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Miami's Erik Swoope looks to move from hoops to football

J Pat Carter/Associated Press
Miami basketball player Erik Swoope is attempting to jumpstart an NFL career.


Miami's Erik Swoope never did all that much in four seasons on the basketball court, and it now appears as though he is trying to follow in the footsteps of former UM basketball player Jimmy Graham and make an impact on the football field.

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Swoope (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) is a big-time athlete, but he never averaged more than 5.0 points or 2.7 rebounds as a forward for the Hurricanes. His athleticism caught the eyes of some NFL scouts, though, and Swoope worked out for the Denver Broncos last week.

Swoope (whose last name is pronounced "Swope," as in "nope") can bench press 360 pounds and squats 495 pounds. Those are tight end figures, but the Broncos might think a 6-5, 220-pound wide receiver has some appeal.

Denver already has Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas (6-5, 250). Interestingly, Thomas played four seasons of basketball at Portland State and was part of two Vikings teams that made the NCAA Tournament. He played just one season of college football, in 2010, but showed enough at the FCS level that the Broncos took him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.

As for Graham (6-7, 265), as with Swoope, he played four seasons of basketball at Miami, never averaging more than 6.0 points per game. Graham was a solid rebounder, though, and his toughness led to him trying football at UM in 2009, when he had 17 receptions for 213 yards and five touchdowns. His upside led to the Saints taking him in the third round of the 2010 draft. He arguably is the best tight end in the NFL now.

It's an extreme long shot (as in a half-court bank shot to win the national title) that Swoope will be drafted, but the Broncos could sign him as a free agent and hope for the best.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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