On Monday, I discussed the things you can do (and the things not worth doing) that may help you land a job in scouting. One of the points I made was that somehow, some way, you’ve got to get in front of scouts or you’re probably dead in the water. You might have interpreted that to mean that you need to do some big-time butt-kissing if you happen to so much as share an elevator with a scout. Not so.
I was able to get one of my scout prospects on the phone with a friend who scouts for an AFC team a couple years ago. This prospect, who had been an ITL intern and had done a smashing job, was top-notch. The best. I felt like he would knock the scout’s socks off, but it didn’t happen.
My friend the scout said the young man had been a little too educated, and maybe had been a little too polished. Maybe my protege had tried to come across as too NFL-ready when what he should have done was promote his whatever-it-takes attitude and all-out work ethic. I wasn’t around for the interview, but it’s possible he played up his pedigree at one of the finer academic institutions in the country when he should have come across as more salt-of-the-earth.
Another time, I recommended a candidate to a friend in the business and this time, the prospect totally killed it. He didn’t get the job, but it wasn’t because my friend didn’t try. He passed him along, and though the young man didn’t get the job, he was in the running. I’m confident he’ll land something soon. I think he interviewed better simply because he had more experience related to the business, i.e., he had worked in the recruiting/personnel office for a major Big Ten school, and had been to several all-star games, where he’d networked until he collapsed.
There’s one more aspiring scout I’ve worked with, and this one I’ll name. He’s Mike Jasinski, and he works in personnel at Northwestern. I met him through friends and he was one of three aspiring scouts I brought to Bedford, Texas, for last year’s College Gridiron Showcase. He did great, and I think he’ll get an opportunity very soon. I think going to the CGS was a benefit for him, but he’s pretty much played it perfectly, working in a major school’s personnel department, building great relationships with NFL folks, and parlaying it perfectly. I think his personality has been great. He’s professional and deferential without kissing up. He’s confident without being a know-it-all.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s not just about getting the opportunities, but how you handle yourself when you get them. I think most teams are looking for competent young people who are football-savvy, but still blank slates. They want someone who will be comfortable around football people but not entitled. Keep this in mind as you gather chances to state your case.