As of today, we are just over two weeks from the fifth annual College Gridiron Showcase in Fort Worth, Texas. That means rosters are being finalized, which means very soon the suspense of who's in for the week will be over.
All-star rosters are normally very closely held, though all of the Big Three all-star games have been far more transparent this year than ever before. Today, it's the CGS' turn. If you've already read today's
blog in Succeed in Football, you know about four small-school sleepers who are headed to the Lone Star State. They include Drake QB Grant Kraemer, St. Francis (PA) WO Kameron Lewis and Adams St. WO Chad Hovasse, along with Delaware WO Vinny Papale, the son of real-life outta-nowhere NFL story Vince Papale of Invincible fame. All of them will be seeking to impress the scouts both in interviews and on-field performance during the week's workouts.
But there's more. Here's a quick look at some of the passers, running backs and wide receivers who'll be taking the field.
: Drew Anderson, Murray St.; Kyle Kempt, Iowa St.; Hayden Moore, Cincinnati; and Tyler Weigers, Eastern Michigan.
Running backs: Dominick Bragalone,
Lehigh; Jonathan Hilliman, Rutgers; Tevin McCaster, Youngstown St.; and Dontae Strickland, Syracuse.
Johnathan Boone, New Mexico St.; Trey Brock, Hillsdale; Juston Christian, Marist; Kabion Ento, Colorado; Darrell James, Southern Illinois; Raphael Leonard, Southern Illinois; Justin Sumpter, Kennesaw St.; Teddy Veal, Louisiana Tech; and Malcolm Williams, Coastal Carolina.
And for good measure, there's also Indiana OG Delroy Baker.
In two weeks, we'll have the complete rosters for both the Wranglers and Desperados. In the meantime, anyone who needs details on the goings-on in Atlanta, the schedule for scouts, more information on the CGS Scouting Workshop, or anything else, please contact us here.
Here's a look at what else we heard, saw, read and said in the business of college and pro football this week.
It's Trainers Month:
At Inside the League, we decided the combine prep industry was worth of recognition, so for the past three weeks, we've been saluting our partners on Twitter. This week, we feted System 8 (headed by Dr. Sharif Tabbah), Michael Johnson Performance (Dustin Nichols), Prime Athlete Development (Geoff Pastrick), Gameface Training (Deventri Jordan) and Armed Sports (Derrick Blalock). Next week, we'll have five more top trainers; you can check out the entire ITL combine prep family here. And by the way, though the Christmas season is wrapping up, the shopping doesn't have to end. The ITL Combine Marketplace is now populated with nine top trainers, their services and prices. More on the way!
The ITL Scouting Department:
At this point, you're probably finding out good news or bad news on the players you've been recruiting for months. For those players who decide they're entrusting you with their professional futures, congratulations! On the other hand, when you get the dreaded, 'we're going in another direction' - or worse, a changed phone number - it's not necessarily the end of the line. There are still plenty of players who'll make 90-man rosters and more who aren't set on representation just yet. Before you redirect your investments, make sure you at least get a round projection (five players for $100 plus tax) or, better yet, a full scouting report ($100 plus tax), just to make sure your training money and time aren't being wasted over the next four months. Our former NFL scouts, all of them having been in the league in the last 2-3 years, have done almost 250 reports on players in the '19 draft class and beyond. We're good at this, we promise. Interested? Hit us up.
: OK, maybe it's too late to receive
Touchdown Finance: Personal Finance Tips from the Pros
, Dr. John Karaffa's new personal finance book aimed at sports lovers, before Christmas. That's OK. Your friends and family will be thankful you thought of them anyway. Karaffa, who heads
, played basketball at Butler before embarking on a 12-year career playing overseas, and he brings stories and expertise from personal as well as professional experiences to his new 91-page tome. Today, he helps players in all the major sports keep a handle on their personal finances. For $16 (paperback) or $3.99 (Kindle), you can see if his seven rules of finance are worth adding to your playbook. It's available
Speaking of books:
Over the next four weeks, about 1,500 aspiring NFL players will sign an standard representation agreement (SRA) with NFLPA-licensed contract advisors. For many of them left over from 2018, it's their second or third SRA. Another handful will sign an SRA with different agencies, respectively, before the draft. Often, it's because expectations were too high, the agent reneged on a promise, the representative's experience level wasn't high enough, or any number of other reasons. Many times, mistakes were made in the decision-making process that didn't have to be made if the player, his parents, or others knew more about the NFL Draft process. Why not get educated before the decision, rather than after it? Moving the Chains: A Parent's Guide to the NFL Draft is the only book on the market that looks at the quest to be drafted from the perspective of a person trying to achieve NFL dreams. And for $12.95, what do you have to lose? Check it out.
Well, actually we don't yet know what our Scouting Salary survey will say, but we will soon. In the next two weeks, we'll be sending out our questionnaire. In it, we'll ask all the same questions about what scouts are getting paid, what kind of benefits they receive and other parts of their respective financial picture. All responses, of course, are completely anonymous, and we won't know who responded, but if you're an active NFL scout, we respectfully request that you fill it out. Results will be out this spring, well before the draft and hiring and firing season. While you're at it, please vote for the best draft of 2018. We'll have five team finalists (the Saints were runaway winners of our inaugural award). It's your chance to recognize your brothers in arms who rarely see rewards for their hard work every fall and spring.
The ITL Rising Contract Advisors Newsletter:
This week, we had fresh content for the newest class of NFLPA-licensed contract advisors. On Monday, we had a review of our newsletters so far for agents who need a refresher on what to say and do now that it's 'go time.' Tuesday, we had tips about what to wear so you'll look sharp without trying too hard at interviews, final meetings and all-star games. We even looked at how some top agents' looks have changed over the years. Wednesday, we talked about Agent Days, that school-organized event that can be extremely helpful or an extreme waste of time, and on Thursday, we tutored our pupils on the value of going to all-star games and when they should be there if they do go. Remember: all first-year agents who are ITL clients get our daily look at the business and how to succeed. We'll have four more editions this week, and it's all must-have info. Want in? Get started here.
Cancel the date:
Or at least reschedule it. With news this week that the NFLPA is having its annual contract advisor seminar in Indianapolis on Friday, March 1, we're moving the ITL Seminar - our 10th annual event - back to our traditional night, Thursday (Feb. 28). We'll award the winner of the NFL's Best Draft for 2018, we'll host a provocative and knowledgeable speaker and have other exciting features. We'll see you Thursday, Feb. 28, in Indianapolis. More details to come.
We had only three reports this week, but it was as much content as we normally produce in three weeks. On Monday, we discussed one progressive team's use of the Internet to get a jump on the player interview process for hundreds of 2019 prospects; tried to unravel the mystery (since solved) of who signed FAU OH Devin Singletary; took an early look at who might be the next Raiders GM; and, of course, had a bushel of rumors, whispers, tips and takes on who's getting whom with signing season nigh. On Wednesday, we had six (apparently controversial) thoughts on Michigan DE Rashan Gary and his decision to form his own agency, as well as more signing buzz. Then on Thursday, we had more buzz, nuggets and even a couple clarifications. Check out all our reports from this week and this year here.
Agencies by Total Clients:
For weeks now, we've been trying to find a place on the calendar for our list of firms with their client totals on the calendar. This week, we finally got it done. The results - based on November roster totals -- surprised us a little. We found out only three firms - Nashville-based CAA, New York City-based Sportstars and Irvine, Calif.-based Athletes First - have 100 or more clients (Miami Beach, Fla.-based Rosenhaus Sports just missed with 99). Also of interest: just 25 agencies have 20 or more clients. That's a pretty tidy number. Meanwhile, if you want to find out which agents (not agencies) have the greatest number of players, click here.
It's Christmas week! Time for egg nog, ugly sweaters, bowl games, awkward gifts, peace and good will towards men. Though we'll be taking a little time off over the next seven days, ITL won't look a lot different. Having cleared the decks of some overdue features this week (like our
Agencies by Total Clients
list and the
ITL Combine Marketplace
, as well as our updated
NFL Combine Prep
page), we can focus more on information-gathering,
-stuffing. We'll still churn out original editions of the
ITL Rising Contract Advisors Newsletter
(it will be our last full week of editions before we take our traditional January break), and we'll continue to hunt high and low for new signings and round them up in our
. We'll also have an edition of our weekly blog,
Succeed in Football
- we'll run down the case for the five finalists for
Best Draft Class of 2018
- and we'll honor five more of our partners (
Corey Taylor Sports Performance
Chip Smith Performance Systems)
in combine prep
on our Twitter page
. But most of all, though the work never stops, we hope you can take time to enjoy the holiday season with your friends and family. Merry Christmas from all of us here at Inside the League!