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Kevin Swayne (born January 17, 1975 in Los Angeles, California) was an American football wide receiver for the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League. In the past, he had played for Wayne State College, the Iowa Barnstormers (AFL), the Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins New York Jets (NFL) and the Orlando Rage.
Although born in Sideriver, Swayne lived most of his early life in Banning, California. He graduated from Banning High School after earning letters in four sports: basketball, track, cross country, and football.
In 1994, after his sophomore season at Palomar, Swayne's outstanding performance was noticed by Wayne State College, located in Nebraska. He signed with them, and became a star for his two years there. Most notably, in a 1996 game (his senior year) against Drake University, he caught a school-record 21 passes for 236 yards. His reception record ranks third all-time in Division II. He had a total of 144 career receptions for 2091 yards. He holds a single-season WSC record with 1273 receiving yards in his 1996 senior campaign and was named an Honorable Mention NCAA Division II All American. He was inducted into Wayne State's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.
National Football League / XFLEdit
Swayne went undrafted in the 1997 NFL Draft despite his record-setting performances the year before. He was, however, signed to the scout team of the Chicago Bears. He was never activated and was soon released. Swayne joined the Arena Football League's Iowa Barnstormers in 1998, and was an immediate sensation. He was named the team MVP, was named to the AFL's All-Rookie team, and was given the AFL's "Don't Blink" award for being the League's most exciting player. He led the Barnstormers in points (96) as well as total yards (1,381). In his second season with the Barnstormers, Swayne again led the team in points, but his total was more than double his previous sum, with 206 points in that season alone. He once again led the team in yards (2074) as well as yards per game (148.1). He returned kicks for Iowa in 1999, and led the team with 484 kick return yards and two touchdowns. He accepted an offer to come play for the National Football League's San Diego Chargers. He never saw the field, though, as he was cut during training camp. During most of football's "off-season", Swayne was still playing. The now-defunct XFL had been started by Vince McMahon, and Swayne was eager to try out. He was given a spot on the Orlando Rage. On February 4, 2002, Swayne caught a Jeff Brohm pass to score the XFL's first touchdown. He was one of the Rage's stars that season, but would never play again in the league. Swayne also played in the Arena League for the newly-founded New York Dragons which was really the Iowa Barnstormers moved to New York. . He set a new high in receiving yardage, with 1,890 to lead the team for the third straight season. He also set a record for TD receptions in one game, with seven against the Carolina Cobras. However, his XFL and AFL success sparked bigger things for Swayne. The New York Jets offered him a three-year contract, and he accepted. With the Jets, Swayne played in 15 games, starting two, and caught 13 passes for 203 yards. He ranked third on the team in each of the last two categories, and had a generally productive season as the team's slot receiver. He also had one reception for 15 yards in the Jets' playoff game against the Oakland Raiders, which was lost 22-24. Swayne's third year with the Jets was arguably his best. Although his role with the team became diminished and he only caught two passes, one of those passes was the most important of his career. In a 24-17 win over the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football, Swayne caught a 27-yard strike for his only NFL touchdown (to date). That score was the deciding margin, as the Jets earned a seven-point win. Swayne caught a two-yard pass the next week for his last NFL catch. The Jets decided not to renew Swayne's contract, and let him go as a free agent.
With his play in all three leagues, he became the first player in professional football history to play football for 12 consecutive months.
Arena Football LeagueEdit
In his first action with the Dragons since 2001, Swayne was welcomed back. Unfortunately, after a successful first-week return, Swayne missed the next six games with a hamstring injury. In the season finale, however, his presence was felt with two touchdowns in a Dragons win. Swayne only played in six games, but still made an impact. He was fifth on the team in receiving yardage, and had 23 receptions for 11 touchdowns. He passed two important personal milestones on February 19, against the Nashville Kats, scoring both his 100th touchdown and his 500th receiving yard. He scored 5 touchdowns, his season high, in this game as well.
Swayne plays and lives in New York, where he intends to remain. He and his wife, Jaime, have two children, Hannah and Ezekiel.