Chargers FB Chris Swain's service deferred, OK to play in NFL in 2016

SAN DIEGO -- Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said Navy's Keenan Reynolds and Chris Swain can defer their military service to play in the NFL.

Carter made the announcement on Friday during his graduation speech at the Naval Academy.

Carter’s announcement was considered the final step to clear the way for Reynolds, a sixth-round selection by the Baltimore Ravens, and Swain, an undrafted rookie signed by the San Diego Chargers, to play in the upcoming season.

San Diego is a good fit for Swain because of the heavy presence of the Navy in this city.

Swain said he spent two weeks in San Diego the past two summers performing his training on ships out at sea, including a trip to Hawaii.

Upon graduation, Swain is required to serve a five-year commitment as a Navy division officer in exchange for his undergraduate education.

“Definitely, I think it helps,” Swain said about being located in a military town like San Diego. “We’ll see what happens with the secretary of the Navy and the secretary of defense. I think it’s a pretty good situation, but service comes first.”

Swain is competing for the fullback job with San Diego’s sixth-round draft pick Derek Watt. At 6-foot and 249 pounds, Swain played in an option attack for the Naval Academy. So along with the transition from college to the NFL, Swain has to learn how to play in a conventional offense.

“It’s an honor to have someone like Chris here,” Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said. “Not only for what they are going to do to help us win, but what they do for this country. To end up somewhere like San Diego couldn’t be a better fit for him.”