Q&A With Former Monarch and Current Green Bay Packers Scout, Charles Walls
By ODU Athletics
MOBILE, Ala. – On Wednesday at the Reese’s Senior Bowl practice was moved indoors due to a thunderstorm in the Mobile area. ODU Sports was able to talk with former Monarch football player and current Green Bay Packers scout, Charles Walls.
How did you get into being a scout?
CW: I got hurt early in my career at ODU and became a coaching assistant and ended up going to grad school and became a GA. I had a lot of responsibility and one of them was to be like a pro liaison, so when the NFL scouts came through I would be the one to introduce them to the players and get them film or whatever they needed. One day Tim Terry, who at that time was the assistant pro director for the Packers, came through and we had a great conversation and at the end he asked if I had ever thought about scouting. At that time, it had never crossed my mind, it was never an avenue, but from that moment on I was intrigued and a year later he called and asked if I wanted to do an interview for an internship, and that’s kind of how it all started.
What were your main responsibilities when you first started as a scout?
CW: Year one I was an intern and from day one with the Packers, I wasn’t getting coffee or making copies, we were actually scouting. They gave me responsibility on the pro side and college side. I helped out with, ran drills during the tryouts, my first tryout as a Packers scout we had Vince Young in, so I helped run that workout, and we signed him. We did little things like airport runs for the guys that came in and out, but for the most part we put wax to paper so to speak, we wrote reports, Ted Thompson, Packers GM at the time, asked us questions in meetings. It was a great experience.
What is the difference between a Pro Scout and a College Scout?
CW: Teams have a pro and college department. The pro department is focusing on free agency, hosting tryouts. A lot of people don’t know we host tryouts every week. It’s a major part of what we do to try and find talent. Most teams have 3-4 guys in house and they split the teams in the NFL and those guys know each team top to bottom, every player on the roster. The college side is constructed of area scouts, college director, co-director of player personnel and we split up the country. Then we have a cross checker over the top and he’ll come get a second look at the guys in my area.
What is your area now?
CW: I’m responsible for every player that comes out of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. So any draft eligible player that comes out of my state I’m responsible for knowing them top to bottom as a player and a person. From there I have various duties from there, for the combine I’ll be an assistant for one of the groups, probably the offensive line, making sure the players get there on time, almost being like their coach for the week. A lot of little things in between as well.
How has the General Manager change with the Packers changed things for you?
CW: You know what, Brian’s been there every step of the way, he was a college director when I first got there. He’s been very supportive of me and my development and growth. From that standpoint there hasn’t been much change. Ted was great and Gutey’s been great. There different but it’s all been positive.
What makes and what made the Packers so special is the people. From Eliot Wolf, to Alonzo Highsmith to Tim Terry, we had an amazing rapport. One thing if you ask the guys from the other teams, they’ll say is we’re always together. Even now they’re going we still come back together. It’s like we’re brothers, and that’s what’s special about the Packers.
Having two guys at the Senior Bowl, what does that mean for ODU as a program?
CW: It means the program’s going in the right direction. One thing Brian Gutekunst (current Packers GM) has taught me is that in any organization you’re going to have success and failures. But if the process and foundation is right, you have more of a chance for success. There are some people whose process and foundation are wrong and they have success but that’s just luck and that’s fleeting, and that won’t last very long. The fact that a mid-major program has two players here at the Senior Bowl that speaks volumes to what they’ve done in recruiting and player development.
Is it hard to believe how far ODU has come from year one to 10?
CW: My step-father works in construction and he helped put down the field at Foreman Field. To remember that and to remember getting recruited with power points. It’s huge, it’s exciting. Everyone in the office knows I bleed blue. I’m proud of it and I’m proud to say I had a small hand in it.
What made you come to ODU?
CW: At that time Chip West was the director of recruiting and DB’s coach and we just clicked. He understood me and I understood him. I believe in the dream, they sold me the dream and I believed it. It was the best decision I ever made. I was actually committed to Kent State for a while and when ODU offered me it just made sense.