The measurements 6’6″ and 235 pounds are not your typical numbers for a fullback. But when Virginia needed depth at that position following the departure of transfer Ryan Cobb, the coaching staff turned to Zachary Swanson to help fill the void. Despite the somewhat unorthodox frame for a fullback, the Hoos liked Swanson’s versatility in that spot – he can fill roles as a traditional fullback as well as an H-Back and tight end, his original position at UVa.
Swanson first began to see on-field action in jumbo and goal line sets last season. Now that Max Milien and Terence Fells-Danzer have exhausted their eligibility, he figures to get more opportunities for playing time; Billy Skrobacz is the only other fullback on the roster to have appeared in games at that position.
Swanson caught 3 passes for 44 yards in the Cavaliers’ Spring Game.
“He’s in on goal line because he’s a big, physical presence. He plays fullback and he’s kind of an H-Back type and you can move him,” London said. “He can kick-out block, he can line up in the backfield with Perry [Jones] and run a lead draw, he can line up in the backfield and provide pass protection, and he can line up and fake like he’s going to block to slip out in the flat. He can run a wheel route where you get to the open space and wheel around. He made a couple of big catches out there. He’s a big target. You get him on safeties or corners or whatever it may be. Finding a guy like him with his different skill set is going to allow the offense to be more versatile.”