We were fortunate enough to have Marion Graves receive our first-ever newsletter aimed at parents of draft-eligible seniors last fall. With ‘agent days’ under way across the country and contract advisors reaching out aggressively to acquaint themselves with the top ’15 draft prospects, we thought today might be a good day to share her insights on the interview process, the help she got from her son’s school, and other topics.

Marion is the mother Redskins OT Morgan Moses, who was selected 3/66 out of the University of Virginia last spring. She has a unique perspective on things because (a) she was intimately involved in the vetting and education process — which we highly recommend for parents of potential draftees — and (b) her son essentially went through the vetting process twice as he strongly considered entering the NFL draft after his junior season with the Cavs.

When did you first start hearing from agents? “Well, this was our second time around, so we were a little more knowledgeable because Morgan had a chance to go to the NFL in his junior year, and we were approached then by a lot of different agents, and had our information together. We have a very strong family and that was a really good benefit for Morgan. A lot of us are very business-minded, and when we had a meeting we went collectively as a family. That made it a lot easier this time around, and we knew pretty much what we were looking for.”

How close did he come to coming out before his senior year? “He was very close. It was just days before his information had to be submitted to the draft that he decided to stay. We selected finalists, and of the group that we talked to his junior year, there were at least three of them that moved with us into his senior year. So we checked with the ones we were interested in, and charted it out and did our own diligence, and when we got to the final three, we prepared notes and talked to Morgan, and the majority of the conversations regarded information we had gathered for him. We saw at least 20-30 different agents that we actually met with (during the vetting process).”

Did any make offers or do anything that seemed untoward or illegal? “There were some that I felt were crossing the border or on the edge of the border legally, and the way they handled themselves, we pretty much deiced we were not going to follow through with them. We didn’t get a lot of that from agents because I guess for me and for my family, it was all about what we needed for Morgan, and not my personal needs or anybody else’s personal needs. That’s one thing. I know many parents don’t exactly have a silver spoon in their mouth, but if they don’t (put the focus) on what (their son) really needs, they hurt the person they’re trying to represent.”

How helpful was UVa? “The school did a good job, but because we started this as juniors, we didn’t take advantage of all the information they made available to us. They had a meeting with everybody (seniors on the team) that was interested in moving forward (to the NFL), and it was not convenient to us so we didn’t go, but I did review their information and it was helpful. They really did a good job preparing us for the disability insurance (prior to Morgan’s senior season). Based on what I’ve heard from other parents, we got a lot more information than other schools. They were very helpful when determining the different types of disability policies (before his senior year). They didn’t point us in any direction in particular, but they informed us and forwarded mail to us, and any time we had questions, we just had to ask and the coaching staff gave us their opinions. They also pushed us to do our own due diligence. They didn’t want to sway us in one way or another, but they did want us to be informed.”

Advice: “As a family, sit down with the player and find out what they want. They’re excited and they’re moving to the next level, but they don’t have a full understanding of their needs. Get a full understanding of . . . what they think their needs are. Then also, go through the school. They’ve been with our child for four years, and they’re not going to sway him in the wrong direction.”

On the ITL newsletter for parents of draft-eligible seniors: “The information I saw in your newsletter was helpful. We had to understand what we wanted to do and what we needed to do before getting tied into a lot of other people who really wanted (to be paid) as well. It’s not just about the agents, but everything, from the financial planning aspect to business managers, and anyone who’s going to cover any needs for the player. When they’re coming at you, you have no money to manage (yet)! The good thing about it is that when you admonish us to do our due diligence (in the newsletter), it’s not just on the level of the agent.”