We have seen basketball players who transition into tight ends have a decent amount of success over the years, and the Indianapolis Colts are hoping that is the case with Erik Swoope, who they signed last offseason. Swoope was a collegiate basketball player who the Colts are working on making into an NFL tight end, and he will certainly be a player to watch when training camp rolls around in a few days.
Swoope played college basketball at the University of Miami, where he played in 110 career games and started 27. Never in his life had he played organized football, but the Colts liked the athleticism that they saw in Swoope enough to sign him last offseason. He stuck with the team all throughout offseason workouts, training camp, and preseason, and he actually did quite well for a player who was just making the switch to football - particularly as a receiving tight end. He was waived as part of the final roster cuts after preseason, but he landed on the Colts' practice squad shortly before the season began and stayed there for the rest of the year. In January of this year, the team signed him to a reserve/futures contract, and he has continued to work with the Colts in an effort to keep improving. As head coach Chuck Pagano said of Swoope earlier this offseason, "he's turning into a football player right before our eyes."
With all of that said, however, Swoope is in no way guaranteed a spot on the 53-man roster. In fact, it will take a pretty impressive training camp and preseason to convince the Colts to keep four tight ends and to make that tight end Erik Swoope. Right now, it seems as if Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener, and Jack Doyle would be the only tight ends to make the 53-man roster, and Swoope's job in camp will be to change that.