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The Next Antonio Gates?


The conversion of Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers from Kent State basketball standout to potential Hall of Fame NFL Tight End is well known throughout the sporting world.

Jimmy Graham traveled a similar route, playing four years of NCAA basketball for the University of Miami, and only one year of football for the ‘Canes, before being drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

As reported by Mike Wells of, Erik Swoope hopes to follow the trail blazed by these two stars after being signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent.

The 6’5″, 220-pound Swoope has no college football experience, but played four years of basketball for the University of Miami. He started 27 of 110 games and averaged 5.0 points per game last season.

Swoope could potentially see the field against Jimmy Graham and the New Orleans Saints in the 3rd preseason game of the year. He won’t have to opportunity to see Antonio Gates and the Chargers this year, but I would not be surprised if he’s already sent a ‘Thank You’ note to Antonio Gates for paving the way for guys like him.

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Tags: Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers

  • Julien Bélair

    At 220 he is not the next gates or Graham. This guy is undersized

    • Michael Maitlen

      I can’t say how much Tony Gates weighed when he came into the league, but I imagine part of Swoope’s regimen will be packing on weight/muscle as quick as possible. Regards to height, Swoope has an inch on Gates, which I’m sure the Colts find intriguing.

  • Gill Netter

    Off Subject: What is your estimate for the Chargers win loss record this season?

    • Michael Maitlen

      Hey Robert, good question. I haven’t given this a ton of thought, but running through their schedule I’m looking at another 9-7ish season (conservative). I have them splitting with the Chiefs, losing to the Broncos twice, and sweeping the Raiders. Until the Chargers can prove they can consistently stop the opposition’s passing game, it’s going to be tough to get over the hump. If I’m going to be optimistic as a fan, I can also see the Chargers turning a couple of these tight games into wins and getting to the 10-11 win mark. Either way, I believe it’s going to be another up and down season for the Bolts.

      What are your thoughts on potential wins/losses this coming season?

      • Robert Fairbanks

        7-9 and hoping I am wrong, and they get into the playoff’s. Looking at the schedule scares me with the improvements the other teams have made. We still need another impact type corner back. I think some fans are thinking Malcom Floyd and Feeney are going to overly contribute to an improved season. Injuries (as with all teams) will have a major impact on the Bolts season – as in Rivers; what happens if he goes down?