As I’ve discussed previously in this space, I was on a panel last month at the Fowler School of Law at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. It was a fascinating time, to say the least, and a pleasure to hear some great minds talk about the business in a real, factual basis. So many times you wind up on a panel with people who think they know the business, but don’t. These folks did.
One of the stories that was told there I wanted to use for today’s Thursday edition of War Story Wednesday. The story is told by Sean Kiernan, a seasoned agent who’s based in the Los Angeles area. Though he’s with Select Sports Group now, the story he tells is from his time with Impact Sports, which is based in Boca Raton, Fla.
For what it’s worth, the five players he discussed below are taken from Impact’s draft class of Tennessee OG Arron Sears (2/35), Notre Dame DE Victor Abiamiri (2/57), Georgia DE Quentin Moses (3/65), California DC Daymeion Hughes (3/95), Oklahoma St. OG Corey Hilliard (6/209), Florida IB Brandon Siler (7/240). Apparently Sean didn’t recruit one of the players from this group.
“You look at it from a draft perspective, the best year we ever had as a company (at Impact Sports was in 2007. Erik and I were talking about it this morning. (All year) I was on the road between Atlanta and Phoenix, watching five guys, and I thought we had the best draft class ever. We ended up with two seconds, two thirds and a seventh, and I was at a company where we were consistently in the first round with at least one pick every year. None of those guys got second deals. None of them. One had concussion issues, was out of the league. One had a bad knee. Out of the league. One couldn’t run and played corner. Not a good thing. One, the top pick of the third round, got cut at the end of training camp. He was the highest guy to ever get cut in like four years, and he was the highest player on the BLESTO report and the third-highest player on the National report, eight months ago. And he got cut. Now, he survived four years in the league and he made it. We found the right place for him, but he never got a second deal. The seventh-round pick tore his Achilles going into his second deal. Five guys. And if you would have asked me, any year in my career, if I was to bet on any year of guys, that was the group of guys I would have bet on all day. All five of them, nothing. Then there’s guys I sign off of practice squad who get a four-year, $16 million deal. You just never know.”
I agree. This class looked like a lock going into the draft and even beyond, but it didn’t work out that way. If you get into this business, understand that it’s very fickle. There are no guarantees.