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Football Player  What They Do

Just the Facts

Athletes and Sports Competitors Career Video

Insider Info

dotFootball is big business. And who are the stars of the show? The players, of course.

dotThe border between the U.S. and Canada is practically non-existent when it comes to football players. The U.S. recruits Canadian players, and Canada recruits Americans. The National Football League has two divisions, the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).

dotNFL teams report for a six-week training camp in July prior to the season, and pre-season games begin in August. The regular season starts in September and continues for 17 weeks. Post-season games follow the regular season, culminating with the Super Bowl at the end of January.

dotThe NFL draft for new players takes place in April.

Duke Babb works with National Football Scouting. His organization designates which players are recommended to the clubs as possible professional prospects. The prospects are broken down into three levels: draft choices, priority free agents and camp prospects.

"After the draft is completed, regardless of what their rating level was before then, all of the remaining players are free agents and are at liberty to sign with whomever they choose or whoever makes the best offer."

dotWhat do the pro teams look for when scouting for new players? "Each player is evaluated in relation to a set of skills based on his position. Different skills are tied to each position," says Babb.

"We have height, weight and speed charts that are based on the averages in each position in the NFL. When we start looking at a player, the first things we look at are his height, weight and speed and how they compare to the averages.

"You can have a player who is low in the height, weight, and speed factor, but he may be highly productive."

dotFootball players are expected to keep themselves in excellent physical condition year-round. During the season, they work very long and tough hours building the skills necessary to be professionals. "Medical issues are a number one priority. They're signing some pretty big contracts," says Babb.

At a Glance

Play football for big bucks in the big leagues

  • Competition for positions is fierce
  • Players are expected to be in excellent physical condition
  • Height, weight and speed are important