Yesterday, I received word that Joel Segal of Blue Equity Sports Television (BEST) has signed Brandon Graham and Brandon Minor.
Both players just finished their senior seasons with the University of Michigan football team. A 5-7 win/loss record is no flashy way to exit college football, but at least it was a better record than they boasted in 2008 (3-9). The Rich Rod era is not off to the best of starts.
Anyway, with Michigan not headed to a bowl game, Graham and Minor are permitted to officially select their agents, and apparently they decided to stay blue, signing with Blue Equity and Joel Segal.
Graham (who has already committed to playing in the Senior Bowl) has recorded 29.5 career sacks and 56 career tackles for a loss as a Wolverine, and impressively had 10.5 sacks in 12 games played in 2009. Minor (currently committed to play in the Shrine Game) led Michigan in rushing in 2008 and 2009. This year he racked up 502 yards on 96 attempts. Minor scores 8 touchdowns out of those 96 touches. NFLDraftScout.com ranks Graham as the best outside linebacker in the country, and a future first round pick. The site claims that Minor is the 7th best running back available and that he will be taken off the board in the 4th or 5th round. Any agency would be ecstatic about having the chance to represent either of the former Wolverines.
So how did Joel Segal land both of the future draft picks? That is actually a very interesting story. Segal had to survive a vetting process handed by a couple of Jewish Michigan undergrad students: Jordan Klein and a kid with the last name Sillman. Graham and Minor spend the Jewish Holidays with the two Jewish students. Maybe they would enjoy reading my Shabbat Shalom: Friday Wrap-Up column.
Neil Stratton of InsideTheLeague.com received a much lengthier explanation than I did on how it all went down. Here are is my synopsis:
- The players asked Klein and Sillman to find them the agents who would be the best fit. Criteria = track record, previous contracts, their reputations around the league, and their chemistry with the player.
- Klein and Sillman did not get paid to help out the players.
- Agencies contacted included Athletes First, Priority Sports, BEST and the Tollners. Agencies researched = Rosenhaus Sports and CAA.
- The players themselves only met with 3 agencies – Joel Segal of BEST, Jeremiah Donati of Steinberg Sports, and Lamont Smith of All-Pro Sports (which was essentially done as a favor to Graham’s father).
- Why BEST and Joel Segal won out – It was small enough where the players would not get overlooked, but had the same resources as the biggest firms.
- Klein and Sillman are now interviewing financial planners for the players.