D’Andre Swift racked up 1,346 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore at Georgia. It was a breakthrough season that saw him emerge as one of the country’s most dynamic weapons and firmly plant himself among the top 2020 NFL Draft prospects at his position. And it ended in utter misery for him.
His Bulldogs coughed up a 14-point lead in the SEC title game and lost to Alabama 35-28, costing them a playoff berth. Then, in the Sugar Bowl against Texas, Swift bottomed out: eight carries, 12 yards, two fumbles. “For him to fumble the ball twice, it left a very sour taste in his mouth,” his father, Darren Swift, told DawgPost.com. “… That one is always going to haunt him.”
There are moments like this for every athlete — tests of resolve, born of failure. Swift faces one now as a Lions rookie, after letting a Week 1 victory over the Bears slip through his fingertips in the closing seconds.
He stared one down at Georgia, too, between the ’18 and ’19 seasons, when he had to decide what to make of that Sugar Bowl disappointment. Swift banked it. Used it to fuel his workouts throughout the spring and summer. He didn’t fumble again until midway through November of the following year, as he was en route to a 1,218-yard rushing total.