The Elite 11 Finals are going on this week in Redondo Beach, Calif. Texas commit Tyrone Swoopes is among the 25 top quarterbacks competing at the event.
Swoopes arrived at the event after being reclassified as an athlete instead of a dual-threat QB in the latest ESPN 150.
West Regional blogger Erik McKinney caught up with Swoopes:
Not just an athlete?
Arguably the biggest change in the recently updated ESPN 300 was the transition of Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Tex./Whitewright) from dual-threat quarterback to athlete, as well as his slide to the No. 100 player overall. There was plenty of discussion about those two decisions, but none of it came from Swoopes.
"I saw it, but I don't really think anything of those things," Swoopes said. "They don't mean anything, so I didn't think anything of it."
It also didn't provide any extra motivation for him heading into the Elite 11 finals, a competition of pure quarterbacking ability. The 6-5, 229-pound Swoopes never needs that. He rushed for 2,267 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior, but said he looks forward to getting a chance to let it rip through the air this week.
"I think there always is that little chip [on my shoulder] to show people that I can pass the ball," Swoopes said. "People just look at my highlight tapes and see me running all the time."
The early commitment to Texas means a lot to Swoopes, who called it his dream school since he was in middle school. He also knows that coming in on the heels of a few rocky years at the quarterback position, which followed phenomenal seasons with Vince Young and Colt McCoy, means the pressure to duplicate those national championship appearances will be ever present. Although, like the positional rankings, Swoopes doesn't pay that much mind.
"I hear about [the comparisons to Young] all the time," he said. "But I don't really think of it as pressure. I just take it in and it doesn't really affect me much. I know it's big shoes to fill, but I think I'll be ready for it."
For more from the Elite 11 Finals, read McKinney's full Day 1 notebook.