July 26, 2019

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: July 20-26
Now that the 2019 NFL Agent Exam is in the rear-view mirror, we can put our focus solely on something we're really excited about: the  2019 Personnel Symposium slated for  Aug. 5-6 in Nashville. We're looking forward to meeting 200-300 of the brightest people in college personnel at the second annual event.
The symposium will feature  a star-studded lineup of speakers including the NFL Network's  Daniel Jeremiah, The Athletic's  Mike Lombardi and many others, including a special delegation hand-picked by our team. 
We'll take the stage at 6:15 p.m. Monday night with three people dishing on how to climb the ladder in scouting. First,  ITL's Neil Stratton will provide an overview of who's getting hired and why, and will have a few tips on how to get the next job. Then  Catapult Leadership Group principal Jason Montanez
The Athletic's Mike Lombardi will be among speakers at this year's Personnel Symposium in Nashville.
, a former college football player who  just released his second book, will talk about how to promote yourself and network effectively in an industry that values loyalty and sober-minded mission accomplishment more than most. Finally, former Titans Director of College Scouting  Blake Beddingfield will discuss what NFL teams are looking for in the hiring process plus what separates a scouting assistant who gets let go from one who is promoted to area scout. Blake was a panelist at last year's inaugural event.
Before we could talk about what it takes to get hired in the NFL, however, we had to solicit the opinions of our friends in the business. Here are a few words of advice from the dozen or so scouts and scouting assistants we solicited for advice.
  • "First, seek the advice of the best in business. Get face time with them, make a good impression and ask good questions. It will pay dividends down the road." 
  • "It's all so cliche but it's about who you know, the impression you leave on the people you meet."
  • "Number one, persistence was my big thing. I was told no hundreds of times each year because I would reach out multiple times each year." 
  • "To break into the league, the biggest thing is getting your face out there and showing a decision-maker that you're committed to the work and able to fit in with the group."  
We're just getting started with the advice, ideas, tips and secrets on how others have advanced to the league while others have not. We'll feature more discussion, feedback and ideas in our blog,  Succeed in Football, this week, so make sure to stay tuned there.
We're excited about meeting so many professionals in the world of scouting. Last year, the symposium attracted  a who's who of schools and analysts though the return of camps and loaded schedules no doubt precluded many from attending. We'll be counting down the days to Nashville. In the meantime, here's a look at what we saw, heard, read and said in the world of college and pro football this week.
Agent Week 2019 ends: Last week was a big one for us as we wrote blogs, tweeted, and posted on ITL regarding the 2019 contract advisors exam in Washington, D.C. This week, we closed our coverage with a wrap-up based on feedback we got from some of this year's agent hopefuls. They made four points that we were happy to pass along (one of which involves  a certain former NFL running back with a little extra time on his hands these days). If you're taking the exam next year, or just interested in the business, make sure to check out  this week's post.
The best of times: Are we in the darkest days for college all-star games? Or is this the golden age? Depends on how you look at it. On one hand, there's no denying that the Marinos, Montanas and Aikmans aren't playing in all-star games. On the other hand, the level of professionalism at college all-star games has never been higher. We saw that again this week when  the Senior Bowl announced its scouting staff for the 2020 game. Not only is the game led by  Jim Nagy, who has decades in evaluation, but for the second straight year, players will be scouted by a team of professionals with plenty of experience, along with a couple promising upstarts. Three of the six -  Brian Adams (Bills),  Bill Dekraker (Jets) and  Josh Cox (Browns) - were scouting the game for NFL teams last year. Meanwhile, three members of last year's staff -  Ryan Kessenich (49ers),  Jack Gilmore (Raider) and  Dante Fargnoli (Falcons) - will return to Mobile this January as members of team staffs. When you consider that  the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is (once again) headed by a former NFL scout- ex-Raiders pro director  Dane Van der Nat-- and that next year, maybe for the first time ever, there will be five games ( Senior BowlShrine GameNFLPA BowlCollege Gridiron Showcase and  Tropical Bowl) with at least a five-year history, you begin to understand why the term "sleeper" is becoming less common. We also offer a special salute to  Kathleen Wood, who'll handle the Southeast for this year's game. She's a true grinder, having served internships with the Bills and Eagles,  and a member of #TeamITL. For more details on the Senior Bowl's staff, click  here.
The ITL Scouting Report: Last week, we promised five editions of our new report, which is gaining in popularity, and we delivered, though in a little different way than we'd planned. We published  Minnesota Monday,  Mississippi on Tuesday,  Mississippi State on Wednesday and  Missouri on Thursday before calling a bit of an audible and providing  N.C. State (sorry, Nebraska fans) today. Our team gave first-round grades to two players this week and Day 2 grades to 26, with late-round/PFA grades to many more. Next week, we'll pull back on the throttle a bit, providing our detailed look at Nebraska on Monday before returning the first full week of August with North Carolina and Northern Illinois. To review any of the 12 reports we've done so far, click on any team (like Maryland  here). Got a special request? Let us knowand we'll try to move it to the front of the line. But what if a report didn't feature the player you wanted to know about? Order a player report for $100 plus tax, and one of our former NFL scouts will have it written up and back in your hands within three days. Already, dozens of agents have taken advantage of our reports and gotten timely feedback on the players they are considering. You should, too. Get started here.
Oh, by the way: We also had our more-traditional  Profile Reports listing the top juniors and seniors on each team, their social media handles, and more. This week, we mirrored our ITL Scouting Reports by publishing  MinnesotaMississippiMississippi StateMissouri and  N.C. State. We'll have  Nebraska, Nevada, UNLV, New Mexico and  New Mexico State next week. 
Agents by Total Clients: This week, we had our July report on who's got the most players in the league. It doesn't look a lot different from  our June report, admittedly; July is the slowest month for personnel changes, what with the draft long over and camps about to start. We still think it's worth checking out. You can do that  here
Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?: Actually, that doesn't matter. What does matter is that we're looking for a few good men to be the next  Dwayne Johnson. If you have a client interested in trying his hand in the square circle, the WWE would like to talk to you. Already we have two candidates under consideration for the next camp, slated for Sept. 19-21 in Orlando, but we need more. Got someone? We'd love to talk. Email us here.
Next week: With the Cowboys and Niners reporting today, all 32 teams are back to work. It's great news for fans, but the work of today's football professional never really ends. Over the next week, we'll be focused on getting ready for the second annual  Personnel Symposiumin Nashville. We'll have three experienced speakers ready to take the stage Monday night and maybe a few surprises (stay tuned), so we'll have plenty of work to do to get ready. Some of that will show up at  Succeed in Football, where we'll be talking about college personnel and the struggle to climb in an ultra-competitive environment, so keep an eye on our weekly blog. We'll also be trying (as we have for weeks now) to get caught up on our  Agent Changes reports. We're getting farther behind instead of closer; maybe this will be the week we start making progress. Also, though we had three reports most days this week instead of our usual two, it wasn't a great week for  Rep Rumblingswe only had one (sad face). We'll do better next week. We promise. We'll be digging up more as recruiting buzz heats up, all-star games finalize 2020 plans, and we sift out more agents who've switched teams (we're nailing one down for sure and we'll have details next week). We'll also bring back the  ITL Newsletter on the NFL Draft Process for its second run of the summer. We've got dozens of parents who are eager to learn more about all-star games, the combine, how scouts operate, and so much more scoop on what happens between January and April. It's totally free, it starts Monday, and anyone can sign up. For those who've already received it and want even more info, we've got  a book that will scratch that itch. We'll also have five more  Profile Reports giving you the scoop on who has the goods on each FBS team, and we'll update the  2019 Scouting Changes Grid with a few names who've eluded us (until now). It's also possible we could see a few changes to the  ITL 250 and  ITL 100 grids before next week, so look for those. We'll also have news, nuggets, and anything else we turn up that doesn't fit in our Rep Rumblings on  our Twitter account, so make sure you're following us. Football's back (well, almost)! Don't make the mistake of finding out what you need to know too late.  Come join our team.

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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