With the 2014 season coming closer everyday the Colts' lineup continues to grow and evolve, but one player in particular is attracting a lot of attention. Despite never having played a single down of organized football, former University of Miami power forward Erik Swoope is looking to trade the basketball for the pigskin as a tight end.
Although Swoope may not have a football record to speak of, his athletic prowess gives plenty of reasons to expect great things. During his time with the Hurricanes, he was known for his lighting-quick sprint, impressive jump, and 365 lb bench press. His ball handling skills are also expected to carry over to football.
Among the biggest challenges of switching sports is learning the mental intricacies of a new game. Swoope says his time with the Colts has been one of serious study, stating he studies "Pretty much and and every moment I'm awake."
The University of Miami Hurricanes have another former basketball player in the NFL, New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham. Like Swoope, Graham was selected for his outstanding athletic ability after four seasons of basketball. He then played footballl with the Hurricanes as a graduate student, and was selected by New Orleans in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft.
While the decision to sign a player who is best known for his achievements in other sports is not common, it is far from the first time a player has switched sports wtih great success. Among other famous football players who formerly played basketball are Terrell Owens, Antonio Gates, and Tony Gonzalez.
With a tight end squad that includes Dwayne Allen, who has recovered from a hip injury in the 2013 season, and Coby Fleener, Swoope certainly has plenty of in-team competition. But with his whole NFL career ahead of him, he certainly has room to grow.
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