DAYARIO JAMAL “D.J.” SWEARINGER

Free/Strong Safety

University of South Carolina Gamecocks

#36

5:10.4-208

Greenwood, South Carolina

Greenwood High School

 

OVERVIEW

The hard-hitting tackler has been a mainstay in the Gamecocks secondary the last three seasons after converting from weak-side cornerback to free safety as a sophomore. The coaching staff quickly recognized his athletic ability when playing on both sides of the ball at Greenwood High School and made him a primary recruiting target.

 

Unfortunately, Swearinger first committed to attend the University of Tennessee in 2008. When the administration forced then Vols head coach Phillip Fulmer to resign, it also resulted in several recruits changing their minds. One was Swearinger and head coach Steve Spurrier welcomed the second chance opportunity to coach a player who would go on to help convert the South Carolina defense into a dominating force.

 

When Swearinger was first shifted to free safety, the defense was struggling, especially the defensive backfield. They limped through the 2010 season, finishing 46th in total defense (354.36 ypg) and 97th in pass defense (241.93 ypg). When Swearinger became the full-time starter in 2011, the improvement was remarkable, as the Gamecocks ranked third in total defense (267.69 ypg) and second in pass defense (131.69) during the 2011 campaign.

 

At Greenwood High School, Swearinger was known as a tenacious tackler, but he also excelled as a quarterback in the run-option system instituted by head coach Shell Dula.

As a sophomore, Swearinger rushed for 400 yards and logged 68 tackles with five interceptions. The following year, he logged 516 yards rushing and nine scores, as he also posted 93 tackles and an interception.

 

The second-team All-State selection rushed for 904 yards and twelve touchdowns as a senior quarterback and caught 20 passes for 210 yards as a receiver. He also logged 77 tackles, broke up eight passes and caused two fumbles as a safety. He would close out his career by recording an interception in the Shrine Bowl Game of the Carolinas.

 

Swearinger was rated a three-star prospect that was considered the 20th-best safety in the nation and the 14th-best prospect in the state of South Carolina by Rivals.com. He also received a three-star prospect grade and was regarded as the nation’s 82nd-best safety according to Scout.com. He was considered the state’s ninth-best player by Super Prep and named to Prep Star’s All-Atlantic Region squad in 2008.

 

During his first season at South Carolina, he played in thirteen games as a reserve weak-side cornerback. He delivered 19 tackles (13 solos) and broke up a pass as an understudy to All-Southeastern pick, Stephon Gilmore.

 

Swearinger bulked up during the offseason, but had to patiently wait behind Chris Culver and Akeem Auguste during the first half of the 2010 schedule. When neither had much luck covering receivers, the staff placed the sophomore in the lineup for eight games and he responded with 66 tackles, two for losses, a forced fumble, five pass deflections and also returned an interception for a score vs. Troy. There would be no more auditions for the free safety position – Swearinger had staked claim and was “establishing” roots.

 

Swearinger soon became a ferocious open field tackler. He ranked second on the team with 80 tackles, chipping in with a forced fumble and three interceptions during his junior season. He was tabbed All-Southeastern Conference second-team in 2012, as the senior delivered 79 tackles, caused two fumbles, recovered two others, intercepted a pair of passes and deflected seven others.

 

The season would see a little controversy, as Swearinger was suspended for the Missouri game by the Southeastern Conference commissioner after he was involved in a helmet-to-helmet collision on receiver Patrick Hearn in the previous week’s game vs. Alabama-Birmingham. While both the player and coach agreed the hit was unintentional, they both accepted the SEC Office’s decision.

 

”Five, ten years ago, they would call that ‘it’s part of football,’ but it’s not,” Steve Spurrier said of Swearinger’s hit. ”We’re going to miss one of our brothers out there,” Gamecocks linebacker Shaq Wilson said. ”But our defense is eleven people to the ball. We just have to go out there and be able to communicate, keep guys positive.”

 

CAREER NOTES

Swearinger started 33-of-52 games at South Carolina, where he was primarily the free safety, but also lined up in the slot in the nickel packages and it was not uncommon to see him play either cornerback spot over the course of a game…Finished with 244 tackles (184 solos) that included 6.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and three quarterback pressures…Caused four fumbles and recovered two others, advancing one 65 yards for a vs. Alabama-Birmingham, the longest return of a fumble recovery in school history…Had six interceptions for 94 yards, returning two thefts for touchdowns and also deflected sixteen passes…Gained 126 yards on six kickoff returns (21.0 avg).

 

2012 SEASON

A second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection, Swearinger started twelve games at free safety, helped the Gamecocks finish 11th in the nation in total defense (315.54 ypg), as he recorded 79 tackles (62 solos) with three stops behind the line of scrimmage and one quarterback pressure…Caused and recovered two fumbles…Deflected seven passes and gained 72 yards on a pair of interceptions…Credited with a pair of pass breakups in the season-opening win at Vanderbilt, including one on a fourth-down play on the Commodores’ final drive, securing the victory…Had an interception in the win over East Carolina…Grabbed a fumble and rambled 65 yards to pay dirt in the win over Alabama-Birmingham…Logged 10 tackles at LSU and credited with a team-leading 10 tackles including eight solo stops in the win over Tennessee…Had a season-best 13 stops that included 10 solos vs. Arkansas and, with his 69-yard interception return for a score, was named the Walter Camp Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week and the SEC co-Defensive Player of the Week…Posted a dozen tackles vs. Wofford, giving him 35 tackles over a three-game stretch…In the Outback Bowl vs. Michigan, he added two pass breakups and forced a fumble in that contest.

 

2011 SEASON

Swearinger started all thirteen games at safety, recording a career-high 80 tackles (58 solos) with 1.5 stops for losses of four yards, as he caused a fumble, intercepted three passes and deflected three more…Also chipped in on special teams with two kickoff returns for 39 yards…Played the first two games of the season at strong safety, before moving to play the free safety spot for the rest of the season…Had seven tackles vs. both Georgia and Navy…Logged his first interception of the year vs. Kentucky…Had the best game of his Gamecock career at Mississippi State and was named the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week after totaling a career-best 12 tackles and intercepting a pass in the waning minutes of the game to preserve the 14-12 win…Added his third pick in as many games when he intercepted a Tennessee pass near the goal line…Credited with nine tackles vs. Florida and eight more vs. The Citadel…Registered seven solo tackles and forced a key fumble in the Capital One Bowl win over Nebraska.

 

2010 SEASON

Swearinger played in all fourteen games, starting eight, as he saw action at both the free and strong safety positions…Finished fourth on the team with 66 tackles (51 solos), including two for loss…Credited with five pass breakups…Also returned four kickoffs for a 21.8 yard average…Had four tackles and a forced fumble at Auburn…Tied for the team lead with a nine tackles in an upset win over top-ranked Alabama in his first career start…Made seven tackles including a tackle for loss at Kentucky…Delivered seven tackles coming off the bench vs. Arkansas…Made first start at strong safety vs. Florida and had six tackles and a pass breakup…Picked off a pass vs. Troy and returned it 22 yards for his first career touchdown, as he was also in on five tackles in the game.

 

2009 SEASON

Swearinger was a solid contributor as a true freshman defensive back…Played in all thirteen games, as he recorded 19 tackles, including 13 solo stops…Credited with a pass break-up and one quarterback hurry…Posted three tackles vs. Alabama and three solo stops at Arkansas.

 

INJURY REPORT

2012 Season…Sat out spring drills while rehabbing from a foot injury that he played through in 2011.

 

AGILITY TESTS

4.63 in the 40-yard dash…1.59 10-yard dash…2.64 20-yard dash…4.11 20-yard shuttle…

6.70 three-cone drill…37-inch vertical jump…10’4” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…32 3/8-inch arm length…9 ½-inch hands…76 1/8-inch wingspan.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

Swearinger attended Greenwood (S.C.) High School, playing football for head coach Shell Dula…Excelled as a quarterback in the run-option system…As a sophomore, he rushed for 400 yards and logged 68 tackles with five interceptions…The following year, he logged 516 yards rushing and nine scores, as he also posted 93 tackles and an interception…The second-team All-State selection rushed for 904 yards and twelve touchdowns as a senior quarterback and caught 20 passes for 210 yards as a receiver…Also logged 77 tackles, broke up eight passes and caused two fumbles as a safety…Closed out his career by recording an interception in the Shrine Bowl Game of the Carolinas…Was rated a three-star prospect that was considered the 20th-best safety in the nation and the 14th-best prospect in the state of South Carolina by Rivals.com…Received a three-star prospect grade and was regarded as the nation’s 82nd-best safety according to Scout.com…Was considered the state’s ninth-best player by Super Prep and named to Prep Star’s All-Atlantic Region squad in 2008.

 

PERSONAL

Retailing Business major…Born Dayario Jamal Swearinger…Resides in Greenwood, South Carolina.

 

PLAYER STATISTICS

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
STATS GP GS TK SO AS FR FC INT TFL PBU SACK BK
2009 13 00 019 013 006  00  00  00 0.0-00   01  0.0-00  00
2010 14 08 066 051 015  00  01  01 2.0-02   05  0.0-00  00
2011 13 13 080 058 022  00  01  03 1.5-04   03  0.0-00  00
2012 12 12 079 062 017  02  02  02 3.0-03   07  0.0-00  00
TOTAL 52 33 244 184 060  02  04  06 6.5-09   16  0.0-00  00

 

INTERCEPTION RETURNS ADVANCED FUMBLE RECOVERIES
STATS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG NO YARDS AVG TD LONG
2010  01        22 22.00  01    22  00        00 00.00  00    00
2011  03        00 00.00  00    00  00        00 00.00  00    00
2012  02        72 36.00  01    69  01        65 65.00  01    65
TOTAL  06        94 15.67  02    69  01        65 65.00  01    65

 

KICKOFF RETURNS
STATS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG
2010  04      087 21.75  00    25
2011  02      039 19.50  00    23
TOTAL  06      126 21.00  00    25

 

SWEARINGER GAME BY GAME LOG

2012 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Fum. Ret.

Tackles

PBU

FC

Pres

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Vanderbilt 08/30/12 at Vanderbilt 17-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

3

1

0

1

2

0

0

East Carolina 09/08/12 East Carolina 48-10

Yes

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

UAB 09/15/12 UAB 49-6

Yes

0

0

0

1

65

1

0

3

0

0

0

1

0

0

Missouri 09/22/12 Missouri 31-10

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kentucky 09/29/12 at Kentucky 38-17

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

Georgia 10/06/12 Georgia 35-7

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

LSU 10/13/12 at LSU 21-23

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

Florida 10/20/12 at Florida 11-44

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tennessee 10/27/12 Tennessee 38-35

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

8

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arkansas 11/10/12 Arkansas 38-20

Yes

1

69

1

0

0

0

3

10

0

1

1

0

0

1

Wofford 11/17/12 Wofford 24-7

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

11

0

1

1

0

1

0

Clemson 11/24/12 at Clemson 27-17

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

Michigan 01/01/13 Michigan 33-28

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

7

1

0

0

2

1

0

Season Totals

2

72

1

1

65

1

17

62

2

2

3

7

2

1

 

2011 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Kickoff
Ret.

Tackles

PBU

FC

Pres

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

East Carolina 09/03/11 East Carolina 56-37

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia 09/10/11 at Georgia 45-42

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Navy 09/17/11 Navy 24-21

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

4

1

0

1

0

0

0

Vanderbilt 09/24/11 Vanderbilt 21-3

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

Auburn 10/01/11 Auburn 13-16

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kentucky 10/08/11 Kentucky 54-3

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

Mississippi St. 10/15/11 at Mississippi St. 14-12

Yes

1

0

0

1

16

0

7

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tennessee 10/29/11 at Tennessee 14-3

Yes

1

0

0

1

23

0

0

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arkansas 11/05/11 at Arkansas 28-44

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

Florida 11/12/11 Florida 17-12

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

Citadel 11/19/11 Citadel 41-20

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

Clemson 11/26/11 Clemson 34-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

2

0

0

Nebraska 01/02/12 Nebraska 30-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

7

0

1

3

0

1

0

Season Totals

3

0

0

2

39

0

22

58

1

1

4

3

1

0

 

2010 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Kickoff
Ret.

Tackles

PBU

FC

Pres

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Southern Miss. 09/02/10 Southern Miss. 41-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia 09/11/10 Georgia 17-6

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Furman 09/18/10 Furman 38-19

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

Auburn 09/25/10 at Auburn 27-35

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

0

1

0

Alabama 10/09/10 Alabama 35-21

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

6

0

0

0

0

0

1

Kentucky 10/16/10 at Kentucky 28-31

Yes

0

0

0

3

62

0

1

6

0

1

1

0

0

0

Vanderbilt 10/23/10 at Vanderbilt 21-7

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

3

0

0

0

1

0

0

Tennessee 10/30/10 Tennessee 38-24

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

4

0

1

1

0

0

0

Arkansas 11/06/10 Arkansas 20-41

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

Florida 11/13/10 at Florida 36-14

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

0

0

0

1

0

0

Troy 11/20/10 Troy 69-24

Yes

1

22

1

0

0

0

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Clemson 11/27/10 at Clemson 29-7

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

2

0

0

Auburn 12/04/10 Auburn 17-56

Yes

0

0

0

1

25

0

1

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

Florida St. 12/31/10 Florida St. 17-26

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

1

22

1

4

87

0

15

51

0

2

2

5

1

1

 

2009 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

PBU

FC

Pres

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

North Carolina St. 09/03/09 at North Carolina St. 7-3

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia 09/12/09 at Georgia 37-41

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fla. Atlantic 09/19/09 Fla. Atlantic 38-16

Yes

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mississippi 09/24/09 Mississippi 16-10

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

South Carolina St. 10/03/09 South Carolina St. 38-14

Yes

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kentucky 10/10/09 Kentucky 28-26

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Alabama 10/17/09 at Alabama 6-20

Yes

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Vanderbilt 10/24/09 Vanderbilt 14-10

Yes

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tennessee 10/31/09 at Tennessee 13-31

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arkansas 11/07/09 at Arkansas 16-33

Yes

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

Florida 11/14/09 Florida 14-24

Yes

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Clemson 11/28/09 Clemson 34-17

Yes

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Connecticut 01/02/10 at Connecticut 7-20

Yes

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

6

13

0

0

0

1

0

1

 

 

 

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