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I spent last week in Charleston, S.C., for the second annual Medal of Honor Bowl, an all-star game that has grown significantly in stature in its brief existence as part of the pre-draft landscape. In my time there, I got to meet a young man named Jake Stenson, a slot back from the Citadel.

Jake had no representation going into game week, and when I met him, his initial question to me was, ‘will it hurt me not having an agent?’ I assured him it wouldn’t. I didn’t want him to rush into anything; in a week as important as last week was for his draft status, his primary focus needed to be on the field. After all, I figured he’d spend the week fielding queries from contract advisors anyway.

Yesterday, I got a call from Jake, telling me he was still without representation, so I offered to feature him in this space. I think it’s worth it to tell his story. If you’re a contract advisor still a little light on clients for the ’15 draft class, you could do worse than having a conversation with Jake, for a couple reasons.

  • He plays a position rising in importance in the league. Ten years ago, scouts dismissed the Wes Welkers, Danny Amendolas, Danny Woodheads and Julian Edelmans of the world as too small, too slow, and too lacking in skills to ever play in the league. Today, those receivers are on their second and third deals.
  • He’s pretty explosive. The Citadel is not, and has never been, a national football powerhouse, and isn’t seen as a fountain of grid innovation. Despite these limitations, Jake averaged 8.8 ypc last season on 68 carries. And though his duties were primarily in the running game, he pitched in seven catches last season.
  • He got to play in an all-star game. The value and importance of having such a platform as an all-star game is debatable for highly ranked, big-time players, but for the hundreds of players on the fringes of the draft, it’s usually a big difference-maker. Typically, 70-80 percent of players that go to all-star games at least wind up in camps. That’s a reasonable goal for Jake.
  • He’s not some tiny, elf-like guy. At 5-11/200, he’s got a little bulk and size to him. These aren’t the dimensions of your typical scatback.
  • His training is taken care of. If there’s one conversation I have with agents consistently in late December and early January, it’s about their frustration with prospects’ training demands. They’re often just not in line with their NFL chances. Not so with Jake. He’s the kind of high-upside, low-risk player that is rare today.

Interested in taking a flyer on Jake? Let me know at nstratton@insidetheleague.com. If you’re an ITL client, I’ll be happy to pass along his information.