EKU's Swafford to play in bowl game in China

(STATS) - Tyler Swafford is planning to forsake two seasons of possibly being Eastern Kentucky's starting quarterback to study abroad on a postgraduate scholarship.

But the 2016 STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award recipient still wants to continue his playing career.

He's found one way.

On Friday, Swafford will play in the American Football University New Year Bowl 2017 at 40,000-seat Boa'an Stadium in Shenzhen, China. He is one of 40 student-athletes from the United States who will join 40 players from China and Japan to be divided into two teams.

Swafford, from Franklin, Tennessee, was a redshirt sophomore athletically last season, but the 4.0 honors scholar is on pace to graduate with a degree in globalization and international affairs after the spring semester. He will leave Eastern Kentucky to attend University College Dublin as one of 12 winners in the United States of the prestigious George J. Mitchell Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance.

Swafford played in nine games with four starts this past season, finishing with 940 passing yards, five passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.

He said he would consider playing in a collegiate league in Ireland while doing postgraduate studies.