Jan. 11, 2019
Greetings! 

This email is directed at anyone in the pro and college football business. Already a client? Here's a review of the week. Not a client? We'd love to have you aboard.
The Week in Football: Jan. 5-11
If you weren't in Fort Worth this week for the fifth annual College Gridiron Showcase, we missed you. Here are a few reasons we think you should make it out next year.
 
If you're an NFL scout, our showcase is for you. This year, we had more teams (31 of 32) and more scouts (140 in all) than we've ever had, and there's a reason for that: we aggressively find out what NFL
There were 140 scouts at the 2019 CGS this year.
evaluators want and we give it to them. Our drills, our player interview process, everything we do conforms to what they've told us they want, and I'm proud to say it's working. "It's probably the best access to prospects, where the bowl organizers block out more than enough time to sit down and really get to know them," said one scout. "Practices are almost entirely evaluation periods, rather than game-planning and installation periods. Each year is better than the year before." Another one: "The best-organized, scout-friendly venue that a college prospect could be given the opportunity to attend."
 
If you're a contract advisor, your clients will be happy. We've worked tirelessly to debug the game over the last five years, and this year, our hotel, food, field and coverage (scouts and media) was better than ever.
 
If you're an aspiring scout, you won't find a better opportunity to learn and network. First off, as you might have read in our blog, Succeed in Football, we had Cowboys Assistant Director of College Scouting Chris Hall at our Scouting Workshop last weekend. For almost two hours, he pulled back the curtain on what it is to work in scouting and offered a few shortcuts for getting into the game. Afterwards, we put several of our attendees into volunteer roles during interviews and practices. They got invaluable face time with people in the game. You don't get a chance to do that anywhere else.
 
If you're a player seeking a shot at the NFL, you won't find a better place. This year we had more talent on our rosters than ever before. We also gave a platform to almost 300 players across our free agent workout, small-school showcase and special teams event in addition to the Wranglers and Desperadoes practices, with each team made up of 90 players. We had nine players who balled out at the Marshals (small-school) workout on Sunday move up to the Desperadoes roster. They included Clark Atlanta OB  Ezekiel  Edmonds, Edinboro DC  Zuril  Hendrick, Morehouse DE  Antonio Johnson, Bloomsburg OT  Travis  Krall, Albion DT  Sean  Kubit- Miller, Arizona Christian WO  Kendrick Murphy, Arkansas Tech OB  K.J. Reid. Mercyhurst OT  Dustin  Rogalla and SUNY-Maritime WO  Curtis  Smith. You won't find that at any other game on the all-star trail.
 
If you're a parent, we help you with the process. Tuesday morning, Stacy Elliott spoke to the parents of dozens of players at our event, free of charge. Elliott knows a little about the NFL Draft process; his son is Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott. We are serious about learning and want to make the road to April as transparent as possible.
 
If you're just a fan, you won't find better access to the game. While we are all business and take our event seriously, we also have fun. Sure, there are places you can't go unless you work in the game. However, all our practices are open to the public and our players are friendly and appreciative of the opportunity they have. We take character into consideration and our players handle themselves accordingly.
 
By the way, if you want to get plenty of video, coverage and commentary of the game, check out Emory Hunt on Twitter or the F.A.N. Show's YouTube page. Both Emory and Richard Tieman (of the F.A.N. Show) were there all week. You can take a peek at complete rosters on our site, with Wranglers (players and their agents) here and Desperadoes here. If you're an agent seeking last-minute sleepers, there's no better way to find out which players still lack representation.
 
Here's a look at what else we saw, heard, read and said about the business of college and pro football in a busy, busy second week of the new year.
 
Meanwhile, at the Tropical Bowl: This morning, we attended weigh-ins for the Tropical Bowl. The game's CEO, Michael Quartey, told us this year's team has representation from 28 of 32 teams, and the weigh-in room was brimming with evaluators from the NFL as well as the CFL. They're here to check out two 68-man rosters compiled by Michael and former NFL scout Ken Moll, who has served as the game's executive consultant since its inception in 2016. Whereas in the past, Ken and the game's staff conducted weigh-ins, this year, the job was turned over to scouts from attending teams. That represents the growing credibility of the game with NFL officials. This afternoon, both teams' coaching staffs conducted crisp workouts and they'll do the same Saturday. Here's a look at the full schedule. Like the CGS, the "Trop" has earned a place on the all-star trail alongside the Big 3 games.
 
Even more rosters: January is a busy month for everyone in the industry and that includes us at ITL. Check out the Tropical Bowl National roster here and the American roster here. We've got agents for every player (though we don't have weights and measures). In addition, we've got a first stab at the rosters for the Shrine Game (East here and West here). We'll fill in all the blanks next week.
 
Please vote!!: If you're an NFL scout, you received a survey in your email last weekend. In it, we provided a link to our 2019 survey, which gives you a chance to vote for the team with the best NFL Draft of 2018 and asks 12 more questions related to compensation and salary. Only NFL scouts are allowed to vote. We'll have results of our survey at combine time, so make sure you're checking your inbox (or your trash basket) and filling it out (and don't worry, it's completely anonymous). We do this for you, and we want to make it the most comprehensive look at what scouts are making based on their experience level. Need the link? Email us.
 
Don't forget: The 10 th annual TEST Football Academy ITL Combine Seminar will be Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Indiana Convention Center. This year, we'll also be hosting the CCA Meeting as contract advisors join together to confront the issues facing the industry, and we're proud to play a small role. We'll start at 5:30 p.m., and we'll award the 2018 Best NFL Draft Award to a representative of the team selected by our voters, and we'll also have XFL Senior Vice President of Football Operations Doug Whaley as our keynote speaker. We'll also have remarks and breakout sessions for all licensed contract advisors, and everyone is welcome. Our past speakers have included Saints Assistant GM Jeff Ireland, Falcons National Scout Phil Emery, former agent and author Josh Luchs and many more. Make sure to make arrangements to be in town early on the night before the annual NFLPA seminar. It's going to be a big night. We hope to see you there.
 
ITL Scouting Department: We've received dozens of requests for reports over the last 72 hours as agents make last-minute decisions on who to sign and which players are worthy of training investments. We're working madly (even expanding our staff) to fill all our requests because we know time is of the essence. Because we know every second counts, all requests made by tonight will be filled by Monday night, deadline day for juniors to apply for the 2019 NFL Draft. Due to high volume, we can't make the same promise after midnight, so if you need it quickly, please request it quickly. Do that here.
 
Training deals? We have them: If you're shopping for the best last-minute days on combine and pro day prep, start with our site dedicated only to trainers in the business, NFLCombinePrep.com. There, you can watch videos with trainers, check out their social media feeds and get all their contact info. Meanwhile, if you want the best deals, check out the ITL Combine Marketplace, where you can find the best prices for training in cities near you. Hurry! Great deals are still available.
 
2019 Signings Grid: Our All-Star Grid updates are no more for the '19 NFL Draft cycle. With rosters announced for all five major all-star games, we've broken out each game and we'll update each roster individually ( Senior Bowl rosters will debut next week). In the meantime, we're nowhere close to updating the 2019 Signings Grid. Though we'll surpass 500 names this weekend, we're still working hard to sniff out the signings as more and more juniors declare and seniors make their final decisions. We've still got a lot of work to do. Follow along here.
 
Rep Rumblings: For another week, we were really busy with our signature reports. On Monday, we had highlights from the first day of the CGS, plus we looked at the agent selection process (from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and more) for several players who'll be going in the first two days of the draft this spring. Tuesday, with Clemson installed as the national champion, we looked at the latest on the decisions from the best players ( Williams, Wilson, Davis, Jacobs, Wilkins, Lawrence) on both teams, plus we discussed the latest player who may be going without an agent during the NFL Draft process. Wednesday, we looked at the latest combines looking to draw NFL hopefuls, plus we had more notes on top prospects in the '19 draft, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Thursday, with Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray looking more and more like a sure thing for the NFL Draft, we looked at where he might land agent-wise (plus, of course, we had plenty more signing buzz). Finally, today, we had the late-breaking news on where the presumed top pick in the '19 draft is signing with (and not signing with) plus relevant all-star movement and notes. If you're in the business, you need to hear what we hear. Review it all here for 2019, and here for 2018.
 
Next week: While it's been a frenetic first 11 days of the new year, our tank is nowhere near empty. We're spending the weekend in Daytona Beach, Fla., for the 2019 Tropical Bowl, followed by a trip southwest to St. Petersburg for the Shrine Game. We'll be there through Wednesday to track everything at this year's game. Plus, we'll pass along what we hear on the sidelines from our sources in the game and that, along with everything else going on in the football world, will go into our Rep Rumblings. There's no end to the information that's going into our reports this time of year, so make sure you're keeping up. Meanwhile, we're very close to launching the Scouting Changes Grid for 2019. Already we're seeing changes on NFL teams ( both NFL and CFL) and soon we'll be compiling them in one place ( here's last year's board with more than 100 changes). Naturally, we'll have another post from our weekly blog, Succeed in Football, and we're stocking the 2019 Signings Grid with new names every day on our way to 1,000-plus signings. We're also working behind the scenes on our baseball and basketball agent prep exams. To review all the work we've done on all-star rosters, signings grids and everything else, check out our All-Star and Draft Grids Collection. If you're not signed up, we recommend you do (and we sure would love to have you). Do that here.

Inside The League is the consulting service for the football industry. We work with the contract advisors for about two-thirds of active NFL players as well as the combine trainers, financial planners, scouts, coaches and other pro league organizers that make up the game. Cost is $29.95/month, and you can cancel at any time. To register, click here. Also check out our new free blog, Succeed in Football. Copyright Neil Stratton and ITL 2015.

Sincerely, Neil Stratton
President
Inside the League

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