As agents and scouts comb the country looking for NFL players, the first question that has to be asked is, “where do they start?” With thousands of players all over the country in various conferences, subdivisions, and divisions, the possibilities of missing talent that can help an NFL talent is real, unless they look in the appropriate places.
Scouting College Football – Start in California
One method is to look historically at where NFL players come from. In looking at where the current (July, 2012) NFL talent that finished their eligibility, California leads the way with 213 current NFL players hailing from universities from the Golden State. The breakdown by schools is as follows:
Cal Poly-Pomona: 1, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo: 3,Cal: 44, UC Davis: 1, Fresno State: 29, Humboldt State: 2, Palomar College: 1, Sacramento State: 4, San Diego: 6, San Diego State: 21, San Jose State: 12, Stanford: 32, UCLA: 29, USC: 57.
Scouting College Football – Head to Texas
Not to be left too far behind, the state of Texas follows this with 209 current NFL players hailing from therein. The breakdown is as follows:
Abilene Christian: 8, Baylor: 19, Houston: 15, Lamar: 1, Mary Hardin-Baylor: 2, Midwestern State: 2, North Texas: 5, Prairie View A&M: 2, Rice: 5, Sam Houston State: 1, SMU: 11, Stephen F. Austin: 2, Tarleton State: 3, Texas: 52, Texas A&M: 31, Texas A&M-Kingsville: 1, TCU: 18, Texas Southern: 1, Texas State: 2, Texas Tech: 14, UTEP: 14, UTSA: 1, West Texas A&M: 7
Other states with high percentage of the NFL from them would be Florida (165) and Ohio (108).
Scouting College Football – The Hidden Gems
But obviously those states for agents will have lots of competition, what about states that have less competition but a lot of talent? The State of Utah has 67 NFL players this year, with only 3 agents that call Utah home. Iowa, which has over 50 current NFL players, has 0 NFLPA Certified Contract Advisors that are based out of that state. Idaho with 34 NFL players also has 0 agents based there. Nebraska with 43 has zero in-state competition among agents. The Evergreen State of Washington has 3 agents (all based in the Greater Seattle area) but has over 30 players on NFL rosters.
Scouting College Football – Take the Initiative
Obviously agents from other states comb these areas and represent the players from them, but one cannot help think that someone who is local and that provide players with the same services and competency as out of state agents could have a huge advantage in representing some of these athletes. Gaining the trust and track records of success with clients and potential clients is much more easily achieved under the local microscope and with players that personally know players that an agent has represented in the past. The same is true in any business, one is more inclined to do business with the guy down the street that you know rather than unknown commodity who only shows up once a year. That said, there is much to being an agent than simply being close to potential clients. But knowing (at least where the talent is) is half the battle.
Follow Evan Brennan on Twitter @brennansports