Next week in Nashville, I’ll be joining two friends to speak at the second annual Personnel Symposium at the J.W. Marriott Aug. 5-6. I’m honored to be part of this year’s festivities, and flattered that Ed Marynowitz, the former college (Alabama) and pro (Eagles) administrator and scout, asked me to contribute. My team and I are looking forward to meeting the 200-or-so scouting professionals who’ll be in attendance.

This week, in this space, I’ll be talking about our presentation in the Music City. That means I’m going to presume that, if you’re reading, it’s your desire to become an NFL scout someday. Over the next four days, we’ll talk about who will be speaking for us; what people who hire NFL scouting assistants are looking for; who’s getting hired, i.e., what are the characteristics of the people who are becoming scouting assistants; and what qualities young scouts say were important reasons why they got hired. In other words, we’re going to look at all sides of what it takes to get a job in the NFL.

Let’s start by talking about the two men who’ll share the floor with me for 30 minutes, all told, next week. They’re both good friends, but more than that, they’ve got a lot to say about the subject we’ll be discussing.

Jason Montanez of Catapult Leadership: Jason was a fullback in the early ’00s at Buffalo after spending his high school days playing in a suburb of New York City. Though Jason is still a young man, he’s quickly gained respect as a leadership guru and sales expert who’s in demand by corporations and business leaders. He’s also authored two books, I’ve Got 99 Things to Quit and Giving Up Is One and Lead, Sell, Care as Easy as 1, 2, 3. Jason’s energy level is infectious, and he’s as knowledgeable as he is convicting. Everyone who knows Jason gets a boost from his attitude, his delivery and his style, but you won’t like Jason (solely) because of his personality. He’s got a lot to say about how to get ahead in business. Especially the football business. You can follow Jason on Twitter here.

Blake Beddingfield, former Director of College Scouting, Titans: Blake is no stranger to any of last year’s attendees, as he represented ITL at the 2018 symposium. Blake spent almost three decades with the Titans and did almost everything in their scouting department, so he’s the voice of experience. What makes Blake so valuable is not only that he has had a front-row seat for the hiring process and development of most members of Tennessee’s scouting staff, but he also was around for the career of the late C.O. Brocato, one of the true “warriors” of the scouting profession. Blake not only knows today’s hiring trends, but he knows what creates longevity in a career. He’s also funny and engaging, a really great guy who’s willing to help others. You can follow him on Twitter here.

We’ll talk about what young scouts say about why they got the job tomorrow.