Tell us a little about yourself.   How did you get started being an NFL agent?  Did you play football growing up?

Lets’ see, a little about me. Well first of all I am Awesome. I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky, but live in Louisville. Pretty down to earth, yet very opinionated, and I have a tendency to wear my emotions on my sleeve sometimes, as my followers already know.  I played football at DuPont Manual High School in Louisville. I was pretty good. Heavily recruited my junior year, broke my leg my senior year and most of the schools backed off. I still had some Div 1AA and some VERY small div 1 schools after me, but decided to go to Kentucky as a walk on. I wanted to get the best education possible because I knew I would never make it to the NFL.

I started off representing basketball players, mainly overseas and in the WNBA. Football is my passion so I knew if I was going to pursue being an agent; this is where I wanted to focus to be. And also I seen a lot of my friends being taken advantage of by agents and decided I wanted to make a difference. I was a “Financial Institution Specialist” with the FDIC, and one morning I woke up, decided I wanted to do this full time, so I prayed, and took a leap of faith. And here I am.

Who are some of the players you represent?

In the NFL there’s John ConnerCorey Peters, Aaron Morgan, and Alfonso Smith.

What is the process you go through before attempting to sign a player?  Do you watch film? Speak with coaches?

First step is just like everyone else. I get spring grades and see which prospects scouts have identified. And then I go to the next stage which is my own individual analyst of players from what I may have seen or heard. I also take recommendations as well. Then I get film and scout the players myself. I use to be a talent scout for an agency, so I kind of know a little about evaluating talent if I say so. Lol
I do not talk with coaches about players. I do not want to waste their time, and if you are not “their” guy they are not too willing to help an agent out anyway. So I tend to stay away from them. This is a practice that has hurt me, but it’s one I think I will continue to do.

How many days in a year are you on the road?  Did you ever figure out how many airline miles you’ve traveled in a year?

Hadn’t figured out the mileage yet but I would think it was a lot. Maybe on the road every weekend from September to January. Then it’s pretty much just taking care of my guys until the summer and hopefully can get some preliminary meetings with some seniors. 

All things equal would you prefer a solid but unexciting prospect or someone who is the text book boom or bust type?

Without a doubt, a solid but unexciting prospect. The problem with the text book boom or bust type in my opinion is they are flaky off the field as well. While the reward is high, the opposite can be just as bad. How many top prospects change agents before the draft? I don’t ever want to be in that position. Just because the player is unexciting doesn’t mean he’s not good. Take Corey for example, drafted third round, without any hype, and ended up being a starter for a very good team. And he’s also a wonderful person. He will be rewarded in the coming years.

Is your approach different going after a small school prospect compared to a bigger school prospect? Is there more studying involved?

The approach is the same. If you go after a small school prospect, the rule is to go after a dominate player. Then you have to study more film, and you have to study other film as well. Because you will have to compare that player to other players in some cases. But when looking at film of a smaller school athlete, you have to be able to disregard everything else and focus on the player, and how they can translate to the NFL. You also have to fight to get them into All Star games where they can go against Div 1 caliber athletes that within itself is a struggle.

What does an agent with multiple players available during the draft do while they wait to hear from teams?  What do you have your players do to keep busy? 

We try to get all of our players in one central location, so no matter the outcome, drafted or UDFA, we have them there to get their input. As they are waiting we try to keep their mind off it. We usually go a restaurant, sports bar, that has televisions, video games, and other activities to keep their minds off the draft. The agents are watching the picks, trades, and possible free agent signings, or players we think may get released to figure out the best possible fit for our player.

How soon after the player is drafted do actual negotiations begin?  Is there a peaking order that teams follow?  (I.e. teams start at the top and work down the draft or do it reverse?)

Contracts are usually done the beginning of June. Certain teams do have a pecking order. They usually go from 7th to 1st, and some by proximity, or just who they feel like it. But we like to get them done and get them out the way. Corey and John last year were the first to sign their contracts with Atlanta and New York (jets) respectively. So when it’s about that time, we usually inform the team that we are ready and prepared to get something done.

Besides contract negotiations what are some other tasks that encompass being an agent? Endorsements? Scheduling?  Do you visit your players at camp?

This is a topic that I up for discussion. When you talk to some agents, that is all they do, negotiate contracts. Everything else is not their responsibility. I have a different opinion. I help or handle every aspect of my client’s lives. I help with buying a car, buying a house; furniture, moving cars or furniture, and I even help setting up bank accounts and bill payment. We do try and secure endorsements and even community service opportunities. We help with their scheduling of interviews; help get tickets for family, their travel, etc. I visit them whenever I get a chance, camp, pre season, season, whenever I can.

What are your feeling regarding the recent Agent Gate and other bad press agents have been receiving?

I think it’s warranted. There are a few agents that break the rules, and have been for a while. And continue to do so. Does it put guys like me at a disadvantage? Yes it does, when we recruit certain guy. And what difference does it make if they receive bad press? All the agents that were suspended are back now. So what did it change?  But don’t get it twisted, it’s just not the agents, some of the players expect things from agents, runners or whoever else is out there. That goes back to my answer early. I don’t think it is all the agents’ faults by any means. There are other forces in play, such as parents, girlfriends, and sometimes even coaches. I think I’m going to leave this topic alone right now. lol

What advice would you give to a player and his family when they start the process of picking an agent?

Allow the player to speak with the agent a little bit. The relationship is the most important thing. If I don’t have a relationship that vibes I won’t sign the player. You have to trust your player, and your player would have to trust you. Can’t have trust if there is no relationship.
Secondly, don’t fall for the glitz and glamour. Most agents all can do the same thing. So don’t go off what that agent did for another player. I would even ask the agent has he ever been suspended or reprimanded, just to see what he says.  Also you want to choose an agent that is interested in you. Ask him about you, which games he’s attended, etc. See what he really knows about you. The rest I don’t want to give away because then I’d be sharing my secret…

How did Late Rounders come about? 

We started out by doing little film pieces on our guys just too maybe gain some exposure. But as we were doing the videos, we found out that some of the guys had interesting stories. And that they were really going through some things emotionally regarding not where, but if they were going to be drafted. We hear all the time about a guy dropping from 3rd overall to 10th, but what about the guys that won’t hear their name called. I thought that was a much better story. So we presented the idea and they took it and ran with it. And we’re hoping that it can continue to gain momentum.

Who are your guys in the draft this year?  

Our draft class this year consists of David Mims, Ryan Jones, Adam Froman,Brian Duncan, Ricky Lumpkin, Dequin Evans, Rod Huntley, Jeremy LaFrance, Ryan Travis, and Kiante Tripp. They are all diamonds in the rough. I could have 0 picks out of this class or 8. This class is all over the board, literally. I just don’t know how this thing will play out. But that’s the fun part…