As I’ve expanded my work with members of the college evaluation and recruiting community, I’ve begun to work with dozens of young people who are incredibly talented. Here’s the funny thing: until I really started looking, I had no idea who these people were. In fact, until CAA’s Ed Marynowitz started bringing this community together at his Personnel Symposium a couple years ago, I barely knew this community existed, so hats off to Ed.

At any rate, there are lots of rising young evaluators who have well-developed eyes for talent, superhero-level administrative talents, a special way with recruiting and communicating with young players, or all of the above. It’s time to recognize some of them.

Here are 11 young men working in college personnel and recruiting who are ready for a promotion to running a P5 school’s recruiting department, to serve as an NFL scouting assistant, to jump straight to college scouting coordinator for a pro team, or to serve as a chief of staff for a college or pro head coach. I’ve presented them alphabetically.

  • Marcus Berry, Director of Recruiting, Maryland: Marcus lives to evaluate and is passionate about getting better at it, though he’s already really good. I always learn something when I talk to him. He will be a great NFL scout someday. 
  • Albert Boone, Director of Football Operations, South Florida: I don’t get to link up with Albert as much anymore because he’s always busy. Albert is on a steady climb in the industry and has earned the acclaim of some powerful people.
  • Alex Brown, Director of Football Recruiting, Rice: I met Alex years ago before he was part of an FBS football administration, and it’s incredibly how far he’s come in a short time. If you check out his podcast about college personnel, you won’t be sorry.
  • Cody Cejda, Director of Football Operations and Strategy, Northwestern: The consummate professional and the gold standard as far major college administrators, which is why he’s the only person on this list whom I’ve asked to speak at one of my seminars.
  • Will Christopherson, Director of Player Personnel Operations, Maryland: Will is relentless. He finds opportunities, excels, then builds his network with the people he’s worked with without being a self-promoter. 
  • Ryan Fischler, offensive assistant, Texas A&M: Everywhere I go on the all-star/combine trail in January and February, I see Ryan either working or just networking. That’s what you have to do if you want to climb in this industry.
  • Zach Gold, Assistant Director of Player Personnel, Temple: Not only is Zach engaging, but he will move heaven and earth to learn and find resources to help him get better. You have to admire that.
  • Matt Lindsey, General Manager, Ole Miss: Matt is at the forefront of a new position in college football, general manager. He’s incredibly impressive, is a ‘Bama grad, and has already worked in the NFL (Eagles). 
  • C.J. Owens, Director of Player Personnel, Old Dominion: I haven’t known C.J. for very long, but I’ve been really impressed so far, and I look forward to tracking his career as it continues.
  • Steve Schrum, Director of Player Personnel, Kent State: It’s been fun to watch Steve rise through the industry, as no job has been too small or too large for him. The Golden Flashes are 3-0 and Steve has a lot to do with it.
  • Tim Silvernail, Director of Recruiting, Rutgers: Tim has an extensive MAC background but he’s on the move and making things happen in the Big Ten now. He’s got a lot of momentum and there’s a good reason for that. Highly organized.

There are several others who are worthy of recognition; they’re just a few steps away from being ready. They include Nathan Applebaum, a recruiting assistant at Florida; Cody Bellaire, a player personnel assistant at Baylor; Taylor Buie, recruiting assistant at Stanford; Price Burton, a quality control assistant in recruiting at Toledo; Aaron Clem and Nathan Ellis, recruiting assistants at Maryland; Camden Dietz, a recruiting assistant at Kansas; Tom Fratcher, a recruiting specialist at NCSA; Allen Gaudet, player personnel assistant at Texas A&M; Chris Haase, a football scouting assistant at Northwestern; Justin Markus, recruiting assistant at Rice; Kyle Morgan, southwest area scout for XOS Technology; Jalun Morris, Assistant Director of Recruiting at UAB; Connor Roche, grad assistant in recruiting at Arizona State; John Todd and Nathan Cooper at Sports Info Solutions, a top sports analytics firm; and Jeremy Wright, a community relations coordinator at North Carolina A&T. These guys are among several who hold a lot of promise.

I’m certain I’ve left some out. This is far from an exhaustive list, and it’s important to note that if someone’s not listed here, it’s not that I don’t see them as a riser in the business. It’s probably just that I haven’t met that person yet (or, more likely, I’ve just forgotten to include them in this rather hastily assembled post).

There are so many people in this industry who are talented, and I just haven’t made my way around the business yet. But I will, and I will continue to point to these peoples’ successes when I see them.