Who remembers the heralded group of receivers that all decided to attend the University of Tennessee? Bret Smith, Robert Meachem and Jayson Swain all decided to attend Tennessee. These guys all had good careers at Tennessee and were there during many special moments. Recently I caught up with one member of this trio, Jayson Swain. Here's what we talked about.
patton26: What are you up to these days?
Jayson Swain: I work for ESPN 1180 in Knoxville. I have my own show (The Swain Event) and I also work with a group called National Underclassmen. What we do is we do about 80 combines a year and we evaluate the talent of each kid and also impart wisdom to them.
patton26: So, I'm guessing the adjustment to life after football has been pretty easy?
Swain: Actually it wasn't all that easy. You always hear about having a Plan B in case you don't make it to the NFL. But that really doesn't hit you until you don't make it. Of course you're disappointed when you don't make it, but the lessons of football prepare you for life after football.
patton26: What would you say was your most memorable moment while playing for Tennessee?
Swain: The most memorable moment I had was when we played the University of California the season opener my senior year. The season before we had went 5-6. We had worked hard all off-season. Leaders were born that off-season and we became a more close-knit team. We felt like we were the only people that believed we could go out and play great football. That game showed all the hard work we put in that off-season.
patton26: Are you interested in coaching?
Swain: I was interested at first, but the time commitment is the biggest barrier for me. I mean, the money is good but I value my family time more.
patton26: Speaking of coaches, what are your impressions of current UT football coach Derek Dooley?
Swain: Initially I didn't know much about him. I was still trying to understand how you get rid of a coach that won 70% of his games. But, now that I've actually had a chance to see his work, I'm happy with Coach Dooley. He is a coach that has standards.
patton26: What do you think about UT football now?
Swain: They did better than some of me and the alumni had initially thought they would. I'm excited for the future of the program, but there's no way I can be satisfied with the program right now with Auburn, Florida and Alabama winning National Championships. The young guys need to mature and do what they are supposed to do, the coaching staff needs to bring in more players of SEC level talent to compete and continue to move in the right direction.
patton26: Are you still involved with the program?
Swain: Not as much with work and spending time with my daughter. I don't really go on campus that much. The guys still know who I am, but I'm not real active due to my obligations at work and with my family.
What I gathered from this interview is that Swain is a very family-oriented person who still has a passion for sports. Many thanks go out to him for doing the interview with me. And for all those in Knoxville, check out The Swain Event on ESPN 1180.