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IU football: Graduate transfer Jovan Swann beginning to emerge at fall camp

There has been a bit of a learning curve.

But it isn’t too much to handle for a Stanford graduate and IU Kelley School of Business enrollee.

Defensive lineman Jovan Swann arrived at IU from Stanford this spring after spending four years in a 3 down linemen, 4 linebacker system.  Now he is being asked to quickly acclimate to IU’s base 4-2-5 approach.

While it might seem like more of a technicality, the nuances and details are everything at the power five level of college football.

Add in an unusual offseason with limited organized team activities, and a new defensive line coach, and Swann’s transition to Indiana’s scheme has been less than optimal.

Last week defensive coordinator Kane Wommack hinted that the 6-foot-2 and 280 pound Swann was still finding his way.

“Stanford was running more of an odd front, 3-4 system, and we are more of a four-down system,” Wommack said last week.  “I think there has been a little bit of an adjustment period for him with that change.”

One could have interpreted Wommack’s remarks as a suggestion that Swann might not have a big role in 2020.

But fast forward one week, and it is becoming clear that things are starting to click for the Center Grove High School (Greenwood, Ind.) product.

“I thought this week was a really good week for him,” Wommack said on a Zoom video conference with the media on Thursday.  “I thought he took a next step in understanding our concepts.”

Swann had a highly productive career at Stanford.

After not playing as a freshman in 2016, Swann compiled 85 tackles (49 solo), 11.5 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss, nine quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception and one blocked field goal in 39 games (19 starts) at defensive end for the Cardinal.

Wommack knew that for a player of Swann’s caliber, it was just a matter of time until he started to emerge.

“You don’t have that kind of production in college (if you aren’t talented),” Wommack said.  “He is such a powerful guy.  There’s a transition in scheme from what we’re doing, from a fundamental standpoint 3-4 is very different.  Obviously we have 3-4 elements but we don’t base out of a 3-4 system.

“The way we take on blocks and the way we recognize blocks, he’s starting to understand that to a much higher level.”

Swann graduated with a human biology degree from Stanford in April 2020, and he is now enrolled in the IU Kelley School of Business MBA Management program.

He is combining his intelligence with his physical gifts to quickly show the coaching staff that he can be a factor in the Big Ten.

“He’s a smart guy, so his learning curve from last week to this week was pretty significant, Wommack said.

“I’m excited about what he’s going to be able to do for us, and I think if he continues on this trajectory, we’ll be very happy with the outcome of his production.”

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