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Small School players are starting to get the BIG school football players mentality

Draft Diamonds LogoWe have been helping small school football players for many years now, but the industry is turning into a money industry now-a-days. I have watched kids from very small schools turn out to be some phenomenal prospects.  The players several years ago were just excited to get a chance to play at the next level, but things have changed so dramatically. The biggest change is the players mentality after they are in the industry.

Over the past several years, hundreds of new sports agents have entered the picture.  They turned their focus to any player that would sign with them. Many agents in the NFL industry are willing to do whatever to land their first client.  That may come with offering tons of money, and giving a player a once in a lifetime opportunity to sign with them.

These agents though have a problem, they want to live the NFL lifestyle as well, but they have have ZERO connects in the industry. 

Being an agent used to be hard, because you were required to do so much for players.  Now you do not have to do that, because if you have money to throw around and false promises you can get whatever you want. The agents of old, had real connections.  They could get on the phone and call a GM, they could call area scouts and get Intel on a player they really liked. While that still happens, there are only a few that have those connects anymore.

Many new agents know they have to somehow beat out the Drew Rosenhaus’ or Tom Condon’s of the world. To do that they figure they can turn to a small school player that is considered a long shot.  The mentality is simple, if I can give this player money, and show him I am smart HIS abilities will earn him a shot.  That happens in some cases, but is not always the case. 

What small school players are starting to realize is people will pay for them to train.  They can get food allowances and allowances from agents.  The crazy thing is the agents that are giving it to them.  Let me show you how it works.  I am going to break it down in simpleton language to show you the fan and the reader how it works. 

A sports agent gets a lousy 3 percent of the contract.  While that sounds like an amazing amount, that is horrible, especially on a rookie contract.  So an undrafted contract is usually around 450,000 dollars a year going up every year minimal amounts.  So if that player plays out the entire contract the agent will make 13,500 dollars in his first year. 

Remember this was just an undrafted free agent, he was not invited to the Combine. So the agent is only going to make 13,500 dollars over the first year.  Now let’s say the player himself wants you to pay for training.  The cheapest training you are going to find around is for about 4,500 dollars.  That is for a six week program with a trainer.  That is an average price, and some trainers go up to 20,000 dollars for a six week program. Some of these players want that 20,000 dollar training.  

So let’s say the agent does in fact give the player the cheap training at 4,500 dollars. In his first year the agent is already in the red.  Let’s keep it going though, because some players will want spikes and gloves for training.  Some will also need an allowance, because the training does not provide a car or food.  So let’s say the player asks for a 1,000 dollar a month stipend and a car rental for another six weeks. That car rental is 1,200 for a cheap car. So we are looking at an additional 4 to 5 thousand.  

Right now the agent has put up 4,500 dollars for training, 1000 dollars a month for 3 months for food/clothes/living, and 1,200 for a car. So we are looking at 8,700 dollars, which is almost 75 percent of his first year’s pay for the client. Many agents that are good will not pay for a player to get training because of this reason alone. It is a horrible business plan, especially if you are in the business to stick around. Your player is not always loyal either.  You may feel you have a loyal client, but at the end of the day, he is not as loyal as you once imagined. If you basically paid for your client, what relationship do you have with him? Zero personal relationship, you have a business relationship, and in this industry you need a personal relationship as well as a business relationship. 

So now back to the player, as you can see a player can be catered to pretty well.  After an agent caters a player, who by the way has been living like a slum for the past four years of his life, wearing shoes that talked, and struggling to make ends meet in college, the player gets a big head. As you can see, if you are not considered a top 125 player, or a combine guy, you should not get any special treatment. 

Many of these kids have a trainer on their campus and can get the training for free.  They can eat for very minimal amounts, and they can get around the campus the same way they have for the past four years, but that is not good enough for the average player anymore. 

Everyone wants to be fancy, because in this day and age we live in a “What he has” world. We have to have the same things as the next man. If a first round pick has a new car, I want a new car.  The problem is that first round pick earned that new car, while you my friend have not. That first round pick has put in his time, you haven’t up until this point. While you may eventually turn into an amazing player, you haven’t hit that mark yet. The same way you were overlooked in high school which led you to a small school should always be ingrained in your mind.  You should remember that struggle from day one, because in life you are going to endure struggles. Instead, players want everything handed to them. 

These are the biggest complaints I hear every year after the draft:

My agent is not doing anything, I am not sure he is working for me anymore. 

– My response is simple. Your agent may not be working for you, or you are not as good as a player you originally thought.  It is simple, if you hired an agent who sent you to premier training, gave you everything but a job, it is simple, he probably doesn’t have connects.  Those connects can help you get into the NFL, but they are not working because he likely didn’t have any. 

To the agents defense though in some cases, it is hard to get a player a shot when the position you play is packed. For example this year, safety and linebacker were stupid deep. So if you were a linebacker or safety good luck at getting a shot, it is not easy regardless of the agent. 

I don’t get it, I was rated _______ number on NFL Draft Scout and I have not gotten a chance, but number _____ who is rated worse than me received a shot. 

– Why would you listen to what a website says?  There is no NFL scout that works for the sites.  NFL teams have their own scouting system. They have Blesto and National scouting services, they use one or the other for the most part.  So who cares where you are a rated on a website. We rate players as well, and we are not always correct.  Don’t listen to internet rankings to define yourself as a player.  

I am thinking of leaving my agent, because he is not getting me any marketing deals and another agent is offering me 100k in marketing deals. 

– My response is amazing to this one.  So you mean to tell me that this so-called powerhouse agent can get you 100k in marketing deals? I can tell you that is BS right now, I have heard this numerous times. Listen how ridiculous this sounds?  You are being told you are going to make 100k in endorsement deals. Many people do not know how endorsement deals work.  So when you hear 100k dollars it sounds great, but not many players ever reach 100k dollars in endorsement deals ever in their career, especially Third string wide receivers, 2nd string defensive lineman or offensive lineman.  Most of the time you are going to fire your agent and leave a knowledgeable person for a person that lies to you. 

As you can see I am on one right now. I am upset, because many small school football players are starting to get bigger than the game itself. Whatever happened to earning your worth?  To building your brand?  To working for what you receive? The NFL is making these kids just like typical Americans. They want it now, and if they do not get it now they are upset.

I have one last piece of advice for you:

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”

So before you make a rational decision, be thankful for what you have.  There are kids that are working hard as hell hoping to get a shot.  They are willing to do anything to get in your spot, and if that time arises they might come in and beat you out. 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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