PURCELL — You can make statistics say just about anything, but it's hard to disguise the meaning of these numbers: Purcell is 18-3 the last three seasons when Cole Swayze starts the game at quarterback, 8-6 when he doesn't.
“I think that means we need him a little bit,” Purcell football coach Mike Wilson said with a laugh. “I don't know that I can express how important it is for us to have him on the field.”
It hasn't always been easy to keep him on the field, thanks to two awful injuries. Swayze broke his femur as a freshman and tore his ACL last year.
And he knows he needs to have a healthy senior year to avoid that ugly “injury prone” label.
“He needs to have a full year to show colleges that he's not that guy,” Wilson said. “He's never been fragile. He's just had a couple of nasty injuries.”
Colleges always ask about the knee. Swayze received his medical release in May, and shortly after was clocked at 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a Texas A&M camp.
“A lot of schools are waiting to see how I'll turn out this season,” said Swayze, No. 23 on The Oklahoman's Super 30. “They're just waiting to see how things play out, and I can understand that. So that's another thing I have to work for. Hopefully I'll have a lot of people watching me this year.”
Though he's spending a lot of time going to college camps this summer, he still doesn't feel like his knee is back to full strength.
“Maybe 97 percent,” he said. “I'm happy, but I'm not where I want to be. Hopefully I'll get a little faster.”
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The Oklahoman's Super 30 No. 23: Cole Swayze School: Purcell Height: 6-1 Weight: 205 Position: Quarterback/Athlete Offers: Oklahoma State offered a scholarship after his sophomore season, and Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Missouri are showing strong interest, along with a few others.