman has it already, let them hash it out. Same goes for every other number as far as I'm concerned. I think I'll take a spin by Schembechler hall and let them know.
Erik do you have any younger brothers perhaps in 8th grade at 6'5" and 260?
Go Blue and Welcome to Michigan.
Something like this:
"The commits for Michigan are notorious for being close before they even arrive on campus. Has that started for you yet?"
I realize that this was from the interviewer, but it reminds me of the things that I really really like about him. Despite the issues with development, and the tough tough year, his teams always seem extremely cohesive, even prior to showing up on campus. And they, to my eyes, never seem to collapse.
I'm really hoping he can fix the other issues, because team unity like that could really act like a force multiplier.
Is this guy projected at guard or tackle?
OK that he's not aware of his weaknesses; he's not going to be exposed much at that size against HS competition. Dunno how much bigger he wants to be than 300 tho.
he will shed baby fat and gain muscle as his muscles bathe in the natural steroid bath that is puberty. he's fine. if he arrives on campus at 6'7 and 315 with a bit more muscle and bit less fat than he's carrying now he will be the same size as...jake long.
plus it'd be a bit odd to be talking about him taking on the long/lewan jersey number as a guard.
Great stuff. Thanks Brandon.
Any idea what his committment means for OL numbers for the rest of the 2016 class? I understand that it's a long way off and all but I've known Thiyo Ludkusa since he was a (relatively) little guy and I'd love to see him get an offer.
Nice interview. Very respectful and appropriate tone and you brought out some information that is non-specific to Erik that speaks to Hoke's recruting (family atmosphere, genuiness, kids recruiting other kids). Perfect for a kid Erik's age. I'm puzzled about the crap thrown at you; stuff like this shows where your heart is and it's good.
This is going to date me and I'm not even that old but damnit these kids have way cooler uniforms/helmets than we did back in highschool. Please note that I am 100% against messing with Michigans uni's but considering that there are a bazillion HS's across the country I am completely for having a non-traditional color scheme.
I thought the same thing. That uniform is pretty sick for a high school uni. Definitely beats the giant, blousy jerseys with massive holes in the mesh that I wore.
I always enjoyed the old school big hole mesh. I thought they were kind of badass
become 6'7" 300 lbs as a high school sophmore? That is incredible.
By having a dad that is 6'7 and north of 350 lbs. which he does :)
...can't wait to see this kid suit up for Michigan!
a great football player and a great person. Glad he chose Michigan.
6' 7" and sounds like a good kid, yes please. I can't wait to see what he can do. He was a great get.
What do you think about his size? Do you feel 6'7" 300 is pretty accurate at this time for him?
That's straight from him. (He did say 6'7" with shoes on) but he did say that was accurate.
Can develop the OL to be akin to that of this years Stanford...then I say...look out...
Very pleased that young mr Swenson will be with us soon and
C'mon down, Sterling Jenkins !!!