By Mason Wittner for the Times Georgian
Kevin Swint made history Wednesday morning.
Sitting on stage inside the auditorium of the Mabry Center for the Arts, the Carrollton High School senior became just the second football player in Trojan history to take part in the Early Signing Period by penning his National Letter of Intent to further his academic and athletic career at Clemson University. Swint joined former Trojan Jordan Bonner, who signed with Purdue University during the Early Signing Period in 2017.
While Swint was the second player to sign his NLI early, he’s set to make more history next month when he becomes the first football player from Carrollton to enroll early at a university. He will finish his classes at CHS this week and graduate before enrolling at Clemson in January.
The morning’s festivities began with a projector displaying a highlight reel of Swint’s accomplishments during his four seasons with the Trojans.
Carrollton head football coach Sean Calhoun then took his place on stage and expressed his appreciation for his young student-athlete. Calhoun reeled off a laundry list of Swint’s accolades — from his 3.56 GPA, to being named a team captain by his peers three out of four seasons, to racking up 385 tackles and 91 tackles for loss in his career — before handing things off to the senior linebacker.
With a silver Tiger Paw necklace draped over his black turtleneck, Swint took the microphone and immediately thanked his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for blessing him with the ability to play football. He continued to offer his gratitude to his family, coach Calhoun and the Carrollton assistant coaches — whom, he noted, presented him with “the keys to the Ferrari” by allowing him to lead the Carrollton defense.
Following his lengthy speech, Swint signed his NLI before reaching out and grabbing an orange and purple Clemson Tiger hat to place on his head. Consequently, he officially became a permanent member of Clemson’s 2020 recruiting class, which is currently ranked No. 1 by ESPN, 247 Sports and Rivals.
“It’s a great day,” Swint said after the ceremony. “This is just a big celebration for me, my family, all my teammates and my coaching staff. I’m just blessed to be in this position, to be honest.”
Swint continued to display great humility when verbalizing what his prep football career has meant to him.
“I grew up watching Carrollton play football all my life, so it’s just been a dream for me to play at this high school. That’s really the only thing I wanted to do. Just to leave my mark on this school is a great accomplishment,” he said. “Now, I’m really excited to get up to Clemson and get started. That’s the main thing.”
Calhoun offered high praise for the young man he’s continuously referred to as the leader of his defense and one of the the integral leaders of the team.
“It’s a monumental day for Carrollton athletic and school history. Kevin is the first one to be an early signee and and early enrollee, and what better a kid, a player to be the first one?’” he said. “He exemplifies what it means to be a student-athlete with his high GPA and how good he is on the field. What an exciting day.”
Calhoun also paid tribute to former Trojan Mark Wright Jr., who signed with Western Carolina on Wednesday. After graduating from CHS in 2017, Wright Jr. played at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa and Hutchinson Community College in Kansas before signing with Catamounts on Wednesday.
“I’m really excited for Mark. He took a different path to get where he’s going, but Western Carolina is super excited. They’re going to give him the keys to the car, and Mark is going to flourish up there,” Calhoun said.