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The signing race is over

Lining up a group of clients takes time and work. Jack Bechta

Print This January 19, 2010, 11:26 AM EST

By now, 99 percent of all players who are eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft have selected their agents. I’ll be fortunate to be representing five new clients who have entrusted me to help manage their careers.

For many agents, the process of signing new clients started as early as 12 months ago. For me, it started in October with some dialogue with parents or confidants of about 10 seniors. I went after players I felt would be drafted, are of high moral character and are hard workers.

The five players I’m working for make up one of the best draft classes I’ve had in a while. They include:

Pat Angerer, LB, Iowa: This kid is a nasty and productive Big Ten linebacker who plays with a sense of urgency. He’s fast, smart and tough, and his speed will make him an impact player on Sundays.

A.J. Edds, LB, Iowa: A.J. can play multiple positions in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense and will be on all 32 teams’ draft boards. He’s smart and a brilliant leader. In addition, he showed a lot of range doing many things for the Iowa defense for three consecutive years.

Sherrick McManis, CB, Northwestern: Sherrick has size, speed and smarts. He’s a cerebral, disciplined and focused young man who’s destined to be a starting corner in the NFL. You can check him out Saturday at the East-West Shrine game.

Tony Moeaki, TE, Iowa: I sincerely believe Tony is the best all-around TE in the draft. Iowa has a history of producing great tight ends, and Tony is the best since Dallas Clark. He’s the total package as tight ends go: He can block, run and catch. He’ll be an every-down starting player.

Mike Tepper, OL, California: Big Mike, all 325 pounds of him, can play guard or tackle at the next level. He will eventually become a starting tackle and has a personality that will enable him to do some notable things off the field as well.

Although I was fortunate to be selected by these guys, I also missed on a few good ones.

I lost out on Northwestern QB Mike Kafka, who I think will become a solid NFL player. He’s big, athletic, has a strong arm, is smart and will go from being raw to polished in just a few years, as he did this season. Kafka chose a respected competitor, Mike McCartney, who is also located in Kafka’s hometown of Chicago and has a good history with Northwestern players.

One of the other studs I was a finalist for was Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. He started with six agents and narrowed it down to me and Athletes First out of Newport, Calif. He’ll be in good hands with seasoned agent David Dunn.

I sincerely wish these players and their families the best of luck in their professional endeavors. They’re classy young men who handled the process with dignity.

Like the rest of my peers, I’ll continue to be on the road for the all-star games, the NFL Combine, the Super Bowl/Pro Bowl and individual school pro days. And I’ll have a smile on my face because I’m working with some fantastic young men.

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