As players take their final breaks before training camp, The Redskins Blog will take a look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them, football and otherwise, so far.
Today we’ll focus on safety D.J. Swearinger
1. He was an “Iron Man” at the University of South Carolina.
D.J. Swearinger was a four-year starter and defensive captain at the University of South Carolina. During those four years, Swearinger only missed one game, and recorded 241 tackles, four forced fumbles and six interceptions.
“Free safety, that’s my position,” Swearinger said. “I can’t play strong. I like strong safety actually, but I’m more of a free safety. Your free safety has to be your most vocal guy because he sees everything, every play. I like the free safety better and I’m in the middle. A lot of receivers, they’re not just going to be lurking in the middle when they see me back there.”
2. He was originally committed to Tennessee.
In an alternate timeline, Swearinger would’ve been a Tennessee Volunteer rather than a South Carolina Gamecock. He was originally committed to play for Coach Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee until Fulmer resigned, causing him to make the switch to South Carolina.
Swearinger also received offers from Auburn, North Carolina and Michigan.
3. He already has a nickname for the Redskins' secondary.
Swearinger hasn’t played in a game with his fellow defensive backs yet, but apparently he’s already thought of a nickname for the group: the #G5FlightMarshals.
Check out these photos of safety D.J. Swearinger.
He explained his reasoning behind the nickname in an interview with Redskins.com staff writer Jake Kring-Schreifels back in April.
“Flight Marshalls, they’re in control of the air, control the planes, and I say G5 because it’s the best type of plane out there,” Swearinger said. “I feel like we’re the best group, so let’s be the G5 flight marshals, start our own trend. And once you start a trend, and you get the guys to believe in that trend, once you make a play and you continue to gel as a group, it just brings us closer if we have a name.”
4. He idolizes late Redskins safety Sean Taylor
If you follow Swearinger on Instagram (@jungleboi_swaggg), you’ll notice multiple pictures of him paying tribute to late Redskins safety Sean Taylor.
Not only does Swearinger try to mimic Taylor’s game with his hard-hitting, physical style of play, but he also wears No. 36 in his honor. When Swearinger joined the Redskins this offseason, he bought the number from fellow safety Su’a Cravens, who wore it during the 2016-17 season.
“[Taylor’s] rookie year was my freshman year and he had No. 36 so I got 36, which is actually a family number that my dad and uncle wore,” Swearinger said. “The No. 36 has stuck with me since then. I was a quarterback wearing No. 36 [in high school] after our quarterback got hurt.”
5. He and Josh Norman are both from Greenwood, S.C.
Swearinger and Redskins cornerback Josh Norman played their high school football together at Greenwood High School in Greenwood, S.C. The duo played both safety positions and led the Greenwood Eagles to their 13th state title in 2006.
When it comes to their heritage, both Swearinger and Norman share a great sense of pride.
“In Greenwood, we grew up with football. I grew up in an athletic family, so I was always into sports. We had a great tradition at Greenwood High School with all of the state championships,” Swearinger said. “As a kid, we’d go to high school games to watch my older cousin play. They were our role models. Football is just big in the state, and it’s big in Greenwood.”
“We were head hunters, just take you and knock your socks off,” Norman said. “Literally, everything would come off. He has a unique way of doing things, got to be at his position and he elevated that and he got himself a scholarship.”
6. His sister played college basketball for Charleston Southern.
Swearinger’s sister, Tianna, is a baller, too. As a senior at Greenwood high school back in 2014, she was selected as the No. 1 player in 4A girls' basketball in South Carolina and the No. 2 player in the state.
In just 737 games at the varsity level, Tianna recorded 990 points, 202 assists, 316 rebounds and 154 steals. She then went on to play college basketball at Charleston Southern.
7. He just became a father.
On May 27, Swearinger’s first son, Dayarlo Jr., was brought into the world.
Needless to say, he was extremely excited about the newest addition to his family.
“Im Triple blessed and thankful for my beautiful Queen and all the work she did to bring me Dayarlo Jr!" he captioned on Instagram. "He Will Be Nothing Short of a Legend!! We will teach him to be the Hardest Worker On the Planet and to strive for Excellence in Everything he does!!l!”