There was a time when former Texas Longhorns quarterback Tyrone Swoopes was firmly opposed to making the switch to tight end after true freshman Shane Buechele emerged as the starting field general for the 2016 season.
12 games later, Swoopes’ career in Austin has reached its end and with his eyes now shifted towards the NFL, the former five-star passer is, in fact, training to become an NFL prospect at tight end, per Orangebloods.
Why the change of heart?
Well, it turns out that NFL agents have told Swoopes that they foresee a potential professional future at the position.
"After the season, I spoke with some agents," Swoopes told Orangebloods’ Alex Dunlap, "They all said that (moving to tight end) was the right move based on everything they were hearing (from scouts and league sources)."
With great size at 6’4, 249 pounds and a natural ability to shed defenders as a runner and even make some miss with flashes of nifty footwork, the tools are in place for a successful transition at the next level. Swoopes told Orangebloods he already has good hands and as far as the rest is concerned, he’s reportedly been training for the transition at Michael Johnson Performance in Dallas. Sources told Orangebloods that Swoopes is “way ahead” in his transition to tight end thus far.
According to Swoopes, he enters the process with an advantage after spending the mass majority of his career as a quarterback — he knows what quarterbacks want, per Dunlap:
It will help a lot that I was a quarterback. A quarterback can do things on the fly; he can call [an audible] out to me once he sees the coverage and I'll see the same coverage. You won't have to explain it to me; just give [me] the short-and-sweet version. I'll know what he wants, if it's to adjust in this way or that way, to sit in this zone - I still process the information the defense gives you like a quarterback [does].
As a quarterback at Texas, Swoopes passed for 3,038 career yards and 17 touchdowns, but spent the majority of his final two seasons on the 40 Acres as a reserve option behind Jerrod Heard and Buechele. Swoopes’ prowess as a physically imposing runner still provided his share of reps in what become known as the ‘18-Wheeler’ package, which saw Swoopes rush for 625 yards and 19 touchdowns during his final two seasons.
In Austin, Swoopes was always ready and willing to do whatever was in the best interest of the team, even if that meant spending his senior season as a spectator while a true freshman occupied his position. Now that his collegiate career is over, we’re seeing the beginning of that same sacrifice, though this time, it’s for an opportunity to make a lot of money in the NFL.