The Indianapolis Colts brought in Miami Hurricanes basketball player Erik Swoope as an undrafted free agent. The hope is that the Colts can use is speed and athleticism, which includes a 35-inch vertical leap, on the football field like other tight ends who also played college basketball.
So far Swoope is impressing his coaches.
“To be able to just break a huddle, get in a stance, run the routes that he ran, catch the balls that he caught, I mean, off the charts, exceeded our expectations way beyond anything that you’d ever imagine for a guy that never played,” head coach Chuck Pagano said, via the team’s official website. “If he continues to work — he’s a bright guy, he’s smart, he picks things up, he looks like he’s got great passion for this — who knows?”
“Every time I walk by the tight-end meeting room, he’s in there watching tape, he’s with (tight ends coach) Alfredo Roberts studying and learning,” Pagano added. “He’s doing a great job to this point.”
Some notable tight ends like Antonio Gates, Martellus Bennett and Jimmy Graham were also basketball players in college, though not as raw and unexperienced on the football field as Swoope. Don’t expect Pagano to trot Swoope out right away though, the Colts are already pretty covered at the position with Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener on the roster.
For now it looks like Swoope is being penciled in as a special teamer to give him time to develop.
“In Erik’s case, he’s best when there’s contact,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga told Yahoo Sports in April. “I don’t think that’s going to discourage him at all. I even told my coaches, I could see him being on special teams tracking guys down and throwing people away to get to the ball carrier.”
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Tags: Indianapolis Colts