He had speed and power, vision and balance.
He was a born running back, with a name as good as his game.
But one thing above all else was special about former St. Joseph’s Prep star D’Andre Swift: He was at his best when it mattered most.
It wasn’t just that Swift ran for 1,564 yards and 25 touchdowns and caught another nine scoring passes — despite going three games without a carry because of an ankle injury — in leading St. Joseph’s Prep to the first 14-0 season in program history and the first PIAA Class 6A title in 2016.
It wasn’t just that Swift generated 4,112 career rushing yards and helped the Hawks win three state titles in his four seasons.
Swift is the Southeastern Pennsylvania Football Player of the Decade because of his impeccable timing. He came to define the Hawks’ big-game success because of his uncanny knack for making big plays in big moments.
Before enrolling at the University of Georgia, where he has run for 1,000 yards as both a sophomore and junior, Swift put together a final scholastic season for the ages.
In his first game back to close to full health after the ankle injury, Swift ran for 272 yards on 19 carries (14.3 yards per carry) and scored seven touchdowns in a 63-35 win over Catholic League archrival La Salle.
In the state tournament, Swift took his game to another level, running for 747 yards on 76 carries with nine touchdowns in three games.
He ran for 318 yards in the state quarterfinals vs. Parkland. He went for 268 yards, with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, in the state semifinals vs. North Penn. And he finished his career with 161 yards and three touchdowns in the championship game victory over Pittsburgh’s Central Catholic.
“The best football player I’ve ever coached," former St. Joseph’s Prep head coach Gabe Infante, now an assistant coach at Temple, said of Swift when the running back’s career came to an end with another victory on another cold December night in Hersheypark Stadium.