From 3-star SEC signee to the NFL Draft: D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina


SDS will count down the 31 biggest overachievers of the SEC, at least as far as their recruiting rankings go. We’ll take a look at two and three-star prospects coming out of high school who became NFL Draft picks in 2011, 2012 and 2013 … finishing up the end of the month with the five who became first-round draft picks. Find out which stars from your school defied the recruiting rankings coming out of high school.

Here’s a day-by-day ‘month of May’ look at who ignored their recruiting rankings and went on to get drafted in the NFL.

No. 8 – D.J. Swearinger, DB, South Carolina

H.S. RANKING: Three-stars in 2009, No. 20 safety in America.
NFL DRAFT: 2nd round, No. 57 overall by Houston in 2013
COLLEGE STATS: In a four-year college career, Swearinger finished with 244 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 6 INTs, 22 passes defensed and three defensive touchdowns, .
NFL STATS: Swearinger started 10 of 16 games at strong safety for the Texans, racking up 70 tackles and an interception as a rookie in 2013.
THE SKINNY: Coming out of Greenwood (S.C.) High School, Swearinger was a two-way star and definitely had a knack for getting into the endzone–one way or another. That continued in college. Auburn and Tennessee both offered scholarships also, but it would have been tough for anybody to get him out of his home state. Swearinger was a second-team all-SEC performer as a senior.

Editor’s note: For this particular series, Saturday Down South’s references to recruiting rankings are to’s version, as the industry composite didn’t exist when many of these NFL Draft Picks were coming out of high school. Rivals has ranked high school prospects since 2002.

The Countdown:



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