UCFSports - UCF lands massive transfer boom from UVA OL Ryan Swoboda
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UCF lands massive transfer boom from UVA OL Ryan Swoboda

Ryan Swoboda, an experienced 6-foot-10, 325-pound offensive tackle from Virginia, announced his commitment to UCF on Wednesday just days following an official visit .

A native of Clermont, Swoboda graduated from Windermere Prep in the 2017 class and has since developed into one of the ACC's top linemen. He has one season of eligibility remaining as a "Super Senior."

A right tackle, Swoboda started every game he played for Virginia the past two seasons. He earned a very solid PFF grade of 70.3 in 2021, including a high mark of 86.3 for his performance against Miami.

After hitting the portal in December, Swoboda had a plethora of offers from major programs. He finalized his list to UCF, Penn State, Miami, Virginia Tech and Mississippi State before picking the Knights.

"UCF wants to run the ball," Swoboda said. "Coach (Gus) Malzahn runs that ball. The offensive line, obviously you've got to be great at run blocking. You've got to develop. Coach (Herb) Hand is one of the best there is. It was great just talking to him and talking ball. On our official visit, they had scheduled an hour to watch film. We were in there for almost five hours. I loved it. His mind and the way he thinks about o-line play is just brilliant. Just talking to him and understanding how he can help me develop as a player, it fires me up. I love Coach Malzahn. I love Coach Hand and the idea of coming back home. I'm 25 minutes away. That fires me up. UCF is on the rise. They just beat Florida. It's exciting stuff."

His player host during the visit was starting center Matt Lee.

"Real cool guy," Swoboda said of Lee. "He went to Hagerty (High School). I liked him a lot. I think every locker room in America is filled with really great people. Coming here and meeting a guy like Matt, wow, I know I'll be set making more lifelong friends. It was really good to meet Matt."

Swoboda also felt a connection with head coach Gus Malzahn.

"He's a man of his word," Swoboda said. "We talked for a good amount of time. I liked him a lot. He's looking for great athletes and great people. I'm looking for that on the reverse end. He just explained to me how that match could be so good. I agree. I think it's good match. He's a great person, great football mind. Some of the guys were joking all he ever thinks about is football. That's probably what you want in a head football coach. I was very impressed with Coach Malzahn."

Swoboda had plenty of offers this time around, which was a contrast to his experience in high school when UVA was his only offer.

"It was really just strength numbers and not knowing how I'd develop and stuff like that," Swoboda said. "UVA helped develop me. I've been telling UCF, if they had just offered me right out of high school, I would have been here. I'm right in the backyard. I'm right here. But yeah, just the one (offer) so it was a pretty easy decision for me.

"I tried to go to some (UCF) camps and stuff like that, but I didn't hear anything. UVA just really took a shot in the dark. My sophomore year I was 6-8, 170 (pounds). I don't think people think three-year starter in the ACC when they see that. I get it."

Swoboda treasures his time at UVA. He helped execute their turnaround that included a division title and conference championship appearance in 2019.

"I made lifelong friends," Swoboda said. "Coaches and mentors that I think will go much longer than the time that I was there. I loved it. I got to play ACC football. I played for four years and started for three. I got to play a lot of really good teams, playing some big-time games. ACC Championship. Going to bowls. Really fun stuff like that. Academic wise, I've learned so much. The classes are brilliant. Spending five years around really good football players and really smart student body, it's been great just to help me develop mentally, spiritually, physically. All of it. I've loved every second of it."

Now he gets to finish his career as a Knight.

"Back in high school, I loved UCF," Swoboda said. "I rooted for them every game. I absolutely love them. Yeah, I've followed them but probably two, three years ago might have lost track. I definitely watched the bowl game against Florida. They're just running and the physical brand of football with the tempo that Coach Malzahn does. It's exciting to watch. It was fun to watch them in that fourth quarter against Florida, just absolutely imposing their will."

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