NEW ORLEANS — It may be mid-April, but it remains quite early in the recruiting process, particularly for Bruce Jordan-Swilling.
Louisiana’s No. 5 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Jordan-Swilling is far from narrowing down a list of his top schools. In fact, he remains unsure of what position he may wind up at in college.
One school the New Orleans native says is showing plenty of interest is LSU, and the hometown school offers Jordan-Swilling a unique opportunity.
“I don’t like to compare myself to anyone else,” Jordan-Swilling told SEC Country at Nike’s “The Opening” regional in New Orleans on Sunday when asked about being Leonard Fournette’s eventual successor.
“I want to start my own legacy.”
At what position may be the bigger question.
Jordan-Swilling has been a star on both sides of the ball at the high school level.
Early on in his career, he was a part-time running back and full-time starter at outside linebacker at Brother Martin High School (New Orleans).
In 2015 as a junior, Jordan-Swilling shifted into the No. 1 running back role, which led to a 2,000-plus-yard season and 34 touchdowns.
The 6-foot, 215-pounder could play running back or linebacker with the Tigers, and while he prefers to play on the offensive side of the ball, he remains open to whatever opportunities may open up down the road.
“I prefer running back because I like getting the ball,” Jordan-Swilling said with a smile. “But if they (LSU) need a linebacker, and I commit there, I’d go play linebacker. It’s no big problem. If they wanted me to play linebacker, I could go up there and play linebacker if they want me to.”
LSU is among three SEC teams pursuing Jordan-Swilling the hardest. Count Alabama and UGA as the other two.
Those schools join a race that also involves Southern California, UCLA and Miami to possibly make the cut of Jordan-Swilling’s favorites.
“I want to do something to keep guys updated in the recruiting process, but I don’t have a top five,” Jordan-Swilling said. “Every school is sticking out to me so far, and I want to take recruiting nice and slow. … Those schools are coming hardest me the hardest, but I have a lot of favorites. I still don’t know.”
Jordan-Swilling visited Tuscaloosa, Ala., in late January upon picking up the offer from the SEC West power.
The back’s relationship with the coaching staff started a few weeks earlier, when they were in New Orleans courting former teammate and now Tide signee, tight end Irv Smith.
They have remained in touch since then, and have peaked Jordan-Swilling’s interest.
“They’re looking at me as a running back,” Jordan-Swilling said. “Coach (Burton) Burns came down last spring to see me and said I have good size, good speed and good footwork. We run basically the same offense as they do right now, so I wouldn’t have to learn anything. I could come in and compete for a starting spot. I’d come in and have a head start against all the freshmen.”
Jordan-Swilling was scheduled to visit UGA last month, but due to school assignments was unable to make the trip.
Getting out to the Peach State won’t be an issue, as his father, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Patrick Swilling, is a Georgia native, who has been speaking about the Bulldogs’ tradition at length.
“My dad is from Toccoa, Ga., and he’s been telling me about the program,” Jordan-Swilling said. “He went to Georgia Tech, but he wants to visit his family, so I’d have no problem going there.”
Jordan-Swilling made it to LSU’s Junior Day last month to re-establish his relationship with new Tigers running backs coach Jabbar Juluke, who has known the Swilling family for a number of years.
That longstanding relationship is hard to overlook, and has intrigued Jordan-Swilling as he keeps in touch with Juluke about his possible future in Baton Rouge, La.
“He’s been telling me to stay humble, to keep my grades up and to work out and be a successful teenager,” Jordan-Swilling explained. “When the time comes, maybe I could go up there and be a part of his team and he could coach me.”