Butte College offensive coordinator Robby Snelling said that having Geoff Swaim at tight end allowed the Roadrunners to be versatile offensively.
"He's a guy that we really did use in multiple ways," Snelling said. "He understands the game of football. He played tight end and linebacker in high school, and one of his best strengths was his football IQ.
He played a lot for us as a freshman," Snelling said. "Starting out, he wanted to play linebacker. But we thought tight end was better for him in the long run. So we made that move in the first game, and one of our top two guys got injured so he played a lot more than expected."
In fact, by the time he came back, Swaim had played so well that he stuck in the lineup.
"He's extremely physical. He likes contact," Snelling said. "He can [block well] at the line of scrimmage, but he also does well at fullback or H-back. That's really his strength. He has really good hands and he can run, so he's also effective there. He's pretty good all-around."
But Snelling said what drew teams to Swaim was his physicality.
"It's not that I'd say his athleticism or receiving was under the radar as much as I'd say people were really looking for that physical side with him," Snelling said. "We had a chance to see Texas a lot, and they've got some really good athletes there, some guys who really run well, who catch the ball well and who are better than Geoff in that aspect. But all-around, big-picture, he can do a lot of things."
In fact, he had to do a lot of things to succeed at Butte. He wasn't on scholarship there, so Swaim actually worked for his dad as a painter on the side. Because of that, Snelling said Swaim had some untapped potential on the gridiron.
"I think it's a possibility that he could have a future playing football," Snelling said. "I think he's going to get a lot stronger now that he'll be doing football on a more full-time basis. He won't have to worry about working, and he can focus more on his training.
"He has the frame and the physical tools that if he develops and he puts the work in, he could have an opportunity there," Snelling said.
Snelling described Swaim as a leader with a good sense of humor, and said that he did a nice job of helping the younger players.
"He did a good job of setting an example for our younger guys," Snelling said. "We've had a lot of tight ends come through. So many people run the spread and do '10' personnel. We're one of the few programs that still really uses tight ends, so that's an advantage for us.
"Most people haven't been able to use the tight end the way we have," Snelling said. "So Geoff really laid more groundwork for the guys coming after him."