For decades, the Senior Bowl has launched countless top college players it to the highest level of football, the NFL. This year, the game upped the ante by providing a platform for NFL coaches to elevate their respective games, as well. Six coaches who helped out at this year’s game are already climbing the ladder, no doubt in part due to their work in Mobile. However, those aren’t the only people benefiting from the game.
Along with The Scouting Academy’s Dan Hatman, Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy will host Scout School June 4-7 in Mobile. This year, registration is open solely to former NFL players with at least two years of playing experience in the league. In addition to an effort to give ex-players a chance to stay in the game, Jim and Dan are also helping bring more “football guys” into front offices with this endeavor.
“Jobs in scouting aren’t always easy to come by,” Nagy said. “Our hope is that we can prepare scouting prospects for the game the same way we do with players, and this year, even coaches. An ex-NFL player who’s got a good handle on what it takes to be a scout is someone who’s a great candidate to be hired.”
Jim and Dan take preparation for working in the business seriously. Among the topics they’ll cover are how a modern scouting department is built, what a scout’s lifestyle looks like, how to write a report, how to watch and grade film, even how to make a school visit (Dan and Jim lead a mock visit at nearby South Alabama). Participants also get to hear from speakers who’ve been in their shoes as ex-players seeking to get into player evaluation. Among previous guest speakers have been Lenny McGill, Raiders; Lake Dawson, Bills; Tim Terry, Chiefs; and Jeff King, Bears.
Though Scout School was launched in 2013 under Nagy’s predecessor, Phil Savage, according to this story, this year might be the best time ever to attend. The cost of registration (a $500 value) is covered this year by NFL Football Operations. Costs include coverage of the two-and-a-half-day course, plus meals, but there’s more. Participants will get the chance to be Group Leaders for the 2024 game. Group Leaders walk with the players during the week, making sure they get where they need to be and helping out as necessary. In addition, a few participants will be given a chance to spend the fall shadowing Reese’s Senior Bowl area scouts as they canvas the country. This allows participants to see, up close, what it takes to be a professional NFL evaluator. Both of these opportunities also give participants an invaluable opportunity to build their respective networks and perhaps create relationships that will lead to interviews.
“You can’t be a great player without great training,” Nagy said. “We think Scout School offers a chance to prepare for a career in scouting unlike any ever offered before. We’re excited about what’s ahead in June.”
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