ANDERSON — For the second consecutive year, the Indianapolis Colts have signed a free agent who has never played a down of organized football.
Erik Swoope played four years of basketball at the University of Miami, averaging 2.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in a 110-game career that included 27 starts. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder has athletic traits the Colts believe can help him make the transition to the gridiron as a tight end.
San Diego's Antonio Gates, New Orleans' Jimmy Graham and Denver's Julius Thomas are among the current NFL tight ends who played basketball for at least a portion of their college careers. The Broncos and Green Bay reportedly are among the other teams that made an offer for Swoope's services.
Last year, the Colts signed Kenya-born Daniel Adongo after scouting him as a rugby player in South Africa.
Swoope was one of 19 undrafted free agents signed Sunday by Indianapolis. It's a group general manager Ryan Grigson already was excited about in the immediate aftermath of the final day of the NFL draft Saturday.
As Grigson addressed the media, vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye and other members of the Colts' personnel and coaching staffs were working the phones to get the college free agents under contract.
"Right now with the scouts and coaches, it's really like a symphony over there, and Jimmy's the maestro," Grigson said Saturday. "I can't wait to go back and see what we've got. I'm getting texts with the guys we're getting signed right now. It's exciting because there are guys we had on our draft board."
The full list released Sunday includes Jackson State cornerback Qua Cox, whose older brother — James Patrick — played three seasons with Tampa Bay and New England.
Ohio State guard Marcus Hall was a college teammate of second-round pick Jack Mewhort and a high school teammate of fifth-rounder Jonathan Newsome. Northern Colorado quarterback Seth Lobato is a 6-foot-6 former basketball player who began his college career as a walk-on in that sport at Colorado and threw for 2,725 yards and 16 touchdowns in 10 games as a senior. And Troy wide receiver Eric Thomas broke T.Y. Hilton's Sun Belt Conference record with 29 career touchdowns.