The short drive to LSU is nothing out of the norm for New Orleans cornerback Tre’ Swilling.
In fact, that’s where the three-star prospect has been multiple times throughout the spring, including last weekend for the annual Bayou Picnic.
Swilling, a 6-foot, 180-pounder out of Brother Martin High School (New Orleans) spent much of his recent visit to LSU discussing his future with some of the nation’s elite defensive prospects, perhaps devising a plan in which they could all compete for the same squad.
In doing so, the cornerback felt better about the in-state Tigers’ chances of keeping him home.
“It was awesome to be able to compare recruiting stories,” Swilling told SEC Country. “I’m big on getting with the best guys in the nation and seeing where their minds are at. It makes me feel like we can get together at LSU or somewhere else and it could be something very special, and the coaches (at LSU) see that and can take advantage of the time we were there …
“They’re (LSU) pretty high on my list. They solidified their spot on the schools that are coming at me hard. They’re really high on my list. It’s hard to say they boosted (their spot) because they’ve been high on there, but they ensured a spot on the list because I felt like I was at home with a home atmosphere and everyone felt like family.”
LSU’s Bayou Picnic featured a star-studded cast of prospects, which included both Swilling and his brother, Bruce Jordan-Swilling.
Swilling was in the ear of many of the nation’s top prospects, including five-star Dylan Moses and four-star Todd Harris, as well as a handful of newly minted LSU commits in quarterback Myles Brennan, offensive linemen Austin Deculus, defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin and linebacker Patrick Queen.
Being able to converse with other recruits in the same position as Swilling provided perspective for the cornerback.
“It was very relaxing, there wasn’t any pressure or anything to make a decision or come to us,” Swilling said. “They respected the fact that I’m taking it slow. They (LSU) recently got some new recruits to come to their school, but I want to make sure I pick the school right for me and not get caught up in the hype.”
“I was talking with some of the top kids in the nation,” he added, referring to Moses, Brennan, Shelvin, Deculus, Queen and Harris. “That’s a great group of guys there, and it was great hearing about them and talking with them to see how everything is going.”
The Bayou Picnic represented Swilling’s second unofficial visit to LSU this spring. He was also in attendance for LSU’s “Junior Day” in late February.
This time around, Louisiana’s No. 16-rated prospect was more keen on the little details — like the conversations between him and the Tigers’ defensive coaches, all of which featured a common theme.
“Since I have been there so many times, I wasn’t trying to see anything else or find something new. I know all the ins and outs and how things work,” Swilling said. “I saw some of the players like (Davon) Godchaux, Leonard (Fournette), and it was nice to talk to Coach (Dave) Aranda, Coach (Les) Miles and Coach (Corey) Raymond, Coach (Ed) Orgeron and Coach (Jabbar) Juluke, who has been so consistent in our involvement and recruitment.
“They were telling me where they want me to fit in with the program, as a lockdown corner on the outside. Nine of the 11 starters are back on defense, and all — if not most — are gone for next year. Basically, Go Tigers.”
Swilling previously told SEC Country that he doesn’t want to be one of several cornerbacks heading to one school, but has since backed off that stance.
The New Orleans native is now ready to compete.
Swilling is confident in his ability to procure playing time wherever he winds up, regardless of class size or who is returning or leaving at his position.
That includes LSU.
“More recently, I started not caring about who they’re recruiting,” Swilling explained. “If the place is fine for me, it doesn’t matter if it’s five guys or 30 guys. My mindset lately has been just to compete wherever I go. I’m working right now so when I get to that phase in my life, I’ll be as ready as I should be.
“Coming into a class with five different cornerbacks or two cornerbacks, it’s good and bad. It’s good because I’ll be working with them, but it’s bad because there are guys a year ahead of you in the progression. Whatever it is, I’ll compete for a spot regardless.”
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tigers Stadium.