Oct. 19, 2018

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: Oct. 13-19
If you follow our weekly blog, and we hope you do, you already know we spoke to several scouts this week about Ohio State DE Nick Bosa's decision to leave the team to focus on returning from a lingering core-muscle injury and preparation for the 2019 NFL Draft.
As you might imagine, it was a controversial decision in football circles. Is he being selfish? Will this hurt his draft status? And more importantly, will a mob of other, less-heralded players follow him in walking away from their respective teams? We talked to several
Next stop for Ohio State's Nick Bosa: the NFL.
scouts, and some of them were restrained in their outlook; they were reluctant to express concerns about his move. Others, however, were not so circumspect.
Here's what scouts said about their fears that other, less-talented players could unwisely follow Bosa's path.
  • "I don't think Bosa leaving is good for scouting. It will start a trend if he is drafted in top 10. Scouts will still evaluate the tape, which will be good. But he will need to go through the interviews and teams will need to determine if he is a team player. (Is he an) all-in guy? If the information coming back from schools say that he isn't, then it could hurt him. He could turn into a Le'Veon Bell, holding out for contracts, etc."
  • "My personal opinion is that it sucks. It just sucks because he's hurting his team. And it's always good to see more (film). The more we can see him in big games, the better. They'll have games against Michigan, the conference championship, probably the playoff. You like to see all that. You want to see if guys are team players, that they'll play thru injuries, they'll do anything to get on the field. All this being said, you also understand that he has to do what is best for him. And at the end of the day, I don't think it impacts him at all. He's still really talented and if you want to pick the player, I don't think this sways you from that. So no, I don't think it impacts him and his status at all, but the situation still kinda sucks for us doing our job." 
  • "Here's my take on it. Bosa, No. 1, has a resume, a body of work that's good enough. No. 2, you're talking about mostly coming back for 1-2 games, plus maybe the playoffs. He has not done anything football-related for months, and he's coming off a core injury. The core attaches to everything, and you're talking about football activities, pushing 300-pound men around. And he hasn't worn football pads, his shoulder pads, for months. One thing we always ask at draft time is, when was the last time he had a helmet on? He ain't football-ready. . . Because he's so high profile, he had to make an announcement. . . Most likely it could start a trend. Why wouldn't it? But is the trend for the good, or is it an excuse? Every case is different, and in this case, it's different. But you might have a guy with a mild injury and might shut it down. It's like the transfer rule. Kids are putting together a four-game resume and shutting it down. Is it a trend? Yeah, absolutely. Is it for good? I don't know. Those individual cases, we'll have to (see) if it hurts them or not. But he's starting a trend. Some guys will get four games in the can, then he's gonna worry about the draft, and not get an agent, then transfer out if it's not good for him draft-wise."
  • "I think when players decide to do what Bosa does, you have to have a very good level of talent. He has some leverage in his abilities. Gronk missed his third year at Arizona with a back (issue), so the situation was a bit different. Dropped him to the second round. However, as you evaluate Bosa and his brother at (Los Angeles), they (have) not been healthy. That's a concern. Yes this is business, but (are you) finishing what you started?"
  • "Will be evaluated in film, pro day showing and interview. If he was a top 10 talent when he got hurt, as long as medical checks out, he will be top 10 talent for draft."
  • "Obviously, we want to see as large of a sample size as possible on any player. I imagine that the trend will only continue.  I understand players wanting to protect themselves and their potential earnings.  What I worry about is the misinformation/incorrect information many players receive. I just want them to make informed decisions, just like in the underclassmen process. As for scouting - it muddies the water for us, but in the end, it just gives us one more piece of evidence to investigate." 
  • "It probably won't impact Nick's draft spot. There (are) enough games (to evaluate). Not good for scouting. He's picking his future over his team, which is 7-0 (and) competing for (a national championship). His dad is obviously (high) maintenance. . . College coaches see him quitting as NFL's fault."
  • "I think it's bad for more the trend. There will be good and bad for both us and him to this. We want to see more tape, and while I know what he is, I question his love for the game to just leave, you know? He could have stayed and helped his team. He clearly has his eye on NFL 100% and has since start of season.But he is so good it doesn't have much effect on that stuff. Big thing is medical. Really need medical even more to make sure he is healed 100%."
Will leaving midseason become a trend? As schools grapple with the new four-game rule as well as grad transfers, will it create even more volatility in college football? Will it help create a culture of disposable eligibility? It's too early to tell but everyone who cares about the game will be watching.
While we wait, here's a look at what else we saw, heard, read and said in the world of football business last week.
Welcome aboard!: This week, the NFLPA published the names of all its newly minted contract advisors, swelling the agent ranks to a total of 844. In the next week, we'll be pulling the names of all the new agents as we compile our lists for 2018 and prepare our daily 'new agent class,' the ITL Rising Contract Advisor Newsletter. If you're one of those new agents, we're excited and looking forward to working with you, and as always, we're at your service. If you're already part of the ITL family, we thank you. If not, let's talk and let us show you why our clients are head-and-shoulders above their brethren in the agent community.
The ITL Scouting Department: At this point, you might already know who you're recruiting and hoping to sign, and you probably have a pretty good idea of where they're coming from. But how do you know there aren't a few sleepers on your prospects' teams that might be easy to add to your recruiting list? Maybe you don't know, but we can help. We can turn out a team report within 72 hours! For $100 plus tax, we can tell you which players on any FBS team are on NFL scouts' respective radars before anyone else knows. Can you afford not to run 'scans' on all the teams you're regularly watching? Reach out today and let's get to work helping you find the Bolles, Ramzcek, Davenport or Vander Esch in the '19 draft class. And as always, for $100, you can get a player report or a round projection on any five players, all in 2-3 days.
Rep Rumblings: This week, with all-star games rolling, recruiting at a fever pitch and scouts crisscrossing the country, we had four big reports. Monday, we had notes on the progress of all-star invitations plus the latest scouting additions from a prominent Big Ten school that's becoming known for producing NFL evaluators. Tuesday, we had recruiting buzz plus the latest city added to the growing Bommarito Performance Systems empire. Wednesday, we had the first official all-star invite of the '19 draft cycle plus recruiting buzz and an all-points bulletin on a former NFL GM. Finally, on Thursday, we had assorted notes on the new agent class plus a few veteran agents who are changing addresses. As always, check out every one of our reports for the 2018 news cycle here.
Next week: It was a good week, and a busy week, but we left some unfinished business that we hope we can deliver in the next seven days. On Monday we'll have our Agents by Total Clients list ( here's last month's edition), and on Tuesday, we hope to have our Agent Changes for October. We'll shoot for Wednesday to roll out our Agencies by Total Clients list (write that in pencil, not pen), and we'll have Rep Rumblings on Thursday. On second thought, write that whole schedule in pencil since we're expecting a rather big news week and we might have to go to our signature reports more than once. As for our Know Your Scouts series, we'll have the Bucs on Monday, Cards on Tuesday, Chargers on Wednesday, Chiefs on Thursday and Colts on Friday. As for our weekly blog, Succeed in Football, we'll look at 10 people across the football world that we think would be a good fit when the XFL starts populating its front offices and digging into the personnel side of running a startup league. Actually, we may not stop at 10, but you get the picture; they'll come from pro and college scouting departments, with some of them long-term Friends of ITL and others people we've respected from afar. We're also looking at having one more special edition of our ITL Rising Contract Advisor Newsletter sometime around mid-week as we're about a week-and-a-half from launching the formal series, which will run through the '19 draft. It's one of our most popular features, and it's only for ITL clients. Behind the scenes, we'll be working with our partners on the trainer side to tape our new 'ITL Trainer Talk' series that will help introduce some of the best combine prep specialists in the business to the greater NFL population, from scouts to agents to financial advisors to other trainers. We've got a cool new intro and everything (here's a snapshot) ), and we'll be giving our 25 partners (plus several other new members of the ITL family) a chance to tape an interview with us. We're pretty excited about it, and we think it's going to give our partners one more edge over the competition. The ITL Scouting Department will continue churning out reports, round projections and team breakdowns as we continue to ferret out the prospects from across the college football landscape. We'll also continue hammering away on the 2019 College Gridiron Showcase, which we think will be the best ever in our new home, Fort Worth, and we'll soon be reaching out to the surrounding schools to let them know what's coming to the area and what opportunities come with it. We've reached midseason in both the NFL and college football, with the AAF in the distance and the XFL a little further off on the horizon. At this point, if your heart isn't racing, you may need someone to check your pulse. We can't help on the medical stuff, but we're real good on the football side. Try us out.

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
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