Eleven Tech football players go pro

Tech’s defense lines up against Virginia Tech during their 2021 matchup. Tariq Carpenter, Tech’s draftee, and Djimon Brooks, the Jackets’ USFL signee, are pictured above. // Photo by Ethan Vitak Student Publications

Tech has a slew of new professional Jackets that have just been signed by football teams in the NFL and USFL. 10 former Jackets were signed (nine of them to NFL teams) as free agents and the eleventh, Tariq Carpenter, was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 228th pick in the seventh round during day three of the NFL draft on April 30.

Carpenter impressed NFL scouts with a strong performance at his pro day that was highlighted by a 39 inch vertical jump and 4.52 second 40-yard dash. At the Institute, Carpenter was a vital part of the Tech defense, accumulating four interceptions and 223 total tackles through five seasons with the Jackets, four of which he had significant playing time during. Carpenter is also a big and physical safety that forced three fumbles while at Tech and even at 6’4 and 225 pounds, he was still athletic enough to keep up with the smaller and faster playmakers in college football.

In addition to Carpenter’s selection, the third consecutive year with at least one Jacket selected, nine other Jackets were signed as undrafted free agents (UDFAs) in the days following the draft. Defensive back Tre Swilling, who had 21 pass deflections and two interceptions at Tech, was signed by the Tennessee Titans. Kyric McGowan was signed by the Washington Commanders after transferring to the Institute and leading the team in touchdown receptions as a wide receiver. McGowan had over 1500 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns during his college career.

Running back Jordan Mason signed with the San Francisco 49ers after accumulating over 2500 yards and 18 touchdowns as a Jacket. Mason impressed scouts with a sub 4.5 second 40 yard dash at his pro day. Offensive lineman Devin Cochran signed with the Cincinnati Bengals and Ryan Johnson received a mini-camp invite from the Atlanta Falcons after being vital pieces in the trenches for Tech.

Juanyeh Thomas signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a defensive back after having 210 tackles at the Institute along with three special teams and defensive touchdowns. At 6’3 and 215 pounds, Thomas is another big safety like Carpenter. Bruce Jordan-Swilling was invited to mini-camp to be a running back with the New Orleans Saints after playing primarily on defense for the Jackets.

Jordan-Swilling had 86 tackles as a linebacker at Tech and only four carries on offense, but the NFL seems to think his talents are suited for a running back position.

Former quarterback turned defensive back Tobias Oliver also received a mini-camp invite to the New York Giants. At Tech, Oliver accounted for 344 passing yards, 1155 rushing yards, 106 receiving yards, 23 tackles and 15 touchdowns.

Jack Coco received a minicamp invite from the Green Bay Packers where he will join Carpenter and play as a long snapper and tight end. Coco was Tech’s long snapper for four years and he had five receptions as a tight end.

Along with the ten new Jackets in the NFL, former Tech defensive lineman Djimon Brooks was signed to the New Orleans Breakers in the newly formed USFL. Brooks combined for 87 tackles and a sack while he was a Jacket.