Father And Son: Swindalls Share Senior Year Experience

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Senior center Evan Swindall
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Senior center Evan Swindall
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Dec. 2, 2013

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. -- Watching Ole Miss center Evan Swindall play in the SEC, his father Perry Swindall said, was watching his son's dream come true.

"He's wanted to play in the SEC since he was in the seventh grade," Perry said. "I coach for a living and coached him all through high school, so it was really special to watch him pursue this dream. And to see it become a reality at a place like Ole Miss and what he's been able to accomplish has been really special to him."

Swindall will be honored tonight by the Jackson Touchdown Club as the team's most valuable senior. He has played in 39 games with 34 starts in his four-year career, including 32 straight starts dating back to the 2011 season.

A coach's son, Swindall changed high schools between his sophomore and junior seasons, from Russellville (Ala.), to Spain Park (Ala.), and again between his junior and senior season, from Spain Park to Lafayette (Ga.). But for the last four-plus years, the Swindalls have called Ole Miss and Oxford home.

"It made us closer as a family," Perry said. "They're still close. We moved here to Oxford so we wouldn't miss a minute of what he was doing. Our younger son is probably Evan's biggest fan, so it's worked out great for our family."

"It was new to me being in one place," Evan said. "I have a lot of close friends here. I have been with Emmanuel McCray for four and a half years. We're all really close."

Swindall is one of 11 fifth-year players from the 2009 Ole Miss recruiting class on this year's team, having greyshirted along with fellow seniors Mike Marry and Cameron Whigham during the Rebels' 2009 Cotton Bowl season.

"It was a good thing for me," Swindall said. "I got to work out with Mike Marry because he was a greyshirt with me also. I took nine hours because you can't be a full-time student. I focused on school and working out, not having to do a lot of other stuff that first semester. It was really good for me and how I developed."

In 2010 and 2011, Swindall's freshman and sophomore seasons, Ole Miss went 4-8 and 2-10, respectively.

His junior and senior seasons, under head coach Hugh Freeze, the Rebels are bowl eligible for the second year and have equaled last year's win total, having gone 7-6 with a win in the BBVA Compass Bowl last year, the program's first bowl berth since 2009.

"Last year's senior class and this year's senior class, who were the two upperclassman groups we inherited here, I couldn't be more pleased with the buy-in that they've had," Freeze said.

"You appreciate a win," Swindall said. "It doesn't matter who it's against; a win is a win. After the two previous years before Coach Freeze got here, we had to make a change. It all started last year with those seniors. And we have continued to try to make things better here."

Swindall was one of 24 seniors honored on Senior Day, but he and his dad have taken it all in since the beginning of the season.

"I have been able to hold off most of the emotions for the most part," Evan said. "I'm sad that (the Missouri game) was my last home game, but I'm also glad that I had the chance to be at this university to play football."

"I appreciate that Evan is not going to look back and say, `I wished I had enjoyed it more,'" Perry said. "Going into this season, he understood that this was his last time around at Ole Miss, and he's really taken it all in. And as a dad, it's been the same thing. We have appreciated all of these last-time things, like the Walk of Champions. This was the last time he was ever going to do that. As a family, we have really taken that in and enjoyed it."

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Rebels Look to Enhance NCAA Tournament Resume

      Saturday, February 28, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Despite the most recent home loss to Georgia on Wednesday night, Ole Miss remains a team projected to be solidly in the field, as the Rebels put their school record four-game SEC road winning streak on the line when they... read more

    • PHOTOS: Ole Miss Snow Day 2015

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Athletics

      Here's a collection of snow days photos from Ole Miss Athletics Photographer Josh McCoy (@OleMissPix):The Pavillion at Ole Miss in winter! #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissMBB @OleMissWBB pic.twitter.com/nHyhVPlDvG-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) February 25, 2015 Awweeee.... #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/R1BDZ0shvS-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix)... read more

    • VIDEO: The Flagship Football Promo

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Football

      read more

    • Rebels Ready for Rematch with Georgia

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      If recent history is any indication, Ole Miss and Georgia are likely to go down to the wire on Wednesday night. Four of the last five meetings over the last three seasons have been decided by five points or less,... read more

    • VIDEO: The Pavilion Time Lapse

      Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      read more

    • Golson, Prewitt Compete at NFL Combine

      Monday, February 23, 2015 - Football

      The defensive backs, including former Ole Miss players Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt, participated in on-field workouts at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday in Indianapolis. Looking ahead, Ole Miss will hold its annual pro day on March 5... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Feb. 17-23, 2015)

      Monday, February 23, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with a 71-65 win at Mississippi State and a 59-57 victory over Tennessee. The Rebels improved to 10-4 in the... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Feb. 22

      Sunday, February 22, 2015 - Athletics

      Despite winter weather that affected many teams, it was a busy week for Ole Miss athletics. The men's basketball completed a 2-0 week and has positioned itself well entering the last two weeks of the regular season. The baseball, women's... read more

    • Bramlett Impresses in First Two Starts Back

      Sunday, February 22, 2015 - Baseball

      After missing the end of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season due to recovery from a torn labrum, sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett has been brilliant in his first two outings back in 2015, fanning 19 batters through 12.0... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Locker Room by Lids

      Saturday, February 21, 2015 - Athletics

      read more

    • Rebels Look to Complete Thursday-Saturday Sweep

      Saturday, February 21, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      For the second time in as many weeks, Ole Miss embarks on a Thursday-Saturday swing, returning home to host Tennessee on Saturday after a 71-65 win on Thursday at Mississippi State. During the previous week, Ole Miss was on the... read more

    • Moody's Career Night Lifts Ole Miss Past MSU

      Thursday, February 19, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The game hung in the balance.  Mississippi State had just regained a 54-52 lead with 6:25 left, taking advantage of a 6-0 run. Head coach Andy Kennedy challenged his team, and junior guard Stefan Moody answered the... read more

    • Rundown of Ole Miss Future Football Schedules

      Thursday, February 19, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss and Cal will play a home-and-home football series in 2017 and 2019, the schools and ESPN announced Thursday. It marks the Rebels' first matchup with a Pac-12 school in football and will be only the program's second visit... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Feb. 10-16, 2015)

      Monday, February 16, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 10-16, 2015Men's Basketball- Ole Miss saw its six-game winning streak snapped with a one-point loss to No. 23 Arkansas Saturday night. Junior guard Stefan Moody and senior forward M.J. Rhett each scored 16 points... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Feb. 15

      Sunday, February 15, 2015 - Athletics

      The men's basketball team marches on toward March, the baseball team opened the 2015 season with a series win over William & Mary and the softball team prepares for its home opener under first-year head coach Mike Smith. The winter... read more