What a long and interesting road its' been for Erik Swoope.
Back in November and December of last year the ultra athletic Free Agent TE vying for credibility as a football player in Colts rookie camp, was just trying to find his way as a college hoops player.
Through Miami's first 19 games, Swoope averaged just a shade under 10 minutes a game and even had 2 DNPs.
But once Swoope became a part of the regular rotation, and eventually worked his way into the starting line-up, he finished his senior campaign as one of the best players on the team and walking highlight reel that caught the attention of everyone in the ACC.
Given his sudden and meteoric rise on the hardwood, should we be shocked that Swoope is impressing the Indianapolis coaching staff with his smooth transition to the gridiron, particularly Colts Head Coach Chuck Paganao?
"He looks natural," Pagano said. "He can get in a stance, he looks natural running routes, he's obviously got great ball skills and hands, he doesn't drop many balls, he's bright as all get out. 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. The guy has exceeded our expectations for having not played the game. He's doing a great job to this point. We've got some evidence out there of guys that have done the same thing, made the same transition, and ended up being pretty good football players," Pagano said, "so we're excited to see where he's going. He's got a high ceiling." (Ft Wayne.com)
And just as he demonstrated via his days at UM, Swoope remains grounded and humble:
"I understand I'm a project and I plan on being patient and doing my best," Swoope said Friday on the first day of the Colts' rookie mini-camp. "It'll be tough. I'm willing to be patient with myself. In my history with basketball, I had to be patient for my opportunity and it came in the last 10 games of my senior year. You have to keep working." - Erik Swoope at Colts minicamp (Ft Wayne.com)
Two years back, some of us at SOTU speculated this outcome.
Jimmy Graham's success and Swoope's incredible athletic feats made the comparison feel natural.
While ES still has long way to go to even earn a roster spot, count us at State as early believers.
And just like he did as a senior this past season on Miami's hoops squad, do not be surprised if Swoope makes the most of this opportunity as well.
Stay tuned as we promise to keep you updated on the progress of Erik Swoope.