McQuagge, 43, a 1986 Fort Myers High School graduate, a walk-on at the University of Florida and a former Florida Firecats arena football quarterback, has invested at least $8,000 in certifying himself as an NFL player agent.
Fain, 42, a 1986 North Fort Myers graduate, a cornerback at Florida and a Chicago Bear under coach Mike Ditka, lives in Cape Coral and works as an executive at a branch of Wachovia Bank. He will assist McQuagge as a financial advisor.
“At this point, Mike is really the company,” Fain said. “He asked me to come in and help in more of a consulting role. I can be more of the relationship guy. I’ve lived the life. About 70 percent of the NFL is African-American, and I’m obviously African-American. A lot of these kids came out of the same type of background as I did.”
McQuagge and Fain are mining their connections with college coaches, NFL scouts and executives this season.
They will begin trying to sign their first class of players after the 2010 college football season ends.
“This is a three-to-seven-year plan,” McQuagge said. “With my background and with Richard’s background, we have a lot to offer. We touch enough areas to where certainly we’ll be able to develop a client base.”
They sure hope so. McQuagge, a personal injury attorney, passed the NFL agent’s exam this summer in Washington, D.C.
McQuagge paid $1,200 for a background check, $1,700 for liability insurance, $1,200 for annual dues and $1,200 for an agent’s license in Florida among other expenses. He enters a profession that has been placed under tremendous scrutiny.
New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush surrendered his Heisman Trophy last week amid allegations he accepted money from a sports agent while playing at USC.
Breaking rules shouldn’t be tolerated, McQuagge said.
“Hopefully, the enforcement will get tough,” McQuagge said. “That levels the playing field a little bit. If you want 100 grand cash up front, we’re not the ones for you. If you want a guy who’s going to look out for you, we’re your guys.”
McQuagge and Fain hope to take advantage of the growing number of local Division I college players as NFL prospects like Ohio State linebacker Brian Rolle, a 2006 Immokalee High graduate, and West Virginia running back Noel Devine, a 2006 North Fort Myers High running back.
“We’re straight shooters,” McQuagge said. “We’re more than just numbers guys. One of us has NFL experience. Both of us have played college football.
“Investment and long-term planning and taking the right kind of financial advice – not just a payday -is what we’re all about.”