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The race to sign college prospects

Most players are narrowing their choices right now. Jack Bechta

Print This November 09, 2009, 10:41 AM EST

There are currently 771 agents certified with the NFL Players Association. There are about 2,000 players on NFL rosters (active, inactive, injured reserved and practice squad).

Right about now, college players and/or their parents are narrowing their decisions on an agent to two or three finalists, especially those whose teams appear to be out of postseason bowl contention. There’s a very small group of college players who will wait to start the selection process from scratch after their last regular-season or bowl game.

One of the things players and their families will have to figure out in navigating the agent landscape is, what’s the best-size firm for them? Additionally, they will have to look at other important factors such as experience, style, personality, work ethic, resource, clientele and methodology.

One way to categorize agencies is by size, so let’s take a look at the numbers:

Current certified NFL agents: 771

Number of agencies representing 50 or more clients: 7

Number of agencies representing 30-49 players: 14

Number of agencies representing 20-29 players: 8

Number of agencies representing 10-19: players 21

There are 50 agencies that represent 75 percent or more of all NFL players and most likely represent the top players. I think the size of an agency is important for players and their parents to consider. On average, I’ve represented about 18 to 20 players a year for the past 12 years and currently represent 15 players. It’s a number that works well for me and my infrastructure. I am, by choice, an independent boutique-to-mid-size agency. I tend to attract a lot of smart, hard-working offensive and defensive linemen, along with blue-collar defensive backs. For reasons I can’t explain, I do really well with kids from the Chicago area and east coast. On the other hand, I struggle signing SEC players.

Other agencies match up well with QBs and specialty positions. The bottom line is that there is someone out there for everyone. However, players and parents must take their time to explore their best options.

In the next 70 days, about 700-plus college seniors and juniors will sign representation contracts with agents. The best NFL prospects will sign with these same 50 agents. I’ll sign four or five of them. There will be about 500 agents who will be shut out.

Needless to say, my industry is one of the most competitive on the planet.

Follow me on Twitter: jackbechta

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