An Interview with College Football Star George Karlaftis

At SWET Tailor, we’ve developed our clothing line with multifaceted men in mind. That’s why we’re so honored to be collaborating with Purdue student athlete George Karlaftis (@TheGK3). Named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, George is a star athlete, who is equally committed to his education, personal brand, and family. He has a lot going on, so we’ve stepped in to help him dress for it.

Because George is such an inspiration to us, we figured our SWET community would like to learn a little more about how this award-winning athlete keeps being so exceptional each and every day.

Read on to discover who this rising star is, how SWET Tailor fits into his busy schedule, and which SWET styles are staples in his dorm room closet: 

Hi George! We’d love to learn more about who you are and how you got to where you are today. Tell us a little about yourself!
My dad was from Athens, Greece, which is where I was born and raised. After he passed away, the rest of my family moved back to my mom’s hometown of West Lafayette, Indiana.

In Indiana, I quickly started getting into sports. I played basketball at first, but switched over to football, mostly because all my friends were playing it. Football turned out to be a natural fit; I was bigger, faster, and better than everyone else.

From there, I was accepted to Purdue to study and play football. Right now, I’m just trying to work as hard as I can and take advantage of all the amazing opportunities.

Your career is still in the very early stages, but what has been one of the highlights so far? Do any moments stick out as being particularly memorable?
Last year, we had a big win against Iowa. Not a lot of people expected us to win. Iowa’s a great team, and it was on their turf, but we still pulled through and won. I also have to mention winning the state championship my senior year of high school in a 15-0 game. I can’t imagine a better way to end a high school career.

You’re a football player and a student. What’s it like juggling between the two?
Purdue makes it a priority for student athletes to be able to play and study at a very high level. I have plenty of time for school and homework (I’m majoring in retail management), and I even have free time on top of that. The course load is tough, but reasonable. Time management plays a big role in finding balance. Fortunately, our coaches and staff are there to support us in making it all work.

It’s an exciting time for college athletes. You can now be sponsored for the first time in history. How do you feel about the change?
Personally, I believe it’s long overdue for college athletes. Why not let athletes profit on the hard work they’re putting in? If you take care of business on the field, you should be taken care of off the field, as long as it doesn’t distract from your education or game. I think it may require some monitoring from coaches and staff, but if athletes are using the opportunity in a positive way, it will be highly beneficial for their careers in the long run.

What are your goals, short term and long?
Right now, I’m focused on having the best season I possibly can, which means working with my team. I believe that if I perform well, it helps my teammates, so I’m trying to make every play.

As for the long term, my big goal is to take care of my family. Growing up without a father means I have a duty to look after my mom and three younger siblings, which is a responsibility I take very, very seriously.

How does SWET Tailor fit into your busy schedule?
Purdue does a great job of allowing me to play football, excel at school, and have free time, and SWET Tailor makes it possible for me to shift between those activities without having to change clothes. The clothes I wear to school can work just as well during a practice or on my days off.

What are your favorite SWET Tailor styles, on and off the field?
My favorite style is the Softest Tee, which I’m wearing right now. I also live in their hoodies. SWET Tailor is my go-to when I’m out and about, getting things done. I tend to sweat a lot, and their clothes are super absorbent. SWET Tailor helps me stay cool and comfortable throughout the day. Our team usually trains in Purdue gear, but I could definitely see myself working out in SWET’s more active styles.

If you had one piece of advice for aspiring athletes, what would it be?
Focus on your main goal. Do the best you can for your team, while taking care of your business off the field (whether that’s academics, sponsorships, or family). If you commit to being the best player and person you can be, everything else will fall into place. 

Want to dress like an award-winning college athlete? George’s favorite styles include the Softest Tee and SWET Hoodies. Stock up and become the most valuable player of whatever it is you do!