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From Warrior to Ram, Aloha's McSwain off to SFCC

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Aloha head coach Bill Volk said he'd put senior wide receiver Maurice McSwain's hands up against anybody.

Whenever Maurice McSwain sets foot on a Division One football field — whether that’s in a year or two — the Aloha star wide receiver wants to make an immediate impact in a winning program.

McSwain doesn’t take pleasure in standing on the sidelines. It’s why the three-way Warrior standout played offense, defense and special teams for Aloha last season. He wanted to win, contribute and be the workhorse, the first-line guy his Warrior teammates looked to for big plays.

Initially, when McSwain began the recruiting process, the Warrior standout wanted to take his 4.5 speed and gluey hands straight to a high-major school. Yet, when those doors closed McSwain sought out a junior college that would best prepare him for the diligence of D1 competition.

San Francisco City College offered everything McSwain was looking for: a chance to play right away for a proven D1 feeder school, get accustomed to the physicality of the college game and get a shot to go up against good competition every day in practice. More than anything, SFCC proposed the possibility to showcase McSwain’s skills to a slew of big-time universities who are plugged into the Rams’ winning ways and reputation for producing top-notch talent.

After visiting the campus this spring and taking in everything SFCC is about, McSwain committed to the Rams and will join the program in June after the Les Schwab Bowl.

“The atmosphere down there was for me,” said McSwain. “All the coaches and players were cool. They were joking and having fun, but they were serious about playing football. They had a lot of guys down there trying to earn a spot, so there’s a lot of competition. They seemed like the best option for me and what I want to do. I can’t wait for the opportunity.”

McSwain was told by the Ram coaching staff they want the 6-foot pass catcher to come in off the bat and be a big part of the offense right away. SFCC runs a pass-happy, shotgun spread offense with multiple wide receivers that’ll regularly put the ball in McSwain’s hands. Plus, when McSwain visited the campus he got to go up against SFCC defensive back Kenyatta McGhee-Jackson, during spring practice to get a taste of what’s to come at the next level. Squaring off versus corners like McGhee-Jackson —a lanky 6-foot corner with 4.4 speed and a handful of Division One offers — was just what McSwain was looking for to help prepare him for a possible high-major future.

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Aloha wide receiver Maurice McSwain committed to San Francisco City College with plans of eventually playing on the Division One level in the near future.

“Going against that every day in practice is what a competitor wants,” said McSwain. “That’s why I want to go down there. I don’t want it to be easy. I want to work for it. I want the challenge.”

A big play threat for the past three seasons at Aloha, McSwain was weapon who had to be accounted for on every down during Metro play. Opposing defensive coordinators had to put two, even three defenders in McSwain’s vicinity to keep the ball away from him, yet the Warrior’s go-to guy still caught 57 passes for 1,024 yards and seven scores. A ferocious competitor who never backed down from a challenge, McSwain relished the physical play and confrontations that came with dueling the Metro’s best cornerbacks.

“Any ball that’s catchable in the air should be mine,” said McSwain. “Whether that’s going up for it or diving for it, I’m going to give all I got. I don’t have the Thomas (Tyner) speed, but I feel like when you’re smarter and want it more than the other guy it comes easier.”

“He’s a playmaker,” said Aloha head coach Bill Volk. “He has unbelievable hands. I’d put his hands and his toughness up against anybody. He’s a kid who loves the intensity and loves competition. He’s going to excel without a doubt. He’s one of the best to come out of Aloha the past few years, and we’ve had a lot of good athletes.”

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - McSwain was never one to shy away from a jump ball in the air, especially against single coverage.

SFCC has churned out a countless amount of D1 prospects dating back to the 1970’s when O.J. Simpson donned the red and gold as a slithery tailback. It’s one of the best football junior colleges not only on the West Coast, but in the nation as well with a sterling reputation for helping athletes like McSwain reach their dreams and get to the next step in their careers. Head coach George Rush has a distinguished, respected reputation, and his word carries a lot of weight amongst high-major schools.

“Everything just clicked like it should have,” said McSwain. “I really just have to perform how I should, do well in the classroom and it should work out for me.”

Once McSwain is finished as a Ram, if that’s in 2015 or 2016, Oregon State is at the top of his list for schools he’d like to transfer to. But, if he feels comfortable away from the Northwest, Arizona State or UCLA could also be options when the time comes.




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