Former collegiate and professional football players have a unique understanding of the characteristics shared by athletes who succeed in the sport. They often have an ideal skill set for evaluating future players for college and NFL programs.
The Nunn- Wooten Scouting Fellowship created by the NFL in January 2015, is designed to educate former players interested in a career in professional scouting. The program will give participants hands-on experience as full-time members of an NFL scouting staff, shadowing NFL scouts during a season-long internship that develops their ability to spot talent.
The fellowship, named in honor of Bill Nunn, longtime personnel director for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and John Wooten, a former NFL player and front office executive, is part of the NFL’s Football Development program under NFL Football Operations.
“Scouting is a natural transition for some of our former players,” said Matt Birk, the NFL’s director of football development and a six-time Pro Bowl center. “They bring that football work ethic and a unique perspective to the profession.”
To support and guide the program, the NFL has formed an advisory council of front office and player personnel staff from across the league. Joining Birk on the council are:
Jeff Foster, president, National Football Scouting
Rod Graves, Senior Vice President of Football Administration & Club Services, NFL League Office
Terry McDonough, Vice President of Player Personnel, Arizona Cardinals
Kyle O’Brien, Director of College Scouting, Jacksonville Jaguars
Shelton Quarles, Director of Football Operations, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sheldon White, Vice President of Pro Personnel, Detroit Lions
The NFL recognizes that its players bring a unique drive and passion to the game. Helping former players succeed after their playing careers end — whether they stay in football or follow another path — gives back to those who make the sport great and strengthens the game for future generations, ensuring that football remains a vibrant aspect of American culture.
Click here to apply to Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship