When former TCNJ wide receiver Brendan Prophett ’98 used to pore over scouting reports detailing the Lions’ upcoming opponents, he never imagined he’d one day provide similar advice and strategies to NFL players. But thanks in part to connections he made as a student at TCNJ, Prophett does just that as the New York Jets’ director of pro personnel.
Prophett is responsible for evaluating Gang Green’s upcoming adversaries and preparing scouting reports for players and coaches, maintaining emergency lists in case a player is injured and a replacement is needed, tracking other leagues for potential prospects, and assisting with the NFL draft.
His day-to-day responsibilities often translate into many late nights at the office, but Prophett said he wouldn’t trade the job for anything in the world.
“I work with a bunch of great people,” said the former Lion. “Although I wasn’t good enough to play at this level, [scouting is] still a very competitive environment. I love coming to work each day.”
The former economics major credits his classroom experiences with providing the “problem solving, critical thinking, [and] strategic planning” skills that “come into play every day,” he said. Yet he is also quick to acknowledge that his Lions football connections helped him get a foot in the door with the NFL.
After Prophett graduated, Coach Eric Hamilton ’75 put him in touch with Terry Bradway ’75, who at the time was the Kansas City Chiefs’ general manager. “Terry and Coach Hamilton played football together at Trenton State,” explained Prophett. “That was the TCNJ hookup that got me into the league.”
Bradway recommended Prophett talk with Dave Gettleman, the director of pro personnel for the New York Giants. For nearly six months Prophett hounded Gettleman trying to get an interview. “I called weekly and kind of broke him down,” Prophett recalled. Finally, Gettleman brought Prophett in for an interview—“maybe to make me stop calling him,” Prophett joked.
Ten minutes into that meeting Gettleman was ready to hire the enthusiastic jobseeker. Prophett started as an intern in the Giants’ college scouting department before moving into an internship with the League Office, where he worked with the NFL Management Council. In July 2000, Prophett nabbed a full-time position with the Jets.
He still maintains a connection with the College, and heads back to his old stomping grounds whenever the opportunity arises, most recently for a one-day football camp last spring. “I talk to coach Hamilton fairly regularly, and I try to follow the team as closely as I can through the computer and reading the papers,” Prophett said.
Looking back at his time here, Prophett is thankful for the opportunities that arose from his many contacts and relationships.
“Coach Hamilton, the team, they all played a role in making me who I am today and the success I’ve been able to attain,” Prophett said. “All those guys were pivotal in that. I really value the time I spent there.”