MSU's Swenson Among the Big Ten's Best
Spartan fans are buzzing these days talking about Ringer and Wiley as potential All Big Ten players for 2008. Sure as those guys belong at the top of your list, you best not forget Stateâ€™s â€˜little big leg,â€™ Brett Swenson. The junior kicker from Pompano Beach, Florida has been almost as consistent as the morning sunrise.
Swenson had a minor sophomore slump last season and speaks candidly about his improved confidence and health. Like many others on this Spartan team, Swenson is a believer in the system. Why shouldnâ€™t he be, ball control offenses are a kickers best friend. Nothing does more to retain an offenseâ€™s momentum than a forty-plus yard field goal after a stalled drive.
When Swenson came down to the north endzone a couple weeks ago and banged one home to make it 16-7 MSU, the stadium breathed a collective sigh of relief and the wind went out of NDâ€™s sails a little more. Surly Indiana expected a miss on Saturday with Swenson attempting four field goals. Each of those four drives and potential momentum killers were salvaged as Brett went 4 for 4 and drove three of them through the posts beyond forty yards.
I will be the first to tell you that I have a soft spot for kickers. Maybe itâ€™s because they are usually built like cross country runners (Boleski would be the exception) and tend to over think everything. I certainly share some of those likenesses, but I also have a close friend that was a former ACC kicker. He routinely talked about the psyche that comes with the position. You are the hero or you are the goat. Swenson is playing the hero quite well so far this season; his lone miss came on his first attempt of the year in front of a hostile crowd in California.
One thing is certain. On Sunday mornings when you look over the Spartan stat sheet, donâ€™t forget Brett Swenson. Kickers usually decide one or two games every season and with this Spartan team, Swenson might determine more of them. Had Swenson done anything less than he has the past two weeks, MSU could be looking at 3-2 versus 4-1. In my preseason Governorâ€™s Watch, I listed Swenson as one of the ten most important players to watch in 2008. His importance through five games cannot be underscored enough.