The Saint Joe’s Prep Alumnus is Back in South Philly to Help Lead the Eagles from Elite to World Champions.

St. Joe’s Prep Football made it to the PIAA Class AAAA Championship Game in December 2013. As they looked out across the Pennsylvania football field at opposing Central Catholic amid the evening darkness and whipping winds intertwined with tiny snow flurries, The Prep had only one more game to win.

Some teams would be intimidated stepping onto Hershey Stadium Field for the PIAA State Championship game on a cold night in December 2013 as snowflakes swirled in the winter Pennsylvania winds.

Not if you were Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School and not if you are D’Andre Tiyon Swift, however.

In 2022, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia celebrated seven consecutive PIAA Class AAAA Championships. My father was a St. Joe’s Prep graduate; he never let me forget their excellence.

D’Andre Swift was a freshman, but that night in the cold winds of Hershey, he would marvel even the seniors, rushing for 68 yards and a touchdown as The Prep beat Central Catholic 35–10. In the winter chill of central Pennsylvania, Swift’s career was just heating up.

In his senior year, he was virtually unstoppable, rushing for 1,564 yards and 25 touchdowns.

His last name fits him perfectly.

In 2017, D’Andre was headed to another storied football program at the University of Georgia. Kirby Smart was molding his program, and the University of Georgia was on the rise. Swift was the perfect addition.

He was smart, dedicated, and always looking to improve his game. As a freshman, he shared a running back room with Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. As a sophomore, he split carries with Elijah Holyfield (son of the boxing champion Evander Holyfield). Swift would even break a record of Todd Gurley’s at Georgia.

The Georgia Bulldogs have always had a tradition of great running backs, from Charley Trippi to Frank Sinkwich to Herschel Walker.

Swift was also a mentor, teaching what had been taught to him. Both Zamir White and James Cook from his running back room at Georgia would also play in the NFL.

First, it was D’Andre’s turn.

His journey was just beginning.

Drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Swift broke down with emotion when the Lions selected him. He would become the first Detroit running back since 1989 to rush for over 100 yards and record two scores. The record that he surpassed belonged to Hall of Famer Barry Sanders. D’Andre was also able to learn again behind Adrian Pederson and Kerryon Johnson.

In 2021, Dan Campbell became the Head Coach and brought in Duce Staley as Assistant Head Coach & Running Backs Coach. Staley and Swift had Philadelphia in common.

Before Duce Staley became one of the best position coaches in the NFL, he had an outstanding nine-year NFL career, rushing and receiving for over 8,000 yards.

Staley loved what he saw in Swift. And he had a plan for him.

Duce taught him to run inside. He harped on D’Andre to use his power to punish NFL linebackers at the second level and leave cornerbacks and safeties with no chance to bring him down one-on-one at the third level. He taught him how to run inside with purpose and to finish with power.

At the beginning of the 2022 NFL Season at Ford Field, Staley and Swift had the Eagles on their minds. On opening day, Swift rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown against his former hometown team.

His NFL career to date has been surrounded by promise but hampered by injuries. In 2021, he ran for over 130 yards against the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Just as with the year prior, in April 2023, the Eagles made a trade during the NFL Draft, and D’Andre was coming home.

The key to returning to the Super Bowl for the Eagles in 2024 is to keep Jalen Hurts healthy. One of the keys to keeping Jalen Hurts healthy is an impressive ground game.

The key to an impressive ground game is the powerful, devastating, punishing, swift running of one of Philadelphia’s own.

A running back whose own style of swiftness was molded on a cold December night between the flurries on a central Pennsylvania field in Hershey when a high school freshman played like a senior.

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