Former Badger receiver Luke Swan is about to become a TV star. Hes not trying to make a career for himself on the small screen though but rather using Spike TVs new reality show 4th and Long as an opportunity to make the Dallas Cowboys training camp roster.
The show premiers Monday, May 18 at 9 p.m. CT and will run for 10 episodes, with the last episode airing just before the start of Cowboys training camp.
Swan is one of 12 contestants fighting for a spot on the Cowboys roster. His younger brother Aaron came across the opportunity while searching the internet and thought it was perfect for Luke, who went undrafted in 2008.
I looked at it and didnt really think too much of it and then after a little I thought, why dont I try to find the application for this, Swan said. So I found the application, did a video interview because it looked like an interesting opportunity, sent it in and got called to come out to Los Angeles for casting.
Swan was one of 30,000 applicants and one of just 50 that were selected to fly out to Los Angeles for casting. The casting for this show was different than other reality shows as the 50 applicants were put through a combine style workout. The group ran the 40-yard dash, did agility work, verticals, broad jumps, one-on-one work and had interviews so the casting directors could see each players personality.
After all that work, Swan was impressive enough to earn a spot as one of the 12 contestants.
It just seemed like a once in a lifetime kind of thing, Swan said. When I did the application I thought, lets give this a shot because who knows. It just seemed interesting to me to be on television and get connections from that and have that platform to share who I am as a person.
The Fennimore, Wis., native already has a made-for-TV story as a former walk-on with the Badgers. He worked his way into the starting lineup as a junior and served as team captain before a hamstring injury ended his UW career in 2007. Swan still had high hopes for the 2008 NFL Draft and signed a free-agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs but his stay with the team was short after he re-aggravated his hamstring injury during training camp.
Swans competition consists of five other wide receivers and six defensive backs that all have varying backgrounds. The group of receivers includes Steve Gonzalez (a former af2 player), Montrell Jones (a Parade All-American in high school and former Louisville player), Andrew Hawkins (a 5-foot-7 receiver undrafted out of Toledo), Jessey Holley (two-sport athlete at North Carolina, including a spot as a reserve on the 2006 NCAA mens basketball championship team), Preston McGann (former baseball player turned football player) and Swan.
The contestants on defense include, Stephen Andrews (coming back from an injury), Donte Gamble (former San Diego State and CFL player), Erick Jackson (member of Texas team that won 2005 national championship), Eddie Moten (three-year Defensive Player of the Year for the AFLs Philadelphia Soul), Ahmaad Smith (former Tennessee State player) and Moses Washington (member of Oklahomas 2000 national championship team).
The 12 prospects will receive coaching from Bill Bates and Joe Avezzano throughout the season and former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin will host the show. Bates was a 15-year veteran with the Cowboys, playing in three Super Bowls and a Pro Bowl. He will serve as the defensive backs coach while Avezzano, a three-time NFL special teams coach of the year with the Cowboys, will work with the wide receivers.
Despite all the big names on the show, Swan said he never got star struck.
We met a lot of really awesome, neat Hall of Fame type football players and coaches and some NFL greats, Swan said. That was very neat, just the whole experience of seeing them and seeing their passion for football and getting a feel for some of the past greats.
The 10-episode series was shot at various locations in Dallas, Texas, primarily at the stadium first called home by the Dallas Cowboys in 1960: the legendary Cotton Bowl where the athletes lived and trained.
Be sure to watch Swan on Spike TV Monday, May 18 to see how far he goes on 4th and Long. You can find out more about the show by visiting its official page on Spike TV's Web site .