Oklahoma high school football: Heritage Hall's Melvin Swindle embracing versatility, leadership role as recruiting ramps up
Heritage Hall’s Melvin Swindle didn’t see many defensive snaps against Perkins-Tryon on Friday night, but he made them count.
Late in the second quarter of a 37-20 win, the senior powered off the line of scrimmage, swam past a blocker and sacked the opposing quarterback in the endzone for a safety. The play would give the Chargers a two possession lead at 16-6.
A few plays later, the 6-foot-3, 303-pound product was helping the Chargers’ running backs run rampant by using his massive frame to his advantage on the offensive line.
The sequence was a perfect example of what colleges could be getting should they vie for Swindles talents.
“On the offensive side I go one hundred percent and on the defensive side I go one hundred percent,” Swindle said following the game. “Whatever I can do to help the team.”
Swindle is currently ranked a three-star prospect on Rivals. He is being recruited on both the offensive and defensive line, though Heritage Hall head coach Brett Bogert said that most teams may lean towards his offensive talents. He has played left and right tackle, as well as center for the Chargers this season.
He currently has offers from Arkansas State, Iowa State, Kansas, Memphis, North Texas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, with strong interest from Arkansas.
At right tackle, Swindle helped all night long as the Chargers rushed for 224 rushing yards against the Demons.
But his talents go beyond versatility.
In the third quarter, Perkins’ receiver Teegan Shepard slipped behind the Heritage Hall secondary for an 89-yard touchdown strike thrown by Austin Mages. The score put the Demons dangerously close to being back in the game, cutting the lead to just 10.
Swindle wasn’t fazed.
As he paced up and down the sideline, his yells of encouragement could be heard from the top of the bleachers.
“I want everybody to play to their best ability,” Swindle said. “Me, our team, freshman through seniors — I tell them every week to police ourselves and and to keep us going on the sidelines.”
Bogert explained that it’s been a progressive climb for Swindle to become the leader his is today.
“I can’t say enough about him — He has really stepped up these last couple weeks. He’s the one barking at the guys making sure they’re staying up, making sure they’re finishing. That kind of stuff is huge, and he’s been really good with our younger guys.”
Despite his extreme size, athleticism and strong leadership skills, one thing is even more evident when watching Swindle: he loves football.