Lions’ D’Andre Swift Reveals Love For Barry Sanders

D'Andre Swift

Getty D'Andre Swift celebrates a touchdown.

The Detroit Lions, it has been said, have searched in vain for an elite runner since the days of Barry Sanders. D’Andre Swift will be the next to get his chance to reverse the curse, and it seems as if it’s alright by him.

After Swift was selected, he admitted that Sanders is his favorite running back to watch growing up. Whether that’s a case of knowing his audience or not, it’s still an important admission. Multiple decades after his retirement, it’s clear Sanders is still influencing the younger generation of runners.

The good news? Sanders appears to like Swift just as much. Appearing on the Draft-a-Thon special, Sanders reacted in real time to his selection to the Lions, and said he liked the move.

“I’ve known that we had our eye on him, one of the best running backs in the draft,” he said. “A guy that can get it done. he can get up and down the field. He had a great career at Georgia. One person that’s really celebrating is Matthew Stafford getting a solid piece at running back. So that’s a ver nice addition to the team.”

Now, the duo can connect when Swift gets to Detroit, and given how excited he was about Sanders, it’s likely to happen eventually.

D’Andre Swift Stats

Arguably the best runner on the board and a player who many figured would go off the board in the first round, Swift is a hard charging back out of Georgia who was tough in his career playing in the SEC. With 2,885 yards and 20 touchdowns in his career, there is little doubting how well Swift would do at toting the rock and fitting in well within Detroit’s backfield situation.

Swift coming from the SEC will be huge for him in terms of being able to fit in seamlessly to the team. Georgia has put a lot of great runners into the league lately, and the hope for Swift is that he can join the squad and become the next runner that follows in the footsteps of players like Todd Gurley, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. All of them have become great, and Swift could be next.

Barry Sanders Stats

To see Sanders run the ball for Lions fans through the years was to believe given what he was able to do with the team on the field. Sanders routinely had the quickness and deft ability to break plenty of ankles on the football field and remains one of the greatest highlights in the game fans love watching even years after his retirement. Athleticism is something that came naturally to Sanders, no matter whether he was on the grass or the hardwood, something that was revealed recently.

With the Lions, Sanders rushed for 15,269 yards and 99 touchdowns. He was routinely thought of as the best running back in the league, and would have shattered plenty of NFL rushing records had he decided to keep playing. Sanders, however, walked away from the game in 1999 on the eve of training camp, which stunned the Lions and all of their fans. The parties then went through a frustrating split for multiple years, based mostly upon the fact that the franchise made him pay back part of his contract amid retirement. It is a situation not unlike what is happening with Calvin Johnson currently.

Now, Swift and Sanders can connect and given the respect they share, it will be fun to see them do so.

READ NEXT: D’Andre Swift Lions Highlights

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