All22: Taking a professional approach to international scouting

Over the past five years, North America has seen an influx of international players coming into professional leagues as well as college, despite there being no formal scouting network that is comparable to those in the United States.

All22 International Scouting aims to fill that void by training international scouts and offering a reputable system of analysis to professional leagues.

Brett Morgan, All22 founder, is in the business of numbers. For the last 10 years, he has served as a scout for both the NFL and CFL as well as serving as a head coach for a number of teams across Europe. Over that decade, he has seen a multitude of Europeans play the game he loves and the one thing that has remained central to his position is player evaluation. But when there is no credible info on players outside of a self-made highlight film and a couple of inches added to their height on, player assessment becomes somewhat of a guessing game. 

Then we look westwards, towards the red, white, and blue. Eighteen-year-olds coming out of high school will get tested on average 10 times a year over the summer period before going into college. Every measurable, missed play, TD scored and even their parents’ jobs will be on record for teams to peruse and meticulously compare against their counterparts across the States. As you can imagine, this only intensifies as athletes get prodded and poked on their way through the gauntlet of trials to get to the holy grail that is the NFL.

It is with this context in mind that when approaching the invite list for either the CFL’s Global 2.0 program or the NFL’s International Pathway Program, that a few eyebrows begin to raise. Not because of a haphazard approach, but rather because of a lack of means to effectively evaluate players. This is why All22 aims to create a scouting network across Europe to allow those players who have been overlooked a chance by providing a reputable and reliable mechanism for talent to be discovered.

All22, along with its partner The Scouting Academy – run by former Philadelphia Eagles scout Dan Hatman – have developed a CRM that helps clubs to manage every aspect of their operation, from depth charts to scouting. It is currently in its BETA stage and is being tested by top-level clubs in both the US and Europe. The software is set to release in October and has the potential to change the landscape of football management globally due to its interconnectedness and uniform approach to player analysis.

So far, All22’s beginnings and renown have remained humble. But anyone who’s been around the operation can feel something big brewing. There are not only a number of American scouts and coaches with pro-level experience onboard but also a multitude of young and semi-established scouts-in-training in Europe under the experienced wing of Morgan and All22. One of those is Mexican-born 31-year-old Ulises Garcia who moved to Spain in 2019 to play football in the Spanish league and has been there ever since.

“I joined All22 because they are not only giving opportunities to athletes from around the world but also coaches and people that are willing to learn and invest in themselves to become a pro-scout. I believe that All22 is really looking to impact football players, coaches and personnel in a different way, not only focusing on the business side.”

As a collective, their aim is to bring attention to the less known areas of European football and discover the next Efe Obada or Jakob Johnson, both of whom were born and raised in Europe but who now have credible NFL careers. All22 does this by running a series of international combines where players and scouts alike can produce the same type of data through testing that those in America do in a setting that is accessible and trusted. They will also be taking multiple athletes with them to the AIA Performance Training Facility in Ohio in February to train for two months to put on a showcase for college and professional scouts in addition to both the College Gridiron Showcase and Tropical Bowl.

The first of these camps was held last weekend in Novi Sad, Serbia, and was titled the All22 Balkans Football Camp to encompass not just Serbia but the entire region which comprises 10 countries. When asked why the Balkans, Morgan stated that it was one of the most underrepresented areas of European football and felt that the region held significant potential.

Only time will tell whether those Balkan trees will bear fruit, but the professionalism and attention to detail that were apparent in the Balkans camp are an indication of the seriousness of the program. With the global connections that All22 boasts including credible avenues to both the NFL and CFL, and with the many more camps scheduled, it is clear that All22 is setting a high standard for international scouting.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.