Once that desire dissipated, Jayson Swain found it was time to move on. After four distinguished seasons with the Vols and one mini-camp with the National Football League’s Chicago Bears, Swain is giving up the game. The pros simply didn’t live up to his expectations.
“I spent my whole life wanting to get there, working hard to get there,” he said Saturday. “But when I got there, my desire to play diminished, and you can’t do anything in life if you don’t love what you do.”
Swain isn’t sure where his life is headed long-term but, short-term, he’s back in school at UT to complete his degree requirements.
“I’m going to get that piece of paper for my mom’s refrigerator,” he deadpanned. “I feel like I’ll be successful doing whatever I want to do. I enjoy football but there are other things in life I can do besides play football.”
Swain played some awfully good football at UT, especially as a senior. He caught 49 passes for 688 yards last fall, averaging 14.0 yards per catch and scoring six touchdowns.
Swain signed with the Bears after being overlooked in last spring’s NFL Draft. He makes no excuses, conceding that Chicago gave him a fair opportunity in mini-camp.
“I felt like I had a great chance,” he said. “But my heart wasn’t in it. When that happens, it’s time to do something else.”
Voted a captain as a senior last fall, Swain was probably Tennessee’s finest team leader in 2006. The 6-1, 210-pounder always gave his best on the field and never gave any trouble off the field. Those traits should serve him well in whatever endeavors his future holds.
“If I can lead a group of young men – a hundred plus people – I can be successful in the business world easy,” he said.
Asked if he misses the game and might find his way into coaching, Swain flashed a pained grin.
“I don’t think I want to coach,” he said. “I haven’t been away long enough to miss it. If I can help with a team – give some advice – I might do that. But, as far as me going out there with a whistle, I don’t see that happening.”