College coaches invite prospects to their camps each summer in order to get an up-close look at their abilities. The staffs often have their favorites before players arrive for the events.
Matt Swaine showed up on campuses as another face in the crowd. He left them having made his mark.
The Illinois defensive end turned heads pretty much at every camp he attended in the last month. The stops included Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Northwestern (Chicagoland Showcase), Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois.
"I think I sparked some interest from schools," Swaine said. "I beat some players that these schools had committed or are looking at. Overall, it was a good experience to go out show these coaches what I can do."
Iowa was familiar with Swaine when he showed up for camp. Hawkeye defensive end Riley McMinn attended Rochester High as well.
"The coaches acknowledged me and talked with before camp," Swaine said. "When we did the pass rush drills they ended up liking something I did really well. At the end of the camp, my recruiting coach, Brian Ferentz, talked with me for a while and asked me for film."
Lester Erb had been pursuing Swaine for Iowa before he left for Nevada during the off-season. He recruited McMinn, who also was a wiry high school player.
Some scouts wondered if McMinn would add the necessary weight to play end in college. Swaine has run into the same questions.
"I think I need to carry a picture of Riley with me," Swaine joked. "I'm actually heavier than he was as a senior."
Swain, who stands 6-foot-7, said he has added 37 pounds since this time last season and is up to 208. After being named the MVP at the Illinois camp last week, he spoke with head coach Tim Beckman.
"He told me that I need to eat more peanut butter sandwiches and gain some more weight and they'll offer me," Swaine said. "That's what all the coaches have said. It felt good to get an award even, though. I wasn't really one of the guys they were looking at when the camp started."
Swaine reported running the 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds and the pro shuttle in 4.12 at the Illini stop. A 9-foot, 4-inch broad jump at Northern Illinois led the Husky coaches to approach him at their event.
"The defensive line coach, (Ryan) Nielsen, was really working with me in drills, teaching me some new moves," Swaine said. "He asked for film at the end of camp. He texted me two hours after the camp and asked that I call him. I talked with him on the phone last Tuesday. "
Swaine sparked quite a bit of interest at the Chicagoland Showcase on the campus of Northwestern.
"I had a lot of schools come up to me there," he said. "There were Ivy League schools, I-AA schools and even Northwestern came up to me. They all expressed interest. The Northwestern defensive line coach (Marty Long) told me that I was one of the Top 5 defensive linemen there."
Matt Swaine hit the summer camp circuit looking to prove his worth. The Illinois defensive end came away happy with his results.