REESE’S SENIOR BOWL ANNOUNCES FORMER NFL PLAYER INITIATIVE
Ex-NFL players will assist in scouting process for nation’s premier college all-star game
Mobile, AL – The Reese’s Senior Bowl is enhancing its Senior Bowl Scout School initiative this fall by creating a scouting apprenticeship program for former National Football League players who have participated in the organization’s three-day educational seminar held each summer. This year, seven former NFL players have been selected to assist the Senior Bowl’s full-time scouting staff, which is comprised of former NFL scouts with 160 years of league experience, for the 74th annual game that kicks off at 1:30 p.m. CT at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday February 4, 2023.
The seven former NFL players are as follows: Kory Chapman, Buster Davis, Tori Gurley, Mel Hayes, Drew Henson, Greg Moore, and Shaun Phillips. In addition, another Scout School alum, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brad Jackson, was announced last week as the Senior Bowl’s northeast area scout.
Four years ago, Reese’s Senior Bowl Scout School limited enrollment exclusively to former NFL players with the short-term intention of educating them on the scouting profession and the long-term vision of establishing a more diverse pipeline to personnel departments around the league.
“We firmly believe there is a need for more former players in the scouting profession. The insight these men have from playing the game at its highest level is incredibly valuable,” says Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy. “Taking the next step beyond the classroom with our Scout School initiative will give them unique real-life evaluation experience as many of them work toward the ultimate goal of a post-playing career back in the league.”
Under the new arrangement, Senior Bowl Scout School alums will begin the fall shadowing a veteran NFL evaluator at college games on Saturdays and then be responsible for evaluations on prospects at their assigned schools. “Including the Scout School alums in our fall evaluation process should set these men apart from other candidates seeking scouting opportunities. They will gain so much wisdom and knowledge working alongside our veteran staff,” explains Nagy.
Prior to this new expanded program, Scout School participants attended the classroom style sessions in June and returned to Mobile the following January, where they served as group leaders for the players participating in each year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl game. Part of the game week responsibilities included written reports pertaining to both on-field performance and off-field character assessments on all the players in their respective position groups. Moreover, being on-site allowed Scout School participants unmatched networking opportunities with key decision-makers from all 32 NFL teams who attend the game on a yearly basis.
The Senior Bowl Scout School program had an impact on this off-season’s NFL hiring cycle as former Senior Bowl Director of Football Operations Michael Coe was hired as an area scout by the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles added Ben Ijalana as a scouting assistant.
2023 REESE’S SENIOR BOWL SCOUT SCHOOL APPRENTICESHIP PARTICIPANTS
- Kory Chapman- Chapman was signed as an undrafted free agent running back out of Jacksonville State by the Baltimore Ravens and spent parts of five seasons with the Ravens, Patriots, Colts, and Browns. He earned Super Bowl rings with both the Patriots and Colts.
- Buster Davis- Davis played linebacker in the 2007 Senior Bowl after being named second-team All-American his final year at Florida State and was selected in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals. He spent three seasons in the NFL with the Cardinals, Lions, and Texans.
- Tori Gurley- Gurley was signed as an undrafted free agent wide receiver out of South Carolina and spent seven seasons in professional football, four in the NFL and three in the CFL. He spent time with Packers, Vikings, Raiders, Buccaneers, Chargers, Ravens, Browns, and Bills during his NFL career.
- Mel Hayes- Hayes was drafted in the fourth round out of Mississippi State by the New York Jets. Played offensive tackle for two seasons with the Jets and two seasons with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans.
- Drew Henson- Henson started his professional athletic career as a third-round pick of the New York Yankees in 1998 and was later drafted in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Henson played quarterback for five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions.
- Greg Moore- Moore went undrafted out of Lane College and spent one season as a reserve wide receiver with the Indianapolis Colts.
- Shaun Phillips- Phillips played in the 2004 Senior Bowl and was selected that year in the fourth round by the San Diego Chargers. He played eight seasons with the Chargers (2004-2012) and two more with the Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans, and Indianapolis Colts. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2010 and finished his career with 81.5 sacks.
About Reese’s Senior Bowl:
The Reese’s Senior Bowl is widely regarded as the preeminent college football all-star game and the first stage in the NFL Draft process. The longest continual-running all-star game has taken place in Mobile, Alabama the past 73 years. More than 900 NFL personnel, including key decision-makers from all 32 teams, and over 900 media members from around the country were credentialed last year. This past April, the game produced a record-tying 106 total picks for the second straight year, representing 40 percent of the entire NFL draft, including 45 of the top 100 players selected.
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