There are many players who've impressed in Oregon fall camp, but one player who continues to be brought up by the coaching staff and his peers. Big number 44, Bradyn Swinson.
Swinson, a freshman defensive end from Georgia, was someone who some believed would take an extra year or so to develop, and while he still has room to grow, Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter was very impressed by him and how he's taken he's handled the demands of his new defensive scheem.
“Bradyn Swinson came off a really nice spring,” DeRuyter said following Thursday's practice. “His body has changed from last fall. He’s leaned down. I think that’s really helped his pass rush, and yet he’s still been pretty stout in the run game."
The Ducks have a solid first line of defenders with veterans Mase Funa and Kayvon Thibodeaux coming back to set the tone. Adrian Jackson is also health and has been performing well in fall camp. Even in the presence of experienced starters, DeRuyter said Swinson is holding his own.
"We’re always trying to develop depth where there’s not much of a drop-off from our ones to our twos to our threes," he said. "He’s battling to be a starter for us. So to have that competition is going to keep everybody sharp.”
With the new position came reshaping his body, and Swinson said while it wasn’t easy, he felt this was something he saw others on the team doing and felt motivated to follow suit.
“It was a grind,” Swinson said of the transformation. “But I want to show appreciation to my teammates and my strength staff because they took the time in and they told me if I do this, this would be a big step for you. So I really appreciate them for that and I listened, and they got me to a better spot that I'm at now.”
DeRuyter has a whole new defense in store for Oregon and it has been an adjustment period, but Swinson is taking it in stride.
“The defense is great, it helps everyone the way the defense is set up and it’s setting up everybody. It’s not just for one position group to make plays it’s for everybody to make plays.” Swinson said. “It really brings out and really shows the athleticism that teammates have. In practice you see your teammates flying around and making plays with their players it just feels great.”
Despite a shortened season in 2020, Swinson's game still evolved with the help of his teammates.
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“I had great teammates in front of me,” Swinson said. “I had Mase Funa and Kavon Thibodeaux that helped me out a lot. They took time out of their own days to just work on my footwork, technique and everything. They helped me out so much and I really thank them for that.”
While Swinson continues to progress in his development and effort to break into the starting lineup, he'll also add value on special teams.
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