Josh Sweat’s father visited his son at Florida State, flipped a light switch in his room and witnessed a startling contraption. This wasn’t a student’s standard-issued laptop on his desk. It was a homemade computer with bright lights and water flowing.
“What are you doing here? Are you building bombs? What’s going on?” asked William Washington, Sweat’s father.
“No, Dad,” Sweat said. “That’s coolant.”
“I never even knew computers had that!” Washington said.
Sweat, the Eagles’ burgeoning, 25-year-old pass-rushing star builds computers. From scratch. With his 10 1/4-inch hands manipulating small parts.
Outside the Eagles’ locker room, Sweat explained the process with a straight face.
“It’s a lot easier than you think,” he insisted.
Once you have the components, it should only take a few hours. Sure, the casings can present a challenge. And if you add water cooling, that raises the level of difficulty. Otherwise, it’s simple.
There are certain hobbies that are common in NFL locker rooms. You can talk golf in one corner, gaming in another. Music and food are popular topics. Then there’s Sweat building computers — more than 20 in the past decade, each one better and different than the one before — and his eyes widening while explaining the intricacies of his latest creation.
“You would never expect Sweaty to be really nerdy, but he really is,” Eagles linebacker Patrick Johnson said. “He’s completely opposite of what you’d expect from somebody (like him).”
(Illustration by The Athletic; Photo courtesy of Getty Images)