You know that SpongeBob SquarePants meme that shows two photos of SpongeBob and at the top says, "You wanna see me run to that mountain and back?," and at the bottom, "You wanna see me do it again?"
I'm convinced that meme was based on the life and talent of Auburn wide receiver Anthony Schwartz.
There were speed demons on last year's draft class. Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs III nearly broke the 40-yard dash record at the NFL Scouting Combine by clocking 4.27 seconds. Utah defensive back Javelin Guidry was also close with a time of 4.29 seconds. As crazy as it is to say, we're going to have another player who could threaten the all-time 40-yard dash record (4.22) in the 2021 draft class.
As a high school senior in 2018, Schwartz was named the Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year after winning Florida’s Class 2A 100-meter dash (10.07w) and 200 meters (20.41w); both were state records. He also ran at the IAAF U20 World Championships in Finland in July 2018 and took the silver medal in 100 meters (10.22) and a gold medal in the 4x100-meter relay (38.88) for Team USA.
How does that compare to Ruggs and Guidry? Ruggs won a state title after clocking 10.58 second in the 100 meters, and Guidry's in 10.13 seconds.
Schwartz was faster than both.
According to World Athletics, Schwartz’s time of 10.07 seconds would be a top-300 time in track and field history.
Schwartz ranked No. 12 on Bruce Feldman's "College Football Freaks List" for 2019. Feldman gave Schwartz the title of "the fastest man in college football" citing the fact that Schwartz claimed the Nos. 4, 6, 8, 9 and 13 100-meter time American high school track history, regardless of state.
Schwartz has been relatively quiet in his first two seasons at Auburn. He grabbed 22 catches for 357 yards and two touchdowns in 2018 and added 211 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns
In 2019, Schwartz broke his hand on the third day of preseason camp. He didn't miss any games, but he was forced to wear a club that surgically repaired hand. Schwartz was used as more of a decoy in the first two games against Oregon and Tulane, according to AL.com's Tom Green, likely due to his hand injury. He failed to record a touch in either game. In all, Schwartz hauled in 41 receptions for 440 receiving yards on the season.
Schwartz’s usage over the last two seasons has been scarce, but as you can see in the clip above, anytime he touches the ball, it's a chance to break the drive and the game wide open.
It's always a process transitioning from track speed to field speed and really honing that explosiveness into the receiver position. But, as Schwartz enters his third season, he's poised to be one of the top breakout players in the country, if emphasized in the game plan more.
Many in the draft community are ready for it, and Schwartz certainly is too.
- Jun 24, 2022
- Jun 22, 2022