People have heard stories, but they have no idea just how shady the business of college football can be. Especially from the viewpoint of talent acquisition. This isn’t only true of universities recruiting high school players. It’s also true of agents who are trying to secure talent nearing their time to go pro. Most players never reveal their dealings with such matters. That is until former Chicago Bears corner D.J. Moore got his chance to speak.
In his latest #StoryTimeWithDJ segment, he talked about how often he was approached by agents following his sophomore year at Vanderbilt. A season in which he had six interceptions. It became obvious at that point that he was likely going to the NFL. Another solid season as a junior would almost guarantee he gets drafted. So the recruiters began to descend on him lack a pack of vultures.
Most of the time they were innocent enough talks often at a local PF Chang’s. However, there was one encounter that he never forgot. One that brought him to the brink of a serious NCAA rules violation. One that almost certainly would’ve gotten him declared ineligible and ruined his college career.
Chicago Bears were fortunate Moore’s better instincts prevailed
What made it weird was that a coach was involved in arranging the meeting. Moore was taken to a back alley location away from prying eyes. There he met an overweight man with a “northern accent” who was interested in him as a client. Moore heard him out, but when he tried to leave everything changed.
“His nervous nature had completely disappeared, and now I was the one on pins and needles. He looked at me and said, “What will it take for you to sign with us?” I let him know it wasn’t anything specific. I said, “I will choose people who I’m most comfortable around,” and that I would weigh my options, etc., etc.
He looked me in the eye and said, “What will it take?” I paused the second time, unsure what response he wanted from me. After an awkward silence, he stated, “I will buy your mom a house if you sign with my agency.” I replied, “So I sign with you and my mom gets a house no strings attached.” He nodded his confirmation.
I was currently sending all the money I got from my Pell grant home to my mom to help pay bills and I hear from this guy that I can get her a house just like that. I left the room and told him I would think about it. I truly went back and forth for about a week thinking over his offer.
I reluctantly turned him down and signed with a different agency. After my junior season was over and I started to train, I began hearing tons of similar stories. The offers ranged from cars to cash payouts.”
Had Moore accepted and the NCAA found out?
He would’ve been banned from finishing his career at Vanderbilt and likely would not have been drafted. That would’ve made his chances of making it in the NFL that much harder given his size. Instead, Moore had another six interceptions as a junior and was picked by the Chicago Bears in the 2009 draft. From there he became their starting nickel corner during their last great run of defense from 2010 to 2012 before Lovie Smith was fired.