Special day for Ted Roof, Pat Swilling and the next generation

It was 35 years ago, in 1982, that Pat Swilling and Ted Roof signed with Georgia Tech, forming what would become the core of the Yellow Jackets’ famed Black Watch defense. On Wednesday, two of Swilling’s sons and one of Roof’s signed with Tech.

Cornerback Tre Swilling and linebacker Bruce Jordan-Swilling bound themselves to Tech from New Orleans, where their father played his standout career with the Saints. Linebacker T.D. Roof starred at state powerhouse Buford High. All will play for the elder Roof, the defensive coordinator.

“He’s going to have to go through some things that other kids won’t have to because he’s my son,” Ted Roof said of T.D. “From a father who gets to see his son most every day that he’s in college — most dads don’t get to do that. So from that perspective, it’s incredible.”

Roof, not surprisingly, was heavily involved in the recruitment of the two Swillings. (Bruce Jordan-Swilling was adopted by the Swilling family.) The Swillings were pursued by the likes of LSU, Michigan, Alabama and USC, but chose Tech.

“It’s exciting,” coach Paul Johnson said. “I think it says a lot about what Pat’s experience at Georgia Tech was as a player. I think he talked a lot about what the education meant for him and how it set him up for after his playing career was over and helped him to get to where he is now.”

Johnson said that early in the recruitment of T.D. Roof, he assured the elder Roof that he wanted to recruit him and that it had nothing to do with Roof being on staff.

“I think he’s a good player,” Johnson said.

Roof’s other son, Mic, a quarterback, also signed Wednesday, with Charlotte.

“I’m so thankful and so appreciative of the opportunities that were afforded to my sons, and at the same time, they weren’t given to them,” Roof said. “They earned them.”

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.