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
    • Golson, Prewitt Headline Pro Day Participants

      Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - Football

      NFL Scouting Combine participants Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt are among 18 former Ole Miss players expected to go through Pro Day workouts in hopes of realizing their professional football dreams. More than 25 representatives from 22 different teams were... read more

    • Both Sides of Ole Miss and the NCAA Tournament Discussion

      Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      The Ole Miss women's basketball team heads to the 2015 SEC Tournament in Little Rock, Arkansas, having won three of its last four games to finish the regular season with a 17-12 overall and 7-9 SEC record and earn the... read more

    • Johnson Embraces New Role, New Challenges

      Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss welcomes back seven starters from the nation's No. 1 scoring defense, but two of those starters, seniors C.J. Johnson and Mike Hilton, will be starting the spring at different positions, with Johnson at Mike linebacker and Hilton at... read more

    • Quarterback Competition Begins in Earnest

      Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss began spring practice Tuesday, and for the first time under head coach Hugh Freeze, the Rebels will have a starting quarterback not named Bo Wallace. With the graduation of Wallace, sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade, as well... read more

    • Freeze, Rebels at SEC Media Days on July 16

      Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - Football

      The Southeastern Conference announced today Kickoff '15, its annual football media days, will be held July 13-16, remaining at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. The event will continue to be four days in 2015. The... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Feb. 24-March 2, 2015)

      Monday, March 2, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 24-March 2, 2015Track & Field - Ole Miss got SEC titles from Jalen Miller (60m), Daniel Bulmer (mile) and the distance medley relay, and the Rebels achieved their best SEC indoor finish since 1984.... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- March 1

      Sunday, March 1, 2015 - Athletics

      The calendar turned to March, as the men's and women's basketball teams march toward the SEC Tournament and postseason play. The baseball team faced perhaps its biggest challenge of nonconference play. The softball and men's tennis teams each had another... read more

    • Rebels Look to Add to NCAA Tournament Case

      Sunday, March 1, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      The numbers and bracket projections may not be in his favor at this point, but head women's basketball coach Matt Insell is selling the NCAA Tournament selection committee on his team passing the eye test, as Ole Miss enters its... read more

    • Kennedy, Rebels Look to Flush LSU Loss

      Saturday, February 28, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      BATON ROUGE, La. -- With an opportunity to perhaps lock itself into the NCAA Tournament, or at the very least enhance its resume, Ole Miss lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, falling on the road at LSU... read more

    • 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