June 20, 2018

This email is directed at any NFLPA-certified contract advisor interested in how the NFL draft works as well as the months leading up to the draft. Note: We are not endorsed, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with the NFLPA.
2018 Case Study: Jared Leigh
Neil's brief primer: Jared attended Boston College for undergrad, and while there, he met several BC players and followed as they went through the agent selection process. He immediately knew it was something he'd want to do. Following his graduation, he spent time in insurance and finance but never felt satisfied, so he went to law school at the University of San Diego. While there, he interned with "whatever (agency) would take (him)." He also interned with Inside the League in 2015 and 2016, attending the '17 Senior Bowl with our team. A year after finishing up at San Diego, he took the agent exam last summer and passed.
Active NFL clients: Connecticut OB Vontae Diggs and Richmond TE Garrett Hudson each made the Redskins after attending a three-day minicamp tryout, while St. Cloud State OG Bryce Johnson signed as a UDFA with the Cowboys right after the draft.
Why did he become an agent?: "On one side of it is the football element, the greatest form of entertainment this country has to offer. I love it. On the other side, I certainly like establishing relationships and being able to connect with people and that's certainly what you do as an agent. That's the coolest thing in the world to me."
Day job: He works as a self-employed, contract attorney while renting office space in Boston.
His take on the NFLPA exam: "Fair but tough. I prepared pretty hard for it. I started well over a month out and put in a lot of time. If you go in without much prep and hope you can learn it all at the seminar, you're gonna be in trouble. Treat the seminar as a capstone that might lock in a couple things. It is helpful, the seminar, but you have to prep before. You have to put in a lot of time. Start at least a month out."
Hardest part of being an agent: "There's no real blueprint to it. There's a million different ways you can go about recruiting, and it's just figuring out your style and what works for you. How you recruit, what kind of players to go after, what areas. There's no exact rhyme or reason to it."
He felt like he'd had a successful first year as a contract advisor when . . .: "I signed my first SRA with a player 100 percent. Just knowing I'd already put in a lot of hours and miles on the road, and just knowing that that player and his family (that were there as well) trusted in me to work with him. That was the moment for me."
Lesson he learned that he wished he's known before he got certified: "You always mentioned how a first-year agent should get out there (and recruit and sign someone in Year 1), and I just wanted to reiterate that. Even though you start late and it's very frustrating, just diving head first and getting out there is so incomparable. It's something you can't get interning. You can't just replicate recruiting."

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.

Sincerely, Neil Stratton
Inside the League

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