One of things Loyola senior and University of Connecticut commit Ian Swenson was looking forward to at the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl on Saturday is seeing how he matches up against the country’s best football players.

After Thursday’s first practice that featured special teams and defensive backs drills, Swenson — a 6-foot-1, 190-pound cornerback — said he fits right in with the nation’s elite talent.

“I wanted to get the feel of playing against other top-level guys,” he said. “I thought I did well. I jammed someone up at the line, and that felt pretty good.”

But Swenson said he came to Florida to also learn from some of the best coaches in the country. The Blue staff has four coaches with NFL coaching experience.

“That’s pretty cool,” Swenson said. “I got corrected a lot. Someone told me about my stance, and how I put too much pressure on my feet. I corrected it, and my back pedal became a lot faster.”

As a senior, Swenson helped Loyola (13-1) capture a Catholic Blue championship and take second place in Class 8A. He had 61 tackles, nine pass break-ups, three interceptions and two tackles for loss.

Although UConn fired Bob Diaco on Dec. 26, Swenson said he remains committed to the Huskies for now. He plans to visit the Storrs campus Jan. 20 to meet with the new staff.

Swenson will be the second Rambler to play in front of a national audience this year when he suits up for the Blue side. Jake Marwede, a Duke commit, played at the Under Armour All-America game on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Florida.

“I thought it was really cool seeing Jake out there,” Swenson said. “I am proud to represent Loyola.”

The game is noon Saturday at EverBank Field, home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Photo credit: Geoff Scott