A football injury gave Jepson School alumnus Todd McShay, '99, an unexpected opportunity, ultimately leading him to a career in college football scouting and an on-air career with the nation's leading cable sports network.

ESPN Director of College Scouting Todd McShay, '99, started his career on the gridiron. A defensive back on the Richmond Spiders football team, McShay was injured in his second season. On the sidelines, he began working with the team’s film group, breaking down videos of other schools’ football teams to determine tendencies and understand plays. “It helped me to gain a foundation for what I’m doing now,” McShay said of his responsibilities. “It gave me an advantage over people who had never played the sport before, and didn’t have experience in the film room.” 

In the summer before his senior year at Richmond, McShay interned for War Room, a small scouting company in Arizona, which hired him at the end of the summer. He continued to work as a scout during his senior year and moved with the company to New York after graduation in 1999 with a major in leadership studies and a minor in sports administration. The company, which was then contracted by Sporting News, changed its name to Scouts Incorporated and was bought by ESPN in 2006.

When asked if scouting was something he had always wanted to pursue, McShay said, “When I first started my internship, I wanted to be the next Jerry McGuire. But after a few days in the office, I decided I didn’t want to be involved in that aspect. I was trying on a bunch of different hats, and had done nine different jobs before I realized I wanted to stay on the media side of things.”

In his current position, McShay provides scouting information on college football players across the country. He is a year-round contributor across ESPN’s multiple platforms, including SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPNU and ESPNEWS. When the college football season ends in January, he spends the next few months evaluating and ranking individual players based on their performance during the season. “Most people see me doing television and radio, but that is basically a culmination of my real work, which is evaluating games.”

McShay scouted Richmond alumnus Lawrence Sidbury, who was drafted to the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round. McShay hosted the pregame for ESPN for the 2008 National Championship game, where he evaluated Sidbury’s performance.

Now 10 years out of college, McShay hopes to spend his next 10 years continuing to work at ESPN. His ultimate career goal is to be debating at the desk with Mel Kiper on draft day.