June 25, 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: Artigua White
Neil's brief primer: Art was a high school athlete who walked on at an HBCU school in Houston but decided to focus on academics after his freshman year. He attended grad school in Miami, followed by law school in Sydney, Australia. Though he admits his path to becoming an agent "certainly want a straight line," he followed his passions and at 34 took and passed the NFLPA exam.

Active NFL clients: Vanderbilt OH Raphael Webb signed with the Patriots as a UDFA.
Why did he become an agent?: "It was my first day of class as a sophomore in college when I discovered the sports agent industry. I met this guy named John. He was a senior. We had small talk before class -- what's your major, how many classes you have left, what's your plans after graduating, etc. He mentioned he'd like to become a sports agent. Class was about to start so the conversation ended abruptly. However, I found his desire to become an agent very interesting so I researched it. I fell in love. I then saw Jerry McGuire and that's when I knew that I had to pursue becoming a sports agent." 

Day job: Merchant services sales for a company in Houston.

His take on the NFLPA exam: "The test was intense. I didn't pass the first time, but did the second. It was the ITL study materials that helped tremendously the second go-round, which I hadn't utilized initially. I'd say close to half of the test was covered in the study material. What helped most was note preparation and getting organized."

Hardest part of being an agent: "It's that you don't know what you don't know, and that includes the business, which you have to experience. An internship matters less in my opinion. Admin work and talking to players is OK, but that's not the life of an agent. You may think that a player cares about the 'you can trust me' and 'I want to be there for you no matter what, compared to a big agency not giving you much attention,' blah blah blah. The players in most cases want you to tell them what they want to hear; they mostly care about the money. I feel that I'm a pretty easygoing person and want to trust everyone, but the reality is that you can't trust in this industry. That's hard for me."

He felt like he'd had a successful first year as a contract advisor when . . .: "I (signed) a known player that I had to go after, opposed to just signing someone that wanted me."

Lesson he learned that he wished he's known before he got certified: "How costly it could be to be an agent. Not only does it takes time to get paid, but you likely won't get a return on your investment during your first year. Even if you get a top pick, you'll likely have to wait till Year 2 to see a return."

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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