Entering fall camp this year, Anthony Schwartz is in a better spot than he was in last year.
While Schwartz finished 2019 with 41 receptions for 440 yards and one touchdown, the receiver was hampered by a thumb injury that bothered him for half of the season and caused him to miss all of fall camp.
For the receiver who has been called the “fastest player in college football”, any injury, but especially one to his hand, can slow him down.
“It was pretty tough,” Schwartz said last week. “I missed all of fall camp, so I missed all the reps with team, all the reps with the quarterbacks. It was just very hard to sit on the sideline just watching; I wanted to be in there, but of course, I still had to cheer my brothers on.”
It wasn’t until the Tigers’ game against Arkansas last season when Schwartz could finally get back to performing at a higher level. In that game, Schwartz had six receptions for 73 yards and a receiving touchdown.
The speedy receiver is a man of many nicknames, and besides the fastest player in college football moniker, Schwartz also goes by “Flash.”
Many may know “Flash” as a speedy receiver, but he is also a talented track athlete and competes for Auburn’s track and field team in the spring.
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Schwartz and the rest of Auburn’s spring athletes were impacted by COVID-19 and had their seasons cut short or never started at all.
The lack of spring practices for football and not having a track season gave Schwartz time to think more about his decision between football and track.
“When everything got canceled, I really just put my mind towards football and just tried to improve more on football,” Schwartz said. “Being able to hone in on my craft, I feel like football is the way for me. And I feel like I’m locked in 100% to football right now, and that’s how I feel I’m looking toward the future.”
Learning a new offense under offensive coordinator Chad Morris, primarily via Zoom, was a grind for Schwartz and his teammates in the offseason. Now that they are back together, walkthroughs and being able to practice have made things easier.
Schwartz believes that this is “not going to be the normal Auburn offense, it’s going to be something different.”
Not only does Schwartz think Auburn’s offense as a whole will look different, but his work in the offseason is also going to help him become a complete receiver.
“Really in the offseason, I worked on becoming a complete receiver,” Schwartz said. “Being able to run every route in the route tree, being able to catch the ball over the middle consistently, that’s pretty much most of the stuff I worked on.”
It might have been an offseason that featured a lot of decisions to be made for Schwartz, but Schwartz is content with his choices and is “locked in” for the 2020 football season.
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