Titus Swen … Wyoming’s kick returner?
LARAMIE -- We've only seen a sample size of what Titus Swen can do out of the Cowboys' backfield.
What do we know?
He has power, speed and surprising elusiveness for a 5-foot-11, 202-pound running back. That might look good in the kick return game, huh? Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl sure seems to think so.
"We're still sorting through some things on kickoff return," Bohl said Tuesday. "You know, maybe Titus Swen? He's done some good things."
Maybe you were expecting a burner like Devin Jennings to handle those duties. Maybe even fellow wide outs Isaiah Neyor or Joshua Cobbs. Sure-handed senior Ayden Eberhardt, Bohl said, will likely be the Cowboys' starting punt returner. One would have to believe he could take over that spot, too.
Either way, Wyoming will need to break in a newbie after Dontae Crow transferred to Campbell University this offseason. Swen, who now wears Crow's old uniform number -- No. 8 -- might just be the guy to take over, too.
The kick-return game is an area the Cowboys struggled in throughout the 2020 campaign.
Wyoming finished No. 81 in the country in return yardage, averaging just 19.33 per attempt. That, of course, came in all of 15 opportunities in the virus-shortened six-game season. Crow was ranked 41st in the nation, averaging 21.9 yards on 13 tries.
Swen, who was the lone player on the offensive side of the ball to opt out of the 2020 season, appeared in just six games for the Cowboys in 2019 before being shutdown with an injury. The then-true freshman carried the ball 67 times for 337 yards and found the end zone once.
His breakout game came in a 53-17 rout of visiting UNLV. The Forth Worth, Texas, product, gashed the Rebels to the tune of 136 yards on just 14 carries. That's an average of 9.7 yards per tote.
He never hauled in a kickoff though. Not in college anyway.
At Eaton High School, however, Swen did add 195 yards worth of kickoff and punt return yards to his 4,748 all-purpose yards total. He averaged 175.9 all-purpose yards per outing during his prep career.
"Titus has really stepped up, so I think he'll probably right now be a lead guy for kickoff returns," Bohl said.
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That's not the only position Swen is impressing in. Let's just say he hasn't forgotten his roots, despite likely staring up on the depth chart at Trey Smith and back-to-back Mountain West Conference rushing champion, Xazavian Valladay.
"Really, quite frankly, over the last scrimmage, Titus really had a good one and did some very productive things," Bohl said. "We purposely cut the reps down for X and Trey."
Bohl was very frank when discussing his relationship with Swen over the past two seasons. He said the two have had many chats, even some that Bohl said he voiced his displeasure in. So far this spring, Bohl has been praising the work of his young back. He said Swen's attention to detail has improved. So have his gains in the weight room.
That's not all.
"He's very athletic and his vision is improved," Bohl said. "His blocking on pass protections improved, as well ... Of the things I've asked him to shore up, he certainly has. So, I think he and I are seeing a lot of things the same way. I don't know if that could be said earlier, but it is now. I'm encouraged.
"We just hope we can we can keep on making some progress with him because I think he can really make a difference for us."
Apparently that now extends to the kicking game.