Erik Swoope ’10 on a Very Unexpected NFL Career – TSC044

In the spring of 2014, Erik Swoope ’10 laced up his cleats for the first day of rookie camp with the Indianapolis Colts. While the NFL is a rare destination for any aspiring professional athlete, this was especially unusual for Erik. Erik Swoope never played college football, nor high school football, nor youth football–nor had he watched the Super Bowl in more than a decade. Yet somehow, Erik made the practice squad–and then the real squad, spending the next several years catching touchdown passes from Andrew Luck as an NFL tight end. In this episode, Erik tells his story, from growing up in Lake Elsinore and playing AAU basketball, to finding Harvard-Westlake and University of Miami, to then converting his ACC basketball skills to the route-running and pass-catching of the NFL. Through it all, however, Erik has found success by conveying both the inner confidence to pursue new challenges and the humility to seek wisdom and guidance from others. Among the many figures Erik cites as profound mentors are Jon Wimbish and Greg Hilliard of Harvard-Westlake, Jim Larrañaga of University of Miami, and Rob Chudzinski, Jimmy Graham, Jack Doyle, Reggie Wayne, and Andrew Luck of the National Football League.