After a few months of speculation, Elijah Sohn has officially transferred out of Southern Methodist University’s swimming program to the Sam Houston State University football team.
In June, college football insiders suggested that Sohn was considering his switch to football. He explained to SwimSwam that his decision to drop swimming was based on religious reasons.
“For me, swimming had become an idol in my life as I had the mentality of, ‘Look at me and look at what I can do,’” Sohn said. “I never want my life to point to me, but rather point to Jesus.”
Sohn began his collegiate career at Texas A&M as a sprint freestyler. He finished his freshman year in College Station with an Honorable Mention All-America honor, anchoring the Aggies to a 16th-place finish in the 400 free relay at the 2021 NCAA Championships.
While he chose to continue his swimming at SMU for the 2021-22 season, he only competed for the Mustangs at the season-opening SMU Classic.
After he realized that swimming no longer had a place in his life, Sohn wanted to give football a try.
“People my whole life had told me I look like a football player and that I should play,” he said.
So he entered the transfer portal again, this time to pursue football.
SMU transfer Elijah Sohn (@elijah_sohn_)
Sohn is an interesting prospect.
He was an all-american swimmer at TAMU last season but is now at SMU. He will play TE at the next level w/ measurements of 6-4.5, 240.
He currently trains with former NFL TE Jermichael Finley. pic.twitter.com/L9UtgRlQJe
— Brandon Howard (@BHoward_11) May 28, 2022
Jermichael Finley, a former Green Bay Packers tight end, began training every day with Sohn in the spring. Sohn explained that he got “used to running on land as opposed to swimming laps,” and that he “worked on footwork, speed, and running routes.”
Sohn then attended college football camps to get scouted by coaches. While many viewed Sohn as a risky recruit, Sam Houston State’s coaching staff thought he was worth taking the chance. Sohn is now listed on the roster as a tight end for the Bearkats.
Sam Houston football competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), which is the second-highest level behind the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The program won its first-ever FCS national championship in 2020 under head coach Kurt Charles “K.C.” Keeler.
Keeler’s championship win with the Bearkats made him the only coach in FCS history to claim national titles at multiple schools (Delaware in 2003). He has also coached nine NFL draft picks, including Super Bowl XLVII MVP quarterback Joe Flacco.
As Sohn forges on this new path, it will be interesting to see how he progresses with this elite, competitive football team.