Brandyn Thompson: Apply True Grit to his Trade

Q: Describe the process of going from college straight to the NFL from a money standpoint. How did you adjust and how did your lifestyle change?


A: It was a huge difference; literally from never seeing anything over $300 in your account to almost double the zeros was a big deal for me. It didn’t drastically change my lifestyle other than the things I was already doing I could now involve my friends and loved ones at no cost to them. I was able to do things like buy my little sister a car for college and pay for her tuition. I was able to help my parents out on a few bills and travel expenses. I was fortunate to come from a family where it wasn’t absolutely necessary to do those things, but I enjoyed doing them. That habit drastically changed my lifestyle though.

Q: Because you guys get paid only during the season, what are some ways you made sure you stayed smart in terms of spending habits during the offseason?

A: As a young man I was able to have some good people around me to help me understand the necessity of saving. For the most part, I lived frugally during season. Focused on the task at hand and either resting or playing video games in my free time. Living that humbly during my season helped me save plenty of money for the off season.

Q: What was the adjustment like playing in NFL compared to the CFL (in Canada taxes are different, the pay is not the same, etc.)? What things did you do if any to adjust your lifestyle?

A: The level of play wasn’t a huge difference like I thought it would be. The guys in the CFL can play a high level of football. Learning their version of the game took adjusting though. Twelve men, 3 downs, wider field are just a few of the differences between the NFL game and the CFL game. The biggest change of everything was the pay. League minimum in the NFL is around $400K and CFL minimum is $45K, so the lifestyle change was drastic. Pretty much went back to living a couple notches above my college lifestyle. Between the exchange rate and the value of their currency compared to ours. It can be challenging financially.

Q: You run a tremendous youth training and skills camp along with a charity event throughout the calendar year. Can you talk about the process behind that? From not only a money standpoint but rules and regulations? How important is it to make sure you have the proper paperwork in order in terms of getting permits and stuff just in case for instance you get sued?

A: The Liability and paperwork for this type of business can be ridiculous at times. There is a lot of crossing T’s and dotting I’s. From overall insurance coverage to school district permits. You have to be sharp when dealing with kids and training. I will say it’s rewarding in so many ways working and watching kids grow to get better. That it makes all the miles of logistics worth it.


Brandyn Thompson

was drafted by the Washington Redskins after a splendid career at Boise State as a defensive back. Brandyn is currently playing his trade in the CFL. Brandyn also runs a sports academy in his hometown Elk Grove, California called TrueGrit-Sports that helps kids reach their full potential in the desired sport.