I wrote a story about Ryan Switzer, the North Carolina receiver and punt returner who's receiving a lot of attention and accolades entering his sophomore season. The story is about the fear that motivates Switzer – the fear of failure – and some other things, too.
It's about people doubting him because of his size. About what Larry Fedora, the Tar Heels' coach, has described as the “little man syndrome” behind Switzer's success. It's about people questioning Switzer's talents because he's white and, let's face it, there aren't many white guys doing what he is.
You can read the story here. As always, though, there's a story behind the story. In reporting this one, Switzer and I spoke for a while. It was an interesting interview, I thought, and it contains a lot of stuff that didn't make the story I wrote. Like: Switzer sharing one bathroom with three sisters.
Here's the interview:
But now, everybody's talking about it. Like, 'How are you playing this game and you're only 5-9?' And some people think I'm 5-6, 5-7. And I'm not that short. But to me, it's like it has no effect on the game of football. Yeah, guys are bigger but what I lack in height I have other things to make up for. So it has hindered me at any level that I've played on, and it won't hinder me at the next level, because you see guys like Wes Welker, once again, Tavon Austin's doing great. … It does not matter. The game of football has changed. Guys like me are at a premium now. There's a lot of us. So it really has no effect on me to this day. But some people still think it's crazy that I can do what I'm doing.