We’ve used this space in the last couple weeks to feature some selected players that aren’t getting the attention from agents that perhaps they deserve. Due to the response from these posts, we’ve gotten more players asking to be featured, so here are a few more.
I should mention that we don’t feature everyone that contacts us. These are players, we feel, that at least have a chance of making it to a camp next summer.
There are no guarantees, but I think they have possibilities. I should also note that I’m not ‘brokering’ these players. I’m just passing them along to agents who might have interest. If you’re an ITL client and you have genuine interest in these players, I’m happy to provide their contact info, no strings attached.
Derek Akunne, ILB, North Texas: I’m a little confused on why Derek hasn’t gotten more interest from agents so far. He led Conference USA in tackles this season (108) and led the Eagles in tackles for loss (8.5). That’s good production. He lists at 6-0, so he’s not as tall as teams would like their linebackers to be these days – if he lists at 6-0, he’s probably closer to 5-11 at best – but you can’t argue with what he’s done on the field. And no, he didn’t exactly play at a football factory, but as a member of an FBS team, you know he’s going to have a pro day that gets covered by scouts. That’s not always a given when it comes to players that went to D2, D3 or even Division I-AA (FCS) schools.
Blake Renaud, ILB, Boise St.: Unlike Akunne, Renaud has plenty of size (6-2, 255). He also has a nice pedigree, having played HS ball at powerhouse De La Salle in Concord, Calif., before moving on to BSU. Inside linebackers are seen as unsexy by the NFL, and tend to go late in the draft, if at all. Still, every team uses them, and Renaud’s got a solid shot at making it to an NFL camp if he can stay healthy. The key is that he’s a kamikaze on special teams, and that’s the kind of thing that makes a player valuable.
Zack Patt, DE, Rice: Here’s another player off an FBS bowl-winning team that is squarely under the radar, but maybe shouldn’t be. He has a couple knocks. One, he’s quite undersized for his position, and he’s going to have to consider playing outside linebacker on the next level. There will be valid questions on whether or not he can move in space and drop and cover. He’s also had problems getting into the lineup; he didn’t start until his senior season, and he missed several games with injury. However, when he was on the field, he was a true impact player, notching an eye-popping five sacks in one game (against Florida International) this season.
Nico Carlson, OG, Rice: A 37-game starter at Rice, Nico is the kind of guy who scouts love because his best football is ahead of him. He arrived at Rice as a defensive lineman, but switched to OL his sophomore year and became an immediate starter. This gives him the ‘attitude’ and nastiness of a defensive player with an offensive lineman’s focus, smarts and fire. A second-team All-CUSA pick, he’s a legit 6-3/290 and is willing to live at home and train, so despite all his pluses, he won’t cost too much to represent. And he’s smart and personable.