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By Ethan Kye (with Keith Swearingen)

After my interview with Mickey Martino, I was feeling pretty good about how these rookie interviews have been going. While walking around the campus, trying to compile my notes for my articles, I saw the Cheetah, Keith Swearingen, taking some reps as a kicker, and you just know i had to squeeze him into this. I mean, a kicker for crying out loud The only other kicker i know be sides Keith is …. well we won’t get into that at this moment, but we will, however, get into this awesome interview with Keith.

EK: Tell me a little about yourself, where you are from and what high school did you attend? What was it like growing up in your home town? How were your school years in high school?                                                    KS: A little about where I am from…well, let’s put it this way, if you thought small towns were bad, mine was smaller. Sure some can claim a couple hundred people in their class. My hometown had a couple hundred people there. We were a tiny town and I attended a community high school where everybody knew everybody’s name. It was far more quiet than anything else, save maybe camping.

EK: So what college do you hail from? What was their program like and what did you take from them? What did you learn while you were there?                                              KS: I am coming from Kansas State. It’s a home state kinda thing. It was tough and with a lot of expectations to live up to. When you are under K-State coach you aren’t the player who showed the most going in, you are the player with a brilliant amount of potential. I have learned to live up to their pressure and how not to stress, even in bad situations.

EK: I see, like myself and many others in this draft, you have also thrown in your chips. What made you decide to join the draft? What are your goals once you have been selected to a team?                                       KS: Why shouldn’t I? The SFL is full of a lot of wonderful players that just scream glory, even at their worst, and I am quite eager to throw my chips in and build my own legacy. My goals are of course: titles. If I can’t get my team that SFL Championship, then I am not doing enough for my team. I don’t mean one championship; I am talking like, at least four or five in my career before I could even think about retirement.

EK: What are your expectations in a team locker room? What happens when you lose a game, what can we expect from you? Are you a leader or follower type and why?      KS: A locker room is sort of like your home away from home, and you’ll have a lot of guys there, from all sorts of strange perspectives and different lifestyles. Melding it all together into a cohesive unit can be a lot of work. For a team winning or losing, it starts in there, it’s where your emotions are at their highest and lowest. I hope i can give them a shoulder to lean on when we lose and make sure we do better next week or next season. I….I want to say I am a follower, but when it all falls, part of me is always willing to step up and help the other guys on the team. I am not afraid of saying “Hey, this went bad, maybe we need to try something else instead” and I hope they don’t take me the wrong way.

EK: What would you tell the new wave of rookies that have come in recently and to the ones that will be joining us as the season progresses and after the season?KS: To the new wave, welcome, of course I am not letting any other rookies unseat me and get me sent from the draft for some reason. I am always happy to see others joining after and I hope that I can be a role model for them to look up to about how to get things working properly.

EK: How do you feel about your fellow rookies? What would you say you have learned from them and who would you give a shout out to?                                                 KS: For the most part, it’s quite colorful, our group of rookies, and i am not really a majorly vocal rookie like the guys up in thw top ten or so. I have learned some, but mostly I am trying to forge my own path on my own successes and failures, while learning they all do the same. There’s… so many you could give shout outs too. I kinda hope if i end up on defense then i get to face off against Kody a couple times this season. They say the best way to temper something is with something just as strong as the thing in need of tempering.

EK: What are your current feelings about the up and coming draft? Are you nervous, excited, and like I asked Mickey, do i dare say it, worried?                                                KS: I am excited, there are so many rookies and there is a few new teams looking for quite a few players. I can’t wait to see just where i may end up at the end of the day, though I hope i find out super early into it.

EK: Thanks for your time Keith i highly appreciate it                                                    KS: No problem man! Have a good one and thanks for the interview!

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