Jayme Moten is never afraid of the big moment.
Long before he was a repeat NFL agent to some of the league’s next wave of potential stars, Motten was a teenager out of Minnesota who wanted the ball in his hands with the game on the line.
As the story goes, the New London Spicer University basketball team tied with the Staples Motley Fool 68–68 in a Class 2A, Section 6 championship game in March 2010. There were exactly 2.8 seconds left on the clock, and the play was being made someone else, Moten remembers calling his shot.
Moten recalled during an interview with Pioneer Press last month, “I’m sitting in the huddle and I’m like, ‘Look, if I get past this half-court, I promise I’ll hit it. I’m going.” “The other thing I remember is our assistant coaches being like, ‘Whoever has the ball has two dribbles. Then the shot has to go up. ,
Sure enough, Moten caught the ball near half court, took his two dribbles, and caught the buzzer-beater to send the New London Spicer into the state tournament. Like he had promised.
“It was a surreal moment because I literally told it to exist,” Moten said. “It’s the same thing with being an agent. It was almost like, ‘How many dribbles do I get? I’m going to get it done.’ ,
That swagger has served Moten well over a decade or so of his sports-winning following. He played basketball at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., then worked as an assistant basketball coach at Elmhurst College and St. Cloud State before he got the chance to pursue his dreams as an NFL agent.
Nowadays, Moten is a haven for NFL agent Mike McCartney, who represents Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, among many other players. Think of them as a dynamic duo, McCartney bringing the experience, Moten bringing the energy.
“I’m not without Mike McCartney,” said Motten, who just turned 29. “I wouldn’t have put my foot in the door if he didn’t believe me.”
The relationship began after Moten suffered a leg injury in college. He began rehabilitation at a local gym near campus, per the recommendation of his partner, and it was here that he first saw McCartney.
“I didn’t know who he was at the time,” Moten said. “I just remember seeing him there every morning. He was gaining weight, I’m not going to lie.
When asked about his early impressions of Moten at the time, McCartney immediately pointed to the energy he seemed to have on a daily basis.
“He never got tired,” McCartney said. “I’ve been trying to avoid my workouts at that point in my life, to be honest, and here’s a kid who’s killing his workouts then wants to talk in the middle.”
As time went on, Moten and McCartney developed a friendship. They would talk about everything under the sun before they could. Only a few boys were working out together who gradually started getting to know each other.
Eventually, Moten mustered up the courage to ask McCartney about his options in the sports world. To be clear, Moten wasn’t asking for the job, which is a good thing because McCartney might not have given it to him then.
“He told me he wanted to be an agent,” McCartney said. “I told him he needed to go out into the real world and show me he could recruit.”
So that’s exactly what Moten did. After graduating from North Central, he built an impressive recruiting class at Elmhurst College. Meanwhile, Motten keeps McCartney informed about everything going on in his life.
This helped Moten secure an internship at Priority Sports, the agency McCartney was working for at the time. Drawing inspiration from his playing days, Moten worked in the basketball division, helping out the 2018 NBA Draft class, which included players such as Michael Porter Jr., Chandler Hutchison, and Jevon Carter.
“He did whatever he needed to do,” McCartney said. “After a couple of weeks, some agents started coming up to me like, ‘Who is this guy? I like him.’ It was part of the process. He needed to pay a little bit of his dues.”
As impressed as Moten was during his internship, Priority Sports didn’t have the space to bring in anyone at the time. Fearless, Moten took the next step in his career to build his resume to land a job at St. Cloud State.
“Then, like a year later, Mike called me with an opportunity,” Moten said. “He wanted a little boy he could count on to grind with him. Because I wouldn’t leave him alone for a few years, he trusted me to do that. I think Mike always believed in me. Him Just needed to see if I was ready to grind for it.”
The only catch was on the football side, not the basketball. Despite being inexperienced in that area, Moten jumped at the opportunity to make the switch.
After working together at Priority Sports for a few years, Moten and McCartney moved to Vayner Sports ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft. Some of his current clients include former Gophers stars Rashod Bateman and Boe Mafe, as well as recent top-10 toppers Aidan Hutchinson and Ikem Ekwonu.
“It’s been a really great partnership,” McCartney said. “These guys get the best of both worlds with us. I have a big guy in me who has a lot of sporting experience. They have a little guy in Jayme that they can add a little bit more to.”
Maybe the most rewarding thing Moten has done since becoming an agent is repeating his best friend, Brandon Zilstra. It’s something they used to talk about as kids growing up together in the small town of Spicer, Minn.
“Fast forward several years now and we revealed it,” said Zilstra, a former Vikings wide receiver who now plays for the Carolina Panthers. “It’s great to think about.”
As proud as Zilstra was of Moten, he likes to tell a story about how he didn’t sign with her right away.
“I was like, ‘This isn’t a game,'” Zilstra said. “I wasn’t going to sign with him just because he’s my best friend. I was like, ‘You need to prove this (disrespectful) to me.’ I know a fire lit under him.”
Not surprisingly, Moten has since added Zilstra to its growing roster of talent.
“I hadn’t signed with him for maybe six months,” Zilstra said with a laugh. “He looked at his first draft and I saw how much he learned. After that there was no question in my mind that he was going to succeed.”
As for Moten, this is just the beginning for them. Although he is still very humble in his way of doing things, knowing full well that he has a lot to learn from McCartney in the years to come, he has high hopes for himself down the road.
“I want to be the top black agent in the industry,” Moten said. “I think it’s an important thing in a game (made up primarily of black players). It’s not my time right now. Most of my players haven’t reached their second contracts yet. I’ll get there.”
If his rise through the ranks is any indication, it’s hard to bet against Moten at the moment. Just tell him how many dribbles he gets. He’s going to finish it.
“Dude is a millstone,” said Zilstra. “He’s willing to do more than most people because he thrives on competition. If he wants to be the best, he’ll be the best. He’s coming for it all. And I don’t think anything is going to stop him.” Is.”