"I think he has unlimited potential. He can be a dynamic player. And you see more and more players his size in the NFL, like [New England's] Danny Amendola and [Denver's] Wes Welker. But Ryan has more speed than those guys. You see [New Orleans'] Darren Sproles.
"What Ryan has is speed and heart."
Brewer said although Switzer is 5-8 or 5-9, "he's a well-put-together athlete. He trains. He swims. He's just not real tall."
Switzer, by the way, doesn't see himself in the same category as Amendola and Welker.
"Those kind of guys are put in the same category as me because of the color of our skin, to be honest," Switzer said. "There's nothing wrong, those are great players to be compared to. But I look up to Tavon [Austin] a little more. I got close to him and he's stayed in touch, even though he's become big-time. He called the other day [after the Pitt game].
"What I try to do, though, is not compare. I want to make a name for myself."
He certainly has a running start on that. Just don't, he warns, get carried away. This is not the perfect dream first season.
"A little bit," Switzer said. "It started off kind of slow. I had a couple touchdowns called back. But things picked up."
Switzer had a punt return for score called back against Virginia Tech and a long reception for a score called back against Georgia Tech. His fortunes, however, have indeed "picked up."
"It's pretty neat [to be No. 1 in punt return touchdowns]," Switzer said. "There are guys out there returning kicks like [Oregon's] De'Anthony Thomas, [Oklahoma State's] Josh Stewart and [Duke's Jamison] Crowder. It's a big honor. But if I didn't have that one against Virginia Tech called back I'd have a bigger lead. My goal is to get the NCAA record [of five returns for a score]."
That's within reach. The 5-5 Tar Heels finish against Old Dominion and Duke.
Here's the funny thing, though. Switzer doesn't consider any of the returns the high point of his season.
"The last [punt return for score] was nice," he said. "But I'm not going to lie. The biggest thing I struggle with is blocking, especially against bigger guys. Well, against Pitt, I got a pretty good crackback block on a screen play. That's been my biggest moment."
Switzer, by the way, had a nice crowd, including his parents and grandmother, in Pittsburgh to see the play.
"Every time he did something," Brewer said, "the section erupted. You knew they were there. It was pretty exciting."
So, it seems, is Switzer's future.
"Hopefully, I'll continue to progress and mature and I'll get a bigger part on the team," said the freshman. "I've got a lot of touches this year. The coaches said they've never done this much with a freshman before. I hope I proved to them through my kick returns I can handle a bigger role."
He's proving a lot to many. In a hurry.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.