A lot has changed for Aidan Swanson in the last year.
This time a year ago, the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy punter held a preferred walk-on offer from Clemson. Now, he has a full scholarship offer to play at Clemson and is committed to the Tigers for the 2019 class.
The Clemson Insider visited IMG Academy for the second straight year as part of our Tour of Champions on Wednesday and spoke with Swanson on site.
“The process was really good for me,” he said. “I started off with the PW last summer and then worked that relationship with coach (Danny) Pearman, coach (Tony) Elliott, coach (Jeff) Scott and coach (Dabo) Swinney, and then they scholarshiped me right after I visited for the spring visit. So, that’s how it ended.”
Swanson committed to Clemson on March 5, the same day he received the full scholarship offer from Pearman.
Swanson’s mother is a Clemson alum, so it was an emotional moment for her and her husband when they found out about their son’s offer.
“I actually got it when I was in school,” Swanson said. “I got the call from coach Pearman, and right away I called my parents. They were out grocery shopping, and they picked up the phone and I told them, and they just started crying.”
Swanson is the nation’s top-ranked punter according to Kornblue Kicking. He expects his primary role at Clemson to be handling the punting duties, though he could also serve as a backup to B.T. Potter on the kickoff team.
“Punting mostly,” he said of what the Tigers want him to do in the future. “I can do kickoffs, so I’ll probably just back up BT because BT puts it through the end zone. So, yeah, that’s going to be my role I think.”
Swanson has been All In since he committed and continues working to help the Tigers recruit some other talented players on IMG Academy’s roster.
“Noah (Cain)’s one of them,” he said. “Nolan Smith, Mikel Jones… Those are just a few.”
Swanson transferred from Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., to IMG Academy ahead of his junior year. His experiences at the elite boarding school and student-athlete training program should make the transition to being a student-athlete in college much easier.
“It’s basically college simulation pretty much,” Swanson said of IMG. “It’s not like any other normal high school. You’ve got a rigorous college schedule where you have practice in the morning, school in the afternoon and like three meetings a day.”
As Swanson gets set to start his senior season on Friday, he is simply looking to do his job to the best of his ability while helping his team win at the highest level.
“Just be the best all-around punter I can be,” he said of his goals. “Just be consistent in everything I do and help this team get a national championship.”