As Jeremy Cohen drove up and down the northeast region – watching countless baseball games, sending email after email and call after call to young baseball prospects – he found himself at a ball field in Pennsylvania with number 21, Brian O’Grady, up to bat for Archbishop High School.
And Cohen just knew.
“That’s what a future big leaguer looks like,” Cohen said recalling the first time he saw O’Grady swing a bat.
He was right, and the Cincinnati Reds drafted O’Grady in the eighth round of the 2014 MLB draft.
Cohen and O’Grady would develop a friendship and Cohen now acts as O’Grady’s advisor while he plays in the minors.
Cohen, who graduated from Castleton in 2012 with a degree in Sports administration, currently works for BTI Sports, an agency that represents and advises NFL and MLB prospects and players.
Cohen, 27, is a certified NFL agent and is also an MLB Advisor, but says he hopes to obtain his certification to become an MLB agent in the future. Cohen has attended the NFL draft and the NFL combine making calls on behalf of undrafted players with the hopes of landing interest in a possible contract after the draft.
“Doing this, in a way, is keeping that feeling of being an athlete – not that I think I’m anything close to an athlete anymore,” Cohen said with a laugh.
Cohen said that the best part of the job was interacting with players and getting to know them on a personal level. But he stressed that it takes a ton of work to be successful in the business of sports representation.
“You’re not in this to get rich right away,” Cohen said. “You’ve got to really work for it. You don’t just fall into this industry. You’ve got to want it.”
After Castleton, Cohen attended Manhattanville College and graduated with a master’s degree in marketing.
He said a career as a sports agent isn’t something that someone just tries out, but that it takes a certain amount of dedication to stand out. Cohen said that in a two-year span, he had to send about 300 emails just to get his foot in the door.
Cohen’s determined attitude and competitive nature can be traced back to his days as a Spartan. Cohen played football for the three years he was at Castleton and also played tennis.
“He never gives up. He has a goal in his mind and he won’t stop until he gets there,” said Cody Tancreti, a 2013 graduate who played football with Cohen.
Tancreti said that whether it was football or schoolwork, it didn’t matter. He was always in the library and always studying. The three words he used to describe Cohen were kind, hardworking and energetic adding that he always would make a funny wisecrack when entering a room.
“I’m really proud of him as a friend and getting where he is today obviously shows the hard work and dedication he put into everything in his life,” Tancreti said.
Cohen currently lives in Albany, New York with his girlfriend, Paula, and their cat, Tito. Both Paula and Cohen are competitive by nature so the two said they have to make an agreement before doing anything competitive.
“We really have to talk to each other before and say ‘Okay, I’ll still love you no matter what,’ because it can get pretty heated when we’re in the moment,” Paula said.
Paula said the game she can beat Cohen at is foosball. Incidentally, it was that game that introduced them to each other.
“Only once in a while,” said Cohen, flashing part of his competitive side.
When not working, the two like to run and workout together. But Paula said her favorite moments are the ones that don’t usually come to mind.
“I think the small moments in between are the most fun. Like when we are playing with our cat and laughing and just being silly,” Paula said. “Sometimes the unplanned moments are the most fun.”