Tuesday morning, Pat Swilling did not arrive on Georgia Tech’s campus to serve in the capacity of Yellow Jackets living legend. Rather, he was just Dad.
The college football hall of famer spent the morning hauling luggage, transporting electronics and making sure sons Tre and Bruce Jordan-Swilling checked in to begin their careers as Tech football players.
“I’m heading back over to Target right now to get some curtains for the windows,” Swilling said by phone. “That’s my role. I’m going to get them up when I get (to the dorm).”
Tech’s signing class of 2017 arrived on campus Tuesday. Players will begin summer classes and take part in the team’s workout program in advance of preseason practice. All of the signees checked in except defensive lineman Kelton Dawson, whose arrival at Tech has been delayed by a personal situation. There were also 10 walk-ons who reported Tuesday.
Two of the more noteworthy arrivals were the Swillings, who were not only among the most sought-after prospects in the class but are also sons of the Tech great. The Swillings left their New Orleans home on Monday in order to be on campus Tuesday morning to move into their dorm room.
“Oh, lord,” Swilling said. “It’s nice. They all have their own room with the nice little dining area, a place to sit down, couches and chairs and all that stuff. It’s quite different than the little small room me and Ralph Malone had in the early 80’s. It’s quite different.”
Tre, a cornerback, and Bruce, a linebacker, will share their dorm with defensive lineman Cortez Alston (Westminster School) and linebacker T.D. Roof (Buford High), the son of defensive coordinator Ted Roof. Swilling and Roof were leaders of the famed “Black Watch” defense after enrolling at Tech together in 1982.
The day’s activities left Pat Swilling enough time to take a respite from his duties as a mover to soak in the moment.
“It was emotional, I think for me and my wife both,” he said. “I kind of sat there, and i turned around and looked at T.D. Roof. I told Ted, ‘It’s hard to believe that 30 years later that we have boys that are at this great institution and following our footsteps.”
Swilling said he took the opportunity to step out onto Grant Field, where he earned All-America status and helped turn around a team that won one game the year before his arrival and won nine in his senior season.
“I went out on the field and looked at the sign – ‘Historic Grant Field’ – and it was like a dream,” he said.
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