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Football: The NFL draft starts tonight. Here's one Forsyth County name to watch
Trevon McSwain
McSwain has heard from several NFL teams, including the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. Photo courtesy Duke University Athletics

Louis Daniel calls it "twitchy."

It's a compliment for defensive tackles such as Trevon McSwain, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 285 pounds. It combats the cliche of a sluggish, clumsy defense lineman who relies on power alone to barrel through the offensive line. 

While McSwain certainly has the size to bull rush offensive linemen, that 'twitchiness' describes his ability to react quickly and sneak into the backfield for a stop, something he did seven times as a senior at Duke. 

McSwain, who graduated from Lambert in 2015, is hoping his next tackle comes in the NFL. He'll find out this week as the NFL draft begins at 8 p.m. Thursday and runs through Saturday. 

If McSwain is selected, Daniel won't be surprised.

"He's extremely athletic," Daniel said. "His size is obviously garnering NFL interest right now. But to be that big and to be as — I guess we call it 'twitchy.' There's a fast-twitch fiber, and there's a fast-twitch muscle that he has. And guys like that, a lot of times they're kind of flat-footed and may not move as well as he does. That's his biggest strength, obviously. The size goes without being said, but his athleticism is pretty special."

Daniel coached McSwain during the 2014 season. It was McSwain's first — and last — season with the Longhorns after transferring from Lanier before his senior season. (McSwain was teammates with probable first-round draft pick Derrick Brown at Lanier.)

Lambert went 7-4 that year, finishing as the region runner-up to Alpharetta. The Longhorns won six games in a row to close the regular season, which earned them a home playoff game, where Lambert lost 36-13 to Roswell.

Trevon McSwain
Trevon McSwain set new career marks this year in tackles for loss (7), sacks (4), forced fumbles (3) and QB hurries (6). Photo courtesy Duke University Athletics
McSwain had three tackles and one tackle for loss in the game.

"We were thrilled to get him," Daniel said. "That was my first year as head coach. It was a magical year, and Trevon was part of that 2014 group."

McSwain committed to Duke the summer before his senior year. He redshirted in 2015, then appeared in 11 games as a redshirt freshman, tallying his first career sack against North Carolina Central. 

From there, McSwain never missed a game.

He played in all 38 games his final three years, enjoying a breakout season in 2018, when he made 43 tackles, including three tackles for loss, logged a sack, forced a fumble and had four QB hurries.

Then, as a senior, McSwain set new career marks in tackles for loss (7), sacks (4), forced fumbles (3) and QB hurries (6).

McSwain seemed to improve every season at Duke. In fact, McSwain's best game was his final game with the Blue Devils, when he had five tackles, a sack and forced two fumbles in a 27-17 win against Miami.

"He's just one of the highest character kids you'll ever be around — had a high GPA, high character while at Lambert. He carried that on to Duke and through the years there," Daniel said. "They just loved him up there."

Daniel said he accompanied Lambert sophomore Kojo Antwi on a visit to Durham, North Carolina, in November when Duke hosted No. 15 Notre Dame. Duke, which lost 38-7, is one of 10 schools to offer Antwi. 

"I adore him. He's the kind of guy that you want your daughter to marry," Daniel said of McSwain. "That's the kind of guy he is."

Trevon McSwain
He played in all 38 games his final three years, enjoying a breakout season in 2018, when he made 43 tackles, including three tackles for loss, logged a sack, forced a fumble and had four QB hurries. Photo courtesy Duke University Athletics
McSwain has heard from several NFL teams, including the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. 

Because Duke's seniors did not get a pro day to showcase their skills, head coach David Cutcliffe said he created a video for each player and sent it to NFL front offices.

"I told them, I said, 'What's going to happen is, and I'm not being arrogant, my name is attached to this and it's going to go in an email to every general manager, and they're going to open it,'" Cutcliffe said during a teleconference. "I'm not a fool; they're busy people. They're really busy right now. So we were able to keep that between four minutes or so in that range to make it all work and come together. I got an incredible response from general managers across the board saying, 'Wow, I haven't seen anything like this.'"

McSwain would be the second player in Forsyth County history to be taken in the NFL draft after North Forsyth alum Colby Gossett was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL draft.

However, he'd be the first player in Lambert history to reach the NFL, a remarkable feat considering the school opened in 2009.

"Some people take it too lightly. They really think it's easy to go get a college scholarship, and it's not. It's extremely difficult," Daniel said. "And what Trevon's done is extremely difficult. What Kojo is doing right now is extremely difficult. You don't want to give people false hope -- that's not what I'm saying. At the same time, you do want them to see, 'Hey, that's a neighborhood kid. That's a kid that lived in our district, that lived down the road or was your next-door neighbor, that is going to have an opportunity to play in the league. That's a very big deal. It says a lot about the community and the area to know we've had one of those guys.

"Most of our players, they're in law school or they're working their residency to be a doctor. They're working their big business trades, so to speak. To have an NFL player is pretty special."