Hey, where'd you go?

Kellen Clemens - former Jets, Chargers, Rams and Oregon QB

March 02, 2021 Collin Kushner / Kellen Clemens Season 1 Episode 7
Hey, where'd you go?
Kellen Clemens - former Jets, Chargers, Rams and Oregon QB
Chapters
Hey, where'd you go?
Kellen Clemens - former Jets, Chargers, Rams and Oregon QB
Mar 02, 2021 Season 1 Episode 7
Collin Kushner / Kellen Clemens

After a 12-year career in the NFL, Kellen Clemens is helping athletes, people and businesses in a very unique way. The former Jets, Chargers, Rams, and Oregon QB talks about growing up in Burns, Oregon; playing college football at the University of Oregon, playing in the NFL, how he ended up in the world of Human Resources, and so much more. Today, Kellen Clemens is currently the head of elateus sports, helping organizations maximize returns on their greatest asset, their people. Elateus’s innovative solutions are built on the foundation of PRISM Brain Mapping, enabling you to predict performance more reliably, build the most productive teams and empower each individual to thrive.

Show Notes Transcript

After a 12-year career in the NFL, Kellen Clemens is helping athletes, people and businesses in a very unique way. The former Jets, Chargers, Rams, and Oregon QB talks about growing up in Burns, Oregon; playing college football at the University of Oregon, playing in the NFL, how he ended up in the world of Human Resources, and so much more. Today, Kellen Clemens is currently the head of elateus sports, helping organizations maximize returns on their greatest asset, their people. Elateus’s innovative solutions are built on the foundation of PRISM Brain Mapping, enabling you to predict performance more reliably, build the most productive teams and empower each individual to thrive.

Kellen Clemens:

I went to Oregon because I wanted to play in the NFL. That was the leading driver to , why am I going to this school? It was okay. I've seen what they've done. It's been Akili Smith. And then it's been AJ Feely. And then I was Joey. I didn't know where he was going to get drafted, but I knew he was going to go. I'm like these guys are just spitting out quarterbacks. I went with the, with the intent of, I want to play football professionally.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Collin Kushner:

Welcome back everybody. To another edition of the "Hey, where'd you go?" Podcast. I'm Collin Kushner... And we have a very special guest. We have the Kellen Clemens. Kellen, How are you? My friend. Good call . And thanks for having me on bud. Absolutely, man, I appreciate you taking the time and what's going down in Walla Walla, Washington. That's where you're located these days. And , and you told me this and according to the locals, it's the town . So nice. Then name it twice.

Kellen Clemens:

It made it twice Walla Walla... Walla Walla actually means many rivers I've found out. So we're kind of getting, you know, kind of buying in here to the community and the history. It's a quieter town. It's got obviously some really, really good wine and wineries from around here, but there's also hunting and fishing and stuff that I can get out. Um , plenty of agriculture , um , farmers and ranchers and stuff that make me feel like home. So , um, it's been nice. We've enjoyed our time here.

Collin Kushner:

Speaking of home Kellen , you're originally from the Pacific Northwest burns Oregon. That's Eastern Oregon for a guy like myself. How would you best describe where you're from?

Kellen Clemens:

Um, gosh, there's just, there's not a lot. That's near burns . We're about two hours East of bend. A lot of people have driven through burns. Um, cause it's the only thing between Ben and if you're going over to Boise, but Jeff population, 3,500, 4,000 people, agriculture community there in Eastern Oregon and uh , obvious always , uh, has a soft spot for me in my , and a place in my heart, just as my hometown.

Collin Kushner:

And you grew up herding cattle, if I'm not mistaken,

Kellen Clemens:

My family has a , uh , a cattle ranch. Yeah. So we grew up roping and riding and hand in the summers and building fence and doing all of that stuff. It was a , it was how my family made a living. Um, dad had to work in town some , um, but , uh, but that was, that was how we made a living. So that was my summers. It was, it was waking up and, and , uh, riding and pushing cows and doctor, cows, and doing all of the stuff that comes with it. It was , uh , it was a lot of work. Um, but , uh, an awesome to grow up. One of the reasons why I was able to have the run that I had just from , in my athletic career was just because I, to be honest, I just kind of outworked people. And I have, I owe a lot of , I owe that almost exclusively to the childhood that I had grown up on the ranch. We, you just, you worked, there was no, there was no , uh, well maybe, or maybe it was just, that's what it's, what's expected and that's what you do. And then, and , uh, and , uh, and I carried that on into that, into my football career. And it was probably, it was probably the biggest intangible that I had , um, was, was I knew how to work and I wasn't afraid to put in the hours and do what was necessary to make the sacrifice a lot of times that are necessary.

Collin Kushner:

And those are long days too. I mean, I know you're getting up. Aren't you getting up at the crack of Dawn or do I have it all mixed up with , with movies that I've seen? I'm a Southern California surfer dude, Kaelin . I have, I have no clue. I'll be the first one to tell you that

Kellen Clemens:

It's , um, you know , it depends on the time of year. Um, but , uh, you know, a lot of times it's by necessity too, because if you're, if it's September and you're pushing cows that day, you want to be, you want to be up early and you want to get going because you want to , you want to be riding into that field at first lights while it's still cold, but you're at least cool because when it's going to get to a hundred, 304 in the afternoon by two o'clock, you don't want to still be doing that. You don't want to be pushing through mile eight, nine, and 10 in that kind of heat. And the cows don't want to either , um, you know, and then the summer when you're hanging , um, yeah, those are you're going and you're going hard. That was, it was kind of training camp before I knew what a training camp was really because you're, you know, you're going, we were running, we were running the swath or , and the Baylor 24 hours a day taking shifts between my mom, my dad and I , um, and my sisters when they got old enough to do it. Um, so you're just, you're going , cause it's all on timing. And whether , if there's a rainstorm or something coming, you don't want rain on down. Hey , and I can get into all sorts of details, but , um, yeah, we were going, but you know, but it slows up a little bit too. And , um, you know, sometimes it's some there's days where you're not every day that early , um, but a lot of them and when you're required to you're , you're just required to there's no, you don't call in sick. You don't, you know , you don't , um, you don't take days off just because you want to, you, you, you work. Um, and , uh, but I, I wouldn't have asked, I couldn't have asked for a better way to grow up. I really couldn't have , because once you're done to then we had hundreds and sometimes thousands of acres where I would just take off on a motorcycle on a horse, on a bicycle or just walk and just, I had all sorts of adventures growing, growing up.

Collin Kushner:

So how does football factor into all of this? Is that something that's, that's huge in Eastern Oregon? What is the sport of choice?

Kellen Clemens:

Football is a big deal. Um, I, I'm not gonna say that we're like, you know, some of those, you know , Texas towns that you hear up , um, but football is a big deal when we would have a home playoff game or homecoming or something. I mean , you're talking about 3,500 people in town and there'd be 2,500 people at the game. Um, it's , uh , it , it was , uh , it was a big deal, but just when you're in a smaller town like that, it is it's hunting and fishing it's work. Um, but people rally around, you know , the local sports teams , um, because there's a , there's a sense of community. I think that's oftentimes very unique to smaller towns like that. Um, you know, it's interesting. I went to, I'll never forget. I went to Eugene and I'm at university of Oregon. They're like, where are you from? Like, I'm from burns. And they go, Oh, really? That's cool. What high school did you go to? I'm like the only one within a hundred miles man. I was in high school. We all went to the same class, you know , in the same schools together. And , and , um, you know, there's some friendships that come out of that, that are, I think, unique rather than some of the bigger schools where you're , you know, I went to this elementary and then we switched and, you know , it was just, it's, it's, it's a different way of life in , uh, in that part of the country.

Collin Kushner:

And the thing that I do, like kind of piggybacking off of that, you're in a small town. You have your you're basically you're one high school. That's where you go. I think nowadays, as I'm sure you've seen with athletes, you live in, let's just say Los Angeles, you can go, you could shop yourself around all these other schools instead of just putting on the Jersey of the one that you're zoned for and doing the best job that you can. Yeah.

Kellen Clemens:

Yeah. And , and that's the way that it was. I mean, you knew there was no question. I, I have vivid memories of going to high school football games when I was in third, fourth, fifth grade. And you're watching, you know, it's kinda , it's a little bit of both cause our, our football field is in right and center field of the high school baseball. So, you know, you have some extra grass over there, left field where there was a tackle football game going on, you know, for the fifth and sixth graders too . Um, but I remember vividly watching and I mean, you know, it's not a question of what high school am I going to. I mean, those guys that are out there on Friday nights are, I mean, those were our heroes and I can still name the starting roster from some of those teams of just guys that I watched. And then we would be those guys on Monday recess. I mean, I'm Kevin Walker and I'm a Tyson Trammell . And I'm so as you just go through I'm John doll , I mean, guys that, I don't know what they're doing now, but I can still remember their names because those were my heroes and then we would play it. And you just that's the way that it, it just kind of manifests itself year after year. And then now soon I was one of those guys who's out there playing and there's new third and fourth grade kids that are over there playing the same game that we were always playing before. It's just, it's it's I usually come back, come back sometime, call it. I'll take it to Highlander football game. It's uh , it's small town America at its finest.

Collin Kushner:

I'm in you . You don't have to twist my arm to do that. I mean, I got a little slice of that during my time in rural Louisiana and I've loved it. It's just, it puts, it puts things weirdly into perspective because to see the passion behind that town and everyone empties out, people are on their trucks. They're barbecuing, they're , they're grilling up plates of food saying, Hey, do you want some of this, you know, all for a football game, but it's amazing, dude. You can't put a price on that.

Kellen Clemens:

My grandpa parked in the same place. He watched the game from his pickup because it was a Hill that kind of oversight. He watched every game from the same exact place. And he would park on Wednesday night to make sure he got a spot. Grandma would pick him up and then he'd catch a ride into town with somebody he'd sit there. I knew what truck he was in if we scored in that insight . Um, and , uh, and then, you know, he'd take off and go afterwards. Sometimes if he was still sitting there and we leave, you get to run up and say, hi, but there's just, there's little parts like that, that never, never changed. And , uh, and it is it's it's professional.

Collin Kushner:

What attracted you to football to begin with? Was it something that your , your dad enjoyed , uh, you know, a grandparent, like what attracted you to the sport?

Kellen Clemens:

So growing up in burns, I mean, you play everything right. You just were graduated with 60 kids. So if you figure 30 of her boys, not all of them were playing sports. So you just play everything. I played baseball, I played basketball, I played football. We just, we just played basketball is actually my first love my goal. If you'd asked me as a fifth grader was, I want to go to the NBA. But since this is a video call, you can see at six two that wasn't really in the cards , um, can barely jump marginal 15 footer. I was about it , get me to the foul line and , uh , I'll try to get a cheap one. Um, but my dad actually played college football, Portland state. He played defensive back. So, and he played quarterback in high school. Um, and so, I mean, we would always, we would always be out, we'd always be playing football. We'd always do whatever. Well, at some point it kind of pitched in baseball, but I wasn't, it's not like I was any good. Um, and, but at some point it kind of started to click a little bit, whereas like he didn't kind of throw it a little bit. So my freshman year I played JV suited up for varsity. We were running the wing T call-in . So I mean like, I mean six 16 quarterback trap some stuff. I mean, we're not, we're throwing it like five times a game, maybe winning, but we're not throwing it very much and I'm not built to run. Um, so I would come in and throw if we got down or whatever, I ended up, I ended up lettering. I played in like seven or eight games, but it wasn't anything. I didn't light it on fire. And my high school coach was still the high school coach there. His name was Terry Terry Graham . You want to talk about small town, America, high school football coach. The man is an absolute legend. Um, and , uh, he switched. He was from Oklahoma. I mean, he was like, we run the football, this is what we do. We throw it he's , you know what I mean? There's two, there's the school of thought, right? That if you throw the ball, there's only three things that can happen. Two of them are bad. That was, I mean, that was kind of where he was coming from. And , uh, and he scrapped everything going into my sophomore year. And we went to run and shoot . We were watching mouse , Davis, Neil Lomax tapes. We were doing all sorts of stuff. And we went from hack it all in and grow, you know , ground and pound to spread it out and throwing it 30, 40 times a game. And it was incredible for three summers in a row. I got on a Greyhound bus in burns, Oregon. They actually, mum and dad had to drive me to bend actually, because we didn't have a bus stop in burns at the time. But I got on a ground bus and rode to Portland and I would stay for a week with my dad's college roommate. And I would do summer football camps with a guy named Greg Barton. Greg would just work me out and cause I was, cause I had shown the dedication. I couldn't afford it. Anyway, Greg just took me on Greg, played for the lions. I would do that. And then, and then I would come home and we would just, we'd just work. And I would go and I would work, man . I was dragging, you're talking about ranch kid. I had an old tire that I just drugged behind me. I just run through the field and run Hills and just kind of figure it out. And at some point it just kind of , it just clicked. But I, you know, I don't end up where I'm at. If my high school coach doesn't have the vision to do that, to make the change because I'm a shoot . I don't even know if I'd play. I can't run. Um, and , uh, and then , uh , you know, I had some, I had some guys around me that were really good athletes. We had a good class class above me and below me was in small town , America calling, if you got seven, eight, nine , nine, good athletes between a few group of color , you can do some stuff and we had it. Um, and , uh, yeah, so it kind of just took off from there. I started getting some letters after my sophomore year and kind of just stumbled into it.

Collin Kushner:

When you started getting offers, what was, what was your mindset? What was going through your head like, Oh my God, like this is, you know, did things start to kind of take shape from there for you?

Kellen Clemens:

Oh , this is like pre-internet. I mean, we're going back in time here. So this is, I was making VHS copies of, you know, of games and Oh my gosh, what a process. This was way before huddle and all the technology nowadays. I got a few letters after my sophomore year. I'm at a good year. We went to the second round of the playoffs. My junior year, we went to the state championship, but I still wasn't really getting that much to be honest. So I made, I made a highlight tape , um, which was, I mean, it's, I can only, the footage is ridiculous. And then , and then I, you know, you just kind of pick your best game. That was what we did back then, you know, and then I'd make copies of those. Like, you know, cook two VCRs up, put one in push play, put blank wood . And the other one record , the kids got no idea what we did. Um, and so I sent that out to everybody in the PAC 10. It was the PAC 10 at the time. And within most largely kind of still have nobody remember burns. There's no internet. I don't know. A couple of weeks I have five or six offers from PAC 10 schools that were like, where's this guy hiding that year? It was, it was me, Derek Anderson and a guy named Nick Costa who were all ranked in the top 10 in the country. And we're all in state guys. It was like, it was pretty good year for Oregon quarter, but high school quarterbacks, we all kind of had our eye on Oregon. Um, and , uh, cause they were coming off of a holiday bowl when getting ready to go, Harrington was going to be a Heisman finalist, whatever. Anyway , um, so Oregon held out until they were the last, they were the last ones to offer. And when they offered, I took it.

Collin Kushner:

And that first time that you stepped foot on campus at Eugene, you got to step foot in inside Autzen stadium. What's going through your head.

Kellen Clemens:

The first time that I stepped on campus , uh, was, you know, it was like, what, what have I done? I am a fish out of water. I am, what is, what is even happening here? The guys were so big. I went over for summer workouts just for a week and the guys were so big and the offense was so complex and everything was moving so fast. I mean, they were, I mean there were grown men. I mean just, it was, I was scared to , I think I'm pretty sure I went home and I was like, mom, I don't, I don't, I think I made a mistake. I think I just want to stay on the form and just be your words safe and uh, and be good. But I ended up going back,

Collin Kushner:

Well, you take that hard work mentality and of course, anything like that, it's going to be a shock. I mean, you know, especially when you're going from a small town, you're going to a place like Eugene giant campus and the football players. And it's not like you're a small guy either. I'm , I'm a generous five 10. I consider that to be short. You're six two dude. You're still, you're still right up there.

Kellen Clemens:

I was at me . I was up there, but it was just, it's just, you know, it's just different. It's just , um, they were, they were grown men with a lot of attitude and you know, summer workouts guys , it was, it was cool. It was a fun, it was a fun week, but it was , uh, it was definitely different than what I had seen growing. Now you're just seeing guys in a whole different light. Um, just because now you're seeing some of the work that you're seeing , some of the work ethic and some of the guys that aren't working, which was interesting because growing up and we just, we all work together. I mean, it was what we did. We didn't have a choice, but , um, you just, you saw, you saw both sides of it. So guys that had the ego, you saw guys that were super humble and really nice guys. Um, you saw everything in between. It was just, it was just an eyeopening experience. And Eugene isn't even that big. I mean, it's not , it's not like I went to UCLA or, or even you Doug when went up to Seattle, I mean, Eugene's not a big town, but it was still, it was still big for a guy from Bern .

Collin Kushner:

What was your game plan once you, once you got on campus, you finally got settled in, what was your game, your game plan from a football point of view and then academically,

Kellen Clemens:

Gosh, that's a great question. Um, and I didn't have one, which was a detriment. Um, I, I had one academically, which I knew, you know, I CA I had the ag background, but would have made more sense to do an Oregon state or Washington state or Arizona state. Um, uh, with that , uh, with that in mind, if I was going to try to pursue something like that. But so I knew, you know, so I went business , um, administration that was, I picked that early and knew what I was going to do and , and follow through with that. And , um, and got marginal grades along the process from a football standpoint, I didn't know, calling , it was one of the great mistakes that I made. Um, the first of many probably, but I didn't have a plan. Okay. How am I going to attack this? I mean, I'm looking at a playbook, that's three and a half inches thick. How am I going to attack this? How am I going to figure this out? And so I just, I just open to the first page and I just started reading and it was the worst thing I could have done , um, because you know, everything, everything builds off of one another, and it doesn't necessarily start with the run game and D by the section. So , um, I didn't have a plan I should have, I should have talked to somebody who was older than me. I should've asked more questions, but I didn't, and it set me back. So my first year Joey's playing , um, and he's a Heisman trophy candidate and we went 11 and one and finished number two. And I was like, Oh my gosh, this is amazing. And then my second year I'm going to compete, but I wasn't ready. And largely because I just wasn't ready. I hadn't, I had worked really hard, but I hadn't worked smart. Um, and , uh, and, and, and so I wasn't ready. Um, guy named Jason [inaudible] on the job by my third year. I was like, okay, hold on. Let's figure this out. And then it , and then it clicked. And I started to be able to play. Cause if you just, if you're thinking too much, especially to play quarterback, and I'm sure maybe hockey is the same way. If you're, if you're thinking too much, you're not playing like you should.

Collin Kushner:

I mean, it takes you, it takes you out of the task at hand, which is just kind of taking a deep breath and , and getting into game mode, but to play devil's advocate. And I, and the reason why I'm bringing this up is because when you're 18 years old, I would say 97% of us have no clue what we're doing. I mean, when I went to school, I feel like I was the anomaly. I knew I wanted to be in broadcast journalism. Like I knew, like I knew that's what I wanted to do, but there were tons of other friends and friends I'm still close with today that I had no clue. And they took that time to figure out life academically or athletically

Kellen Clemens:

A state school would have made some more sense. I went to Oregon because I wanted to play in the NFL. That was, that was the leading driver to , why am I going to this school? It was okay. I've seen what they've done. It's been Akili Smith. And then it's been Aja feely . And then I was Joey, I didn't know where he was going to get drafted, but I knew he was going to go on . I'm like, these guys are just spitting out quarterbacks. Jeff Tedford was the offensive coordinator at the time he left after my first year. Um, but I was like, he was the, probably the main reason why I went there is because of the conversations that I was having with him, you know, during the recruiting process. So I went with the, with the intent of, I want to play football professionally. I got good grades. I applied myself pretty good, and I still just got good grades. They weren't great. Um, but yeah, it was, it was, you know, even as an 18 year old kid, I knew, I knew why I was there. I just didn't understand the process , um, to, to really go beyond , um, to be efficient, I guess, with the time that I had and that I was working . So I worked hard. I just didn't, like I said, I didn't work very smart.

Collin Kushner:

When you finally did get, start getting playing time. Cause you said like the goal of going to Oregon, I want to play in the NFL and things started clicking.

Kellen Clemens:

I didn't really assume the reins until we were at UCLA. Um, and they just never pulled me. They just kind of like, you're going back in and you're going back in and go out and canvas. It was really good for me cause I just, I just played if I got too uptight, then it wasn't always a good thing. Um, and then my junior year, it was my show and we went five and six first time, Oregon, Mister bowl in like 11 years. Um, and uh, that one was tough. That was a tough year. We had some injuries. I didn't play well in a couple of games, lost to Indiana at home

Collin Kushner:

On the highly regarded Hoosiers ,

Kellen Clemens:

Highly regarded Hoosier's . Yeah. I came into odds and I threw , I think at least two picks . I didn't play road . Well , um, my senior year we switched off offenses, brought in a guy named Gary Crowton , who was just kind of like the mad scientist. Um , I'm still close with him today. These are just incredibly innovative and we're doing some of the read option stuff. As we first started, people forget before Mariota at Oregon, before he was doing all that read and stuff. There was somebody else that was at Oregon who was doing all that read option stuff and really fast running around that's Dennis Dixon, also a good player. I was before Dennis. I was kinda like the , the not fast version, but anyway , um, so we started doing that and it was, it was fantastic. It was, we lost to SC , but other than that, I think we were ranked in the top 10. Um, and , uh, and there were starting to kind of , there was a little bit of buzz about me maybe getting , uh , you know, on the, on the Heisman ballot, we'd go down to Arizona and I broke my leg and it was done. And it was just like that. I mean, it was, it was probably the funnest that I'd had playing, everything was clicking. It was good. Defense was playing good. And uh, yeah, I went over there and got horse caller and uh, my left ankle just exploded. Am I done? What am I doing? What am I doing? And it kind of makes you, it , it kinda makes you step back a little bit. But I had gotten married that summer before I got married before my senior year. Um, and , uh, and so having my wife there with me was huge. Um, just to be a state steadying force and kind of keep it in perspective and kind of smack me upside the head a little bit if I started moping around and pouting and saying why me? Um, so that was, that was huge. Her being there with me for that time , um, was, was crucial. Cause I was a little bit, I was a little down

Collin Kushner:

When you're having fun. Things tend to go extremely well. And then all of a sudden you get the horse caller , you get injured. I mean, and then it's just, like you said, in your mind, all these thoughts start kind of coming in, like what's going to happen next. Like, and all, and most of it's just crazy.

Kellen Clemens:

Yeah. Cause I got invited to the combine , but I couldn't run. I did throw, but that's, I mean, you were talking about a meat market. That place is terrible. You know, you go in there with an ankle that I've just been walking on and kind of started to run on for the last four or five weeks. I think it wasn't that long and you have 32 team doctors take that and rip it and wrench and try to just make sure, you know, it was the worst, Oh gosh, you're trying to just keep the swelling down just so that you can go through like the drills and do kind of stuff and not limp into the meetings with the teams. And then you have to do that on medical day. And it's just like, Oh my gosh, nothing else speaking to their little recorders. And but , but they don't like, you're still right here. And there's like, well, you know, atrophy in his left quadricep , [inaudible] using all these words and I'm like, Oh, you know what that means, but it doesn't good and you're not smiling so

Collin Kushner:

I can hear you

Kellen Clemens:

I'm right here. Um, but yeah, that was , that was , uh , that was an interesting few days in Indianapolis for the combine. And you know, you just don't know, but that kind of , it was similar actually to my recruiting bit. I fell off the radar after I got hurt. I mean, you know, you're just, you're not mentioning, you know, Davey O'Brien and all that stuff you're gone. And , um, and after I went to the combine because I, I knew protections and I knew run games , I could , I was changing stuff with the line of scrimmage and college, so I could get on the board and show these teams kind of what I knew. Then I started to come back a little bit and um, um, and get, you know , a little bit more momentum going into the draft,

Collin Kushner:

Your jets, grab you in the second round. What was that moment like for you? Especially after going to Oregon, specifically with the goal to play in the NFL,

Kellen Clemens:

We didn't have TV growing up . Right? We didn't have TV at my house, which was by choice and I don't regret it. I, there are days where I wish we didn't have it in our home either, but so we go to my grandma and grandpa's closest neighbor. They live a half mile up the field. Okay. So we're up there is grandma grabbed Abbott . We're watching. So I watched the first , uh, hello, do not a , when someone in the top 15, he might've went eight . He went to Baltimore. Anyway, I watched because I knew he was going to go early and then, you know, I don't know, stress, whatever. It's just, there's a lot going on. So I went into one of the back bedrooms and I went to sleep. I woke up to my agent calling. I mean, I didn't know I was projected maybe in the second could be third to before. Um, and uh, I mean, Keck could have even been fifth . I didn't know. So I will come to my agent calling him my gosh . Okay. Hi , did it . We kind of talked for me . He's like, what are you doing? I was sleeping and I get another call. And like, it's an , it's a New York number. He goes, you need to take that goodbye click. And so, and then I was 10 and balling from the jet tail . You're healthy. You're good. Yeah. All right . We're about to pick you. So I went walking out in the living room. Everybody was sitting there and my folks, my wife's parents, you know, some aunts and uncles and different people. And, and , uh, and that was it. It was crazy. My wife's sister was getting married the next week and I was, I was not in the wedding, which I'm sure they regret now, but I would ,

Collin Kushner:

They were

Kellen Clemens:

Getting married. And you know, that is like, you get the call from bomb . You talked to me and Jeannie , a couple of the people called it . It it's like, where are you? How can you get to an airport? You're getting on a red eye or flying out. So I missed their wedding. It was just, it was just, it was a blur. I got an , a red eye flight from Seattle to New York. Landed, go straight to get another physical, to make sure that you're okay. And then I was on the field that afternoon for rookie mini camp. I mean, it's crazy. This is pre 2011 Free CVA style. It was nuts. I was, I was terrible caller . I was terrible. We couldn't make it the throw a spiral. They were probably going, what did we just drag this guy?

Collin Kushner:

Well, then that's when you tell them, I just woke up from my nap,

Kellen Clemens:

Woke up, you guys keep waking me up. I slept on the plane. I was sleeping other things . Yeah, it was nuts, but we got done. You know , it was cool. It was , uh , it was , uh , I, you know, I get the call. I watched my name get called by, you know, Roger Goodell. And that was cool with the 49th pick, blah, blah, blah. I met. That's a , it's a culmination of years and years and years of hard work and sacrifice. And , um, yeah , well then it was just kinda like, all right , now what? Now we've got to get to work. I've gone from burns to Eugene, which was a heck of a transition. And now I'm going to New York city. I don't know anything about what's there. I don't, you know, I just know it sounds like a really big place. Um, and , uh, so my wife and I actually, my, my wife and I got horseback and just went for a ride. We just went for a ride for about two hours and just left our phones and just kind of shut it out. Talked, tried to answer some of her questions, even though I was just as clueless about what was coming as she was. Um, and , uh, but it was , uh , I still remember that. I still remember that, that ride and where we went, we just kind of , we just visited and tried to figure out, I mean, I was 22. We had no idea. You have no idea wake up. And yeah, it's a lot you wake up that morning is like, I don't, I don't know. I'm probably gonna have a job by the end of the day in one of 32 cities. And I have no idea and I had no control

Collin Kushner:

And thought about it like that. That's a lot of that would give me a ton of anxiety, especially, especially when you've lived in the Pacific Northwest your entire life to think that now the map is open. You could end up in Detroit, God forbid you end up there. Um, you know, or I only rip on Detroit by the way, because my entire family is from there. So there's, they know it's all in good fun, but that's that

Kellen Clemens:

Well, and , and, you know, I mean, I was right on the, I was, that was back when, when the draft was one, two, three rounds, one, two, three on day one and then four or five, six, seven, I think. Yeah. Four or five, six, seven on day two. It was only the two day draft. What it was either just one and two on day one and then three through seven. I can't remember, but you know, you wake up. It's like, I might know, but I wasn't guaranteed to go. And one of those first three rounds, so I might be going to sleep tonight going, I still don't know.

Collin Kushner:

I had a ton of success callin in the NFL, you played 12 seasons throughout your entire career in each of the teams you played for, who was somebody that you looked up to and influenced you?

Kellen Clemens:

Oh man, there's, there's three answers That I'll give you. So first of all, so Chad Pennington was the guy. He was the man in New York when I get drafted. Um, and for a guy who was drafted, I mean, middle of the second round, I'm there for a reason they're drafted me, you know , for the kind of the longterm Chad was the consummate professional, great Christian man. Um , great family man, great example for me of how to be a husband and a father and balance that workload. I, I don't make it 12 years. If Chad Pennington doesn't have the effect on me that he had on me as a first and second year player, I can say that without any hesitation, he was, you know, w there was never really tension because Chad's too much of a pro for there to be any tension, but we became really pretty good friends by the end of it. Um, by the end of his run there. And I still, I still call him to check in and just how, you know, how's Robin and the boys and , and , and just visit. But he became a role model and a very big influence on me , uh , for me and my career very early, just, just because of who he is, how he conducted himself, I'll never forget. Eric Mann , Jeannie came into a meeting. I was a rookie and he was talking about preparation and he was talking about different things, you know, just take care of your body, whatever. And he's, and he pointed out Chad specifically, and he's like, like, Chad Pennington, you would say is a pro. And that's like the ultimate compliment that you can get. If somebody is like that, guy's a pro that, I mean , whether they can run fast, throw far tackle, whatever. Like if somebody says, Hey , that guy is a pro. That means that's , that's a , that's a golden star. And , um, and I remember hearing it and going, I , I, I want to get to that level. At some point. I want somebody to look at me and be like that guy's a pro the reason why Chad left is because some guy named Brett Farve, we traded for Brett farm. I modeled my game after Brett farm. I thought of myself as Brett far or far when I was playing high school football. I mean, it was, I , it was, I'm like this guy's walking on water. There were two things with Brett. First of all, he was, it was, it was literally my hero walked to the door. We're actually blunt , I guess it's still we're in the locker room. And he just walks in street clothes. I was like, Oh my gosh, they came over and talked to me. It was like, this is anyway. So he did that, but he was also, it was a very , um, it was a really competitive really , um, high stress environment. And I had it by that point in my career, kind of lost my passion for football and anybody that seemed far plate knows that to do just exhibits or exudes, passion. I mean, he just, he just played because he loved the game and it, and being able to watch him and be a small part of that from a distance really probably saved my career for another way. Actually, I probably shouldn't give him more credit than, than what , um , than what I originally did, because without that I burn out another couple of years, cause I'm just, I had lost the reason why I play the game. Um, and, and he, he kind of reignited that fire for me. Um, so those, those two when I was in New York and then , um, Philip Rivers in San Diego , uh, slash one year of LA because Philip , um , you know, I'm in a different place in my career. By the time I get to be Philip with Phillip , that was years, nine, 10, 11, and 12. And I talked to him a couple of times, cause we played, you know, whatever I knew he was also, you know, I knew he was also Catholic and he'd lived his faith. There's all the articles and interviews and stuff of him. Um, but you don't really know him. I mean, I've seen Philip on TV and he's yelling and he's talking trash, he's doing something. And , um, and, but the impact that Phillip had on me and my life, probably less on the field and more off , um, just from a spirituality standpoint, I mean, obviously a great husband and father. Um, but I mean, we would, we lived in the same neighborhoods , so we would carpool together, go to work. Um, we're saying the rosary to work on the way to work and in the mornings , um, go to church together, kids played football, basketball together, ran track, I guess you could count. I mean, we did a lot of things just together, our family's Thanksgivings. Um, and , uh , so he, I mean , shoot, he's my youngest, daughter's godfather, he and his wife. Um, so, you know, he had a significant impact on me off the field. Um , but those would be the three. Those would be the three where I look back on, on , like I was, I was fortunate to play with those, with those people.

Collin Kushner:

And it seems like each of them impacted you in their , in their own way, you know, Brett , Barb, like you said, re-igniting you for the passion of the game of football, you know, Phillip rivers, more spirituality. And obviously Chad Pennington, you just said was, was the ultimate pro

Kellen Clemens:

Chad set the standard and you know, the direction . It's kind of like when I talked about, you know , I'm a freshman at Oregon and I don't, I don't even know what, I don't know, Chad, I'm a , you know, I'm a rookie in New York. And I , once again, I don't know what I don't know. And Chad was the one that like restore was like, Hey, this is where you want to go. And this is how you do it. And, you know, kind of like, and , um , and so the growth I think was much faster in New York because I had that example. And I mean, I literally, I just got in his shadow was like, I'm gonna do what you do, but I probably , I I'm sure that I enjoyed the heck out of him at one point or another probably once a week. Um, but he never showed up . And Chad, Chad gave me some of the best advice that I've ever gotten. And it's one of the things that I , I always share. It's a story I always share with young people because I think that we've lost sight of this, but Chad pulled me aside one day, I can't remember the circumstances. And he said, look, this is what you do. It's not who you are. So this, you know, this sport, when you're talking about identity, this is what you do. It's not who you are. And I think that, you know, now is that I've, I'm done playing and I'm out of that. Um, as inevitably happens to everybody, if we could all hear that early in our career, I think it would make a significant difference. And I always say every chance I get

Collin Kushner:

What you just said is so important for an athlete and for just somebody in business or just in the professional world, because prime example calender , I was a sports anchor reporter for six years, but I was so wrapped up into it where I made it. That was me. And once I stepped away from that and got the great opportunity over at Yahoo to kind of veer away from what I was doing before, I had a really difficult time, because I just thought, well, I'm not the sports anchor anymore. So then now what, who am I

Kellen Clemens:

It's , uh , it's, it's an identity, it's an identity challenge. And it's, it's so much easier said than done. I mean, I, I had that and I'm not, I haven't been perfect on it because , um, you know, it's, it's what we, it, it is what we do and we do a lot of it, you know, and, and you, you can get into some trouble when you start viewing yourself through the same lens that other people view you, because that's all that they see. Um, and , uh, and if that's the only way that you start to see yourself, it's , uh , it's a scary road because that, as we've seen, I mean, every athlete at some point their career ends , um, you know, I mean, we've seen that with COVID with the amount of layoffs and different things. At some point it likely ends, or it changes, or it does whatever. Maybe it all goes just perfect and you get to age 55 60 and you retire. And then what, now, who am I?

Collin Kushner:

The question will always be there. It never, you can't, you can't evade it, man. It's like a , it's like, Troy Polamalu coming after you, he's going to get you at some point

Kellen Clemens:

For sure. It's whether or not it surprises you or you see it coming or, you know, whatever. But at some point, you know, it's what you did is hopefully what you did or what you do is not who you are. And the greatest thing is we get to choose. We get to choose who we are, but it's easier said than done. Yeah .

Collin Kushner:

Yeah. Well, that , that's the best possible advice. And see, I always thought that was something that only applied to athletes. I, Oh, it only applies to athletes. And then all of a sudden I realized, no, this is affecting me, you know, in, in the business professional world, if you would have asked me if I ever thought that could have happened, I would've said no way, no shot. I would've put money down and I'm not a gambling man, by any means,

Kellen Clemens:

That's , you're going to put money down. Felt good about it. I'd say, it's , it's interesting that you, you expand the lens too . Um, it is, and it applies to all of us and, you know, it's , it's, it's, you know, it's , I mean, shoot people who are it's even , I'm just, now I'm just Spitfire and calm. This is scary. But like even the people that become empty nesters and it's like, okay, now what? Now what my identity has been wrapped up in these two, three, four kids, whatever it is now, what now, who am I, if I'm not mom or dad or whatever, and you still are, but you don't have, that's not what you're doing as much anymore. It changes. I don't know.

Collin Kushner:

When your football career winded down in 2017, then, then, then what then would happen? What was going through your mind? How did you start to make that transition away from the game that you had dedicated your entire life to

Kellen Clemens:

The transition for every athlete is different. Um, mine was , um , mine was a process and it took a couple of years. So for, so for 2018, like I don't sit still. The fact that I'm still sitting in this chair is really quiet, Mark . I , I just, I don't sit still. I, I don't do it. I don't like to do it and there , but there've been so much, you know, I mean, why my wife and I, when we got done playing the chargers call, Hey, we're not bringing you back. Totally get it. Appreciate it. Thanks for everything. Um, you know, and , and there was, there were no other phone calls coming in. This is what free agency started. It was like, all right , we're not going to be on a team this spring. That's fine. So I stayed in shape and kept throwing for that fall. Um, and I just, we moved back to Walla Walla because we own the house here. Um, put the, we didn't put the kids in school, we homeschooled. And I was kind of trying to figure out what I was doing, but it was kinda , my wife was like, you need to just take a few months and just chill out, which was the , which was great. In theory, I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it. And I got a few calls. I went down to San Francisco and grew up a little, got hurt. Um, and then when Alex Smith actually had his horrific injury, I get a call. We do a few drills, throw a few balls and they're like, alright , good, Hey , uh, we're going with Sanchez. Um, stay ready. Cause if he doesn't pass the physical that we're going to assign you. Okay, great. Thanks. Uh, whatever Sanchez passes physical, they give me my plane ticket, send me to the airport. And I was when they told me that I was not the guy, I was more relieved than I was disappointed. And that was my son. I'm like, it's time now it's done gone a phone call. Wife was like, I'm coming home. I won't be home until tomorrow. Cause I gotta connect through J you know, stick in JFK and then to Dallas and then up and whatever. But , uh, but I'm coming home when I'm done. So, so then I got home and I started kind of trying to figure it out, but it was still, it , it was still a challenge. And I did, I did real estate for a little bit Colin about six, eight months because there was some agricultural real estate. I thought that there was some, there was some elements of that that appealed to me. Um, and it didn't, wasn't quite the right fit. It wasn't quite what I was looking for. Um, and then, and then it's interesting. I talked about with Phillip , with the spirituality stuff. I mean, I've been, I've been thinking about this for a long time. I knew my career was about to end. I probably played three to six years longer than what I thought I was going to play. So I've been thinking, okay, what am I going to do when I'm done? And so I was trying to figure it out, right ? Me, I'm going to try to figure this out . I can do it. I can do it . I can just work hard. Right. It's like, it was like golf. It's like, I I'll just swing harder. That'll that'll, that'll fix it. Um, and , uh, which is not the case. I was sitting there in church after church one day and I just sat down. The real estate thing was I was having some success, but it wasn't. I knew it wasn't what I was wanting to do. And I was just like, all right , God, I quit. Um , I can't do this. I can't do this without you. I'm trying to figure it out. And it's not working obviously. So I will do whatever it is that you need me to do, but I'll, I need to, I'm giving this over to you. It's interesting. Mike Sweeney, the baseball players , a great friend of mine. We were in San Diego together. Our kids went to school together and he has a , an image, actually, a sticker that he gave me. Um , and he tells a different story about it, but it's a two-seater bicycle. Right. And the guy in front is peddling , but he's got the handlebars and the guy in back it's got handlebars, but they don't move. And we just peddle and he's in , uh, the , in the image with it is like, make sure that you're sitting on the right seat. Because up to that point, as far as me and career and whatnot, I was like, I'm on the front, all pedal I'm steering. I'm gonna figure this out. And that wasn't my place to be. I was supposed to be in the back. And finally I told God, I was like, all right , I'm getting on the backseat . You get on the front, you soon as thing, wherever you want to go, I'm just going to pedal as hard as I can. And we'll go from there. And I got a call from , um, these guys with the latest , um, just a random call, literally two days later. And the rest has been history.

Collin Kushner:

How has spirituality helped you throughout your entire life? Not just the process from transitioning from football to post football life.

Kellen Clemens:

When we talked earlier about, this is not what, this is what you do, it's not who you are. And I had to step back and be like, okay, well, okay, if I'm not a quarterback, then what then who am I? And I came, I come from a spiritual family. I got an uncle is a priest and great aunt is a nun, a grandma that basically is probably as close as I've seen to a Saint, but, and my wife's family is very spiritual as well, but you know, there's a , there's kind of living it and then there's really truly buying in and living it and committing to it. And, and that was when I started to do that. And that's, it doesn't matter if I get cut like I did in 2011 twice. You know, when people say you're not good enough to be a quarterback anymore. Um, and or people say, Hey, we're not bringing you back. You're not, you're too old to be a quarterback now or whatever. That might be. None of that. Um, none of that matters because the, the, the rock that I choose to live , uh, that I, that I chose to , to build my identity house, if you will, isn't going anywhere. And that's, that's where that, that's where that, that comes in and , and to have that base. And that foundation is, is what carried me through some of the harder times, because I can always turn to scripture. I can always turn to my prayer life. I could always turn to the sacraments. I could always do all of that. That got me refocused on. Okay, well, why am I really hearing what's most important? Um, and , um, that was where, you know , a lot of, I think being around Philip and some of the other guys had talked about Sweeney , even John Lynch , um, those guys in San Diego, California , um, had it had a big impact on taking that spirituality of my faith to the next level, to answer your question. It's been the, it's been the foundation that I've tried. I have not been perfect, but I've tried to live my life through my wife. And I've tried to live to base our marriage off of and base our family off of is that foundation of our Catholic faith.

Collin Kushner:

And when you have a foundation like that as well, and, you know, whichever faith you are when you have a certain foundation or spirituality or anything like that, it doesn't matter if people say you're not good enough, or, Oh, you only through five touchdowns and you through 12 interceptions, when you have such a solid foundation were like, okay, great. And then you just, you know, and don't get me wrong. It's not as easy as showing that off, but when you have a great foundation to go back to

Kellen Clemens:

People, say you stay , it's still, it's still, it still hurts. Um, um, but it, I think that the, you know, the lows don't go as low and they don't last as long. Um, and conversely, the highs don't go as high and they don't last as long either because there's an element of , of humility. I think that comes with , um, with spirituality. That is, that is certainly very healthy and necessary. Um, but it, it, it, it keeps you grounded and it keeps you consistent. Um, you know, because the , let me tell you, I've , I've seen it. I've seen it happen when those highs get too high. Those can, those can be just as detrimental as the lows as the low , low . So it , you know, that's, that's been, I've been blessed to have that as the foundation that I've tried to stand on as much as possible. I haven't been fortunate by any means, but

Collin Kushner:

Yeah , no , no , none of us are, man. We all, you know, we all, we all, we all strive to be great each day, but it doesn't mean there's no such thing as perfect, you know , um, in, in, in that regard,

Kellen Clemens:

One of the things Phil rivers and you , have you ever watched one of his , um, interviews he'll have the hat on? Um, he adopted , um, uh, the saying, and we ended up being like almost part of team culture, but new chippy , uh, that means now we begin and it applies to everything, right. It applies to us spiritually, right? We, we fall down, we fail what , okay. We pick ourselves up, we don't quit. We pick yourself up and we go again, you know, we throw a pick doesn't matter. Now we begin, we begin to get it , throw a touchdown. Doesn't matter. We begin, we go again. We're just trying to put one foot in front of the other, in every aspect of our life and trying to be better than we were before. It was cool stuff. I've got the couple hats that he's sent me in . Um , um, it's , uh, it's always fun to share that with people

Collin Kushner:

See that. And the , and those are the types of things that myself and and listeners are going to love, because those are, you know, we know like you play on Sundays, you play on Mondays. Maybe you play on Thursdays. We see just the outside view, but we don't get like the inner workings of the relationships with your teammates, like guys, like Philip Rivers, you know, and , and the intricacy , the intricacies of that, that, to me, that's the best part. Kellen . I don't want to lose sight of , um, what you're doing now. And you touched on, obviously that you're working over at a latest or the VP of sales , uh, and sports development. Can you kind of explain to everybody what, what you do over at a latest and, and, and , and their process.

Kellen Clemens:

Yeah. So the , the high level, it's been a heck of a ride. We're the exclusive provider of prison brain mapping, which is the most comprehensive , um, behavior assessment tool in the world. It is, I mean , I've taken quite a few over the years with different things and it's absolutely mind blowing , which is why I wanted to get involved when they first , um, approached me about it. Um, and on a high level view, what we do is we help at a latest, we help , um , companies recruit, build and develop, right? So in the recruiting side, if you think about your behaviors, think more, so what you do as opposed to kind of , um, like different personality tests that you see out there that disk the Myers-Briggs and stuff in there there's benefit to all of it. Um, it's just that what we do, what we have with prism goes to a whole different level. If we were , um, working with a company like , um , I'm going to pull one out, let's say Amazon, just for the heck, just for heck of it. Um, and Amazon said, well, we're going to hire , we're looking to hire these, you know, a thousand, 2000 people in this role, what we can do is we can take their , uh, top 10, 20, 30, whatever high performers that are currently in that role. And what we do is we measure on 22 different measureables , the DNA and create a success profile if you will. So you have basically an all star profile of what it is that you're comparing these different candidates to. Um, because what studies have shown is that if you are fulfilled in your job role, then you are , uh , significantly more likely to, you're going to have, you are going to have higher out Pyre quality output. You're going to stay with the company longer. You're going to be more fulfilled. Everybody wins. The cool part about it is , is, is completely data-driven there's no, it doesn't matter if you're tall, short, white, black right-handed left-handed man woman does not matter. None of that shows up in the screening process. So it's completely diversity neutral, which is, which is huge. And I think very impactful to get people just into the interview. So we're doing that. We also have , um, team building exercises on the build part, virtual team, building team analysis, team diagnostics , um, and then on the development side , um , there's also all sorts of, you can do the same thing with , um , succession planning for an individual when you want to bring them in. Okay, what path as you climb the ladder and Amazon is going to give you the most fulfillment and there's stories of people that I've talked to doing their debriefs , um, of guys that have been promoted and have been miserable because their behavior , their profile didn't fit the , uh, the job role that they got promoted into. And so, you know, the company was scrambling, trying to, okay, well, how are we going to move people back? We've now spent six months training this person with a new role. And anyway, there's, there are messages that could be completely avoided and a greater efficiency to the process I got brought in, not because of my extensive HR background, because I've known, I knew one of the partners and they're like, Hey, is there, do you think that there's an, an application here possibly as sports? I don't know. I wasn't doing much at the time. I said , let me take the test. So I went through and I looked at it and amongst some of the other things that you're taught, that it measures for our , uh , mental toughness and emotional intelligence, critical for an athlete on eight different dimensions. So not just, you are mentally tough, but on eight different dimensions for emotional intelligence and mental toughness. So what I've done is then created because the outputs that come from prison are so extensive that a coach isn't going to want to , they're not going to have time to use, to look at a 40 page report. They're just not. So what I've done is I've taken the outputs from prison and created a one-page documents for you, the coach, okay. That says, okay, here are, here's the way to , uh, engage, teach and motivate your athlete based on their personal preferences, what are their preferences and how they want to be coached? Because my belief is, and I think it's absolutely correct is that you can't coach every athlete the same. I'm not going to coach Jimmy the same way that I coach Tommy, the same way that I coach Sarah in the same way that I coached Jill, I'm not going to do it because they're different. We're all different. And we deserve to be coached differently. Now in a team setting, that's one thing, but on an individual level, we need to be coached differently. So we're given the keys to a coach to understand right now, here's how I want to coach this athlete. Uh, here's how you want to coach this athlete to maximize that athlete on the field. Good. Here's the midsize to emotional intelligence and mental toughness of where you can work with them to grow them and improve them specific specific areas. Instead of just saying, I mean, you played hockey instead of saying, Hey, today we're all taking shots from the blue line. Okay, well, that's great. But you might have some guys that need to take some shots from left corner, or you might have some guys that needed to be goalies. You might have to, whatever we need to reach guys and girls where they are. Right. We need to do that. That's awesome. And that we've gotten incredible feedback from both professional and college , um , sports teams. The cool part about this on the, we talked earlier about, okay, you knew exactly that you wanted to be a sports broadcaster when you went to Arizona state. A lot of times it's athletes. We're not sure. And we don't have, you know, this, we don't have the opportunity because of our commitment to sports we're full-time students and we're full-time athletes, while we're on campus. We don't have the opportunity to do the internships, the job shadows. So trying to figure out what is it that I, what is it that I'm really trying to? What is it that I want to do? What is this going to give me fulfillment when I'm done? Because 98% of us aren't going pro after college. We're not, that's what the numbers are. Right. And that's going to, Troy Polamalu is going to put , Troy is getting the poor guy. He's like the real world in this thing, but Troy Polamalu is gonna sneak up and smack us in the teeth. Right? So what as an additional output coach gets there , one pager has an additional output academic and career advisor at the college level, specifically get what we call a career Explorer report was highlights for them. That athlete's preferences in eight different dimensions, the behaviors and the degree to which they prefer to use those behaviors so that they can help them. Look, this is what is going to give you. They can guide them, counsel them in a way to set that athlete up for internships, micro internships, job shadows, et cetera, as networking events in ways that are going to more rapidly lead to a career of fulfillment. I saw too many athletes that went from the showed up with all these high accolades and they didn't mess with the coach that coach, you know, it didn't gel or just didn't click or whatever it might've been. And then, you know , watch him after three or four years, what you thought was going to be a promising career doesn't end up happening. Worst case scenario for that team is athlete transfers and flourishes someplace else because we can reach him , right. Which I'm trying to help the athlete with that. But the reality is the numbers still are what they are. And there's still only so many spots at the table. There's still so many seats at the table, so we still have to prepare. And that's the part for me that I think is going to be, is have the greatest lasting impact, because I mean, you're not talking about it before these athletes, if, you know, if they live a long and healthy life, which we all hope for have 60 to 70% of their lives, still waiting for them when they're done, that's what's most important. So to be able to set them up for that part of their life and the greatest degree of fulfillment and happiness, that's the part, that's the part that I'm, that really gets me excited about that. Yes. Get better on the field or on the court or whatever, and be able to connect with a coach or a coach connect with an athlete quickly, but to be able to help these athletes, especially at the college level, even at the pro level, I wish I would have had this when I was coming out. I would have maybe had that same spiritual , uh, epiphany. So maybe I shouldn't have, but , um, but I wish I would've had it coming out of the pros too as well, and it's going to be available for them, but that's what we're doing. I think it's going to be really impactful , um, both on the field and off. Um, but I think it can have a really positive impact on some athletes lives for a really long time. And that's what I'm doing. That's why I get so excited , um , about what we're doing

Collin Kushner:

The best part calendars , just seeing how jacked up you get, you know, about, about what you're doing now, in some ways I feel like you've been more excited to talk about this, then your career in the NFL man,

Kellen Clemens:

You know, it's, I did the real estate thing and it was kinda like, it was the first time. It was one of the first times of my life that I went to work. I'll never forget. Dave McGinnis , uh, was a coach when I was with the Rams. I'm like, Dave, you're coming into work today. He goes, I've been coaching football for, I don't know , it was like 40 years or something at that point. He's like, I haven't worked a day in my life. And , uh, and , and I, and I, I realized kind of later what he meant when he said it. And because, you know, it's , you want to find something that you're passionate about and that , that fills that cup. And I , I mean, I, I made a little bit of money doing the real estate thing. It wasn't about, I can't make a living , um, cause I could see the potential for that, but it wasn't, I wasn't fulfilled in what I was doing. Um, and, and I've found that with the latest and , um , I'm grateful for that and I'm excited to be able to help other athletes. It doesn't have to be athletes, but athletes primarily , um, find that same amount of fulfillment just to understand our behaviors and what, what makes us tick and what, what fulfills us? What gives us joy? What is it that gets us out of bed in the morning? I mean, you get out of bed in the morning and like, I get to talk to so-and-so, you know, I get to talk to Marcus Latimer. I get to talk to whoever's, you know, Ellis might be on there. I mean, that's exciting. I would imagine because you've, you've found that you fit your profile and what the job role is. It fits for you right now. And I've done the same thing, but there's a lot of people that don't, or it takes three and four or five years and two or three different careers to kind of figure it out. Let's shorten that so that we can maximize. And now you got me going so that we can , like, there's a marketability of being a student athlete. There really is. When you go into a job interview, they get , uh , you know, I mean, you understand how to work hard. You should understand how to be on a team. You should understand how to, you know , uh, deal with a certain adversity and dah , dah , dah . You've been in high pressure situations, certainly. Okay. Let's make sure it's the right job that we're interviewing so that we don't, you only have so many times to shoot that shot. Let's make sure it's the right job that we're interviewing the first time. And let's shoot, let's have that in play while the time I'm a sophomore. We identify that company. Make sure I get, you know, when that CEO gives me his business card, let me make sure that I follow up with a text message in a few weeks and I circle back and we, you know, I just happened to run into him for coffee, never violating NCAA regulations and not saying that, but there's just, there's a lot of opportunities to, I think get , um, to be more efficient with the process.

Collin Kushner:

And that's why I love what you're doing over at a latest and in prison brain mapping. Because again, you're getting these kids to start thinking about, Oh, like, instead of like their mom or dad saying, I want you to be a lawyer and maybe that doesn't match up. Then you start, you take the, you take the questionnaire or whatever. And it says, Ooh, being a lawyer, probably wouldn't, wouldn't be your thing. Maybe it's marketing.

Kellen Clemens:

If you look at, okay, look, you have a, you have a high degree of preference for being innovative and creative and dah, dah, dah look being, you know, being an accountant like your dad. And yes, maybe dad made a good living and you know, or mom or whoever it was. And, and so you, you saw that and you saw what it provided, but that's not going to bring you happiness. Right? Let's understand. This is some other directions that you might consider. If nothing else take this internship that is going to see some of these, you can be, you can do it with a purpose instead of just like I'm here. I don't know. And it gives you a reason to, I mean, I know there were classes that I walked into. I'm like, I don't even know why I'm here. I didn't do great in those classes. When I walked into actually funny enough accounting and economics and stuff, I was like, I get this, understand why I'm here. And those are the classes that I got BS in

Collin Kushner:

When you're dealing with kids in college or maybe a little bit younger, how do you even get them? Cause you still have to, because they're going to ask you, okay, why am I taking this? And you know, us as adults, we're always, I feel like thinking into the future now, but when you're dealing with someone 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, I feel like they're strictly in, on playing football on playing basketball on playing tennis and nothing else matters. So I feel like there's still a little bit of a wall that you have to kind of break down.

Kellen Clemens:

Yes. There, there is. When you're talking about the career, when you're talking about the career, explore bit there . Absolutely. It was like, I don't hit , what's the response. I don't need that. I'm going pro I don't need that. I'm going to go well. Okay. And , and , and I've talked to seven, eight schools already and it's like, we've told them until they're blue in the face and people don't, they don't want to hear that. They're not going pro okay. Well, that's fine. Even as me who went pro played 12 years, I'm still working. I was still just because you're going pro doesn't mean that you're not going to work. I mean, maybe I don't have 60% of my adult life left where I'm not going to be working. I might have 50%, but I've still got a large amount of my time where I'm going to be working a job. So there's that bit of it. Okay. First that's fine. GoPro . That's fine. Okay. Let's understand that. But the beauty of the way that I've tried to set this up for the college athlete is if you want to go pro you want this coach to be able to maximize you from day one, right? You want this coach to be able to teach you the way that you want to be taught, not just so that you're some number you want him to teach. You, call him . He wants to teach you the way that you want to be taught coast . The way that you want to be coached. This is going to give him those insights, right? So he can help you go pro the career Explorer report is a by-product . That is the most impactful long-term , but understanding, and I get it, I'm a realist because I was 18, the athlete. And maybe even the coach may not necessarily care, but there's the other thing too, if I'm the coach and I want to be able to maximize my athletes so that with the new Insta AA transfer rules. So they're not transferring after one year and still being able to go play. So they don't leave UCLA and go to SC , or they don't leave Alabama and go to Auburn or that they don't , whatever. I want to be able to engage with them right now and start to form that relationship. It's mandatory that you take that . So there's, so there's those two ways I want, I want the kids to take it willingly because I want you to , um , you want to be open-minded when you're, when you're, open-minded, when you're taking it. Um, but ultimately , uh , the athlete, isn't the one that's writing the check either. So

Collin Kushner:

I'm curious. So with , with the , with the company's Kellen , and I know we chatted about this briefly during the pre-call, because N now it is, I feel like many companies, or maybe I've had it wrong, cause I've never been on the hiring side, but they look at your resume, they look at your demo tape and that's it. So now, like you enter in this, this brand new process , um, our companies , are they like, yes, this is exactly what we needed or are they still like, no, we're just going to go the old school way of, we're going to look at the resumes, see their GPA. And that's it.

Kellen Clemens:

Well , uh, yes, both end both end because it's, it's uh, how would I say this? The corporate world doesn't exactly change very fast. Uh, it's not a quick pivot, like, Oh, we'll just do that. So what, but the reality is Michigan state did a study that if you look at, if you just, you know, traditional hiring, right resume job, experience the interview. If you're just talking about that, you have a 43% chance of having a successful hire, right? When you in , um, when you include in that, the different things that we test for, with prism on the behaviors of work, environment, preferences , um, just work preferences, work aptitudes, and the behaviors you that the, the , uh, the percent of making a successful hire goes from 43 to 93%. Those are just stats. I mean, I don't know how big you guys are on hockey and stats, but in footballs or stats are pretty big. And when I know that on from third and six , up to third and six , they're going to blitz 43% of the time beyond that. They're going 93% of the time. I'm like, that's a significant increase , um, in the heck out of that, that is the reason why it's like, yeah, this is, this is a legit thing. Why we're doing it. What we've seen with in the corporate world is cracking the door is the challenge. Once you get in and people experience prism and see it, then the door flings wide open, and now we've got momentum going into 2021. That is very exciting. I'll just say very exciting

Collin Kushner:

Here. Here's a, here's a hypothetical for you. Let's just say you're , you're hiring, you're an accounting firm. You're hiring me. You see my resume. Wow, love Colin's resume. You check with my references. They say great things, but then I take, then I take the assessment and let's just say, none of that checks out then, then what do you do?

Kellen Clemens:

Well, that's up to the accounting firm. We are providing the information , um, for, okay. Understanding this individuals . If, if your resume checks out, if you have worked at an accounting firm before, and you're applying to another one, there's a pretty good chance that you have some of the characteristics of the general behavioral profile of an accountant. So was going to check it out. But when you start talking about work environment preferences and different scenarios, when you start comparing, okay , uh, Colin's preferred , um, uh, work atmosphere and culture as compared to us here at PricewaterhouseCoopers or whoever it might be, then those are factors when I'm looking at, okay, is he going to thrive here? Or is, does this maybe not the best fit? It's not that you're not hireable , but are you the best hire for us? Whereas you might be a better hire for somebody else. If you, if you ended up with the wrong accounting firm, depending on culture and organizational fit, et cetera, there's a decent chance that in a year's time, you're looking for another one and that doesn't do us any good, because now we've invested a lot of time and resources into you. And then we're right back where we started 12 months ago. That makes sense.

Collin Kushner:

That makes complete sense. And I know we kind of joked about this, you know , when we chatted on the pre-call, but I remember know you kind of did like a brief assessment of me and you're like, I don't think you'd be like a good, like a good account . And I'm like, yeah , I would be horrible.

Kellen Clemens:

Yeah. So I'm a , I'm a certified prison practitioner now, so that I , so I can, and I, you know, I had to kind of go through the certification process to , to get to that and take the exam. And it was kind of scary. Cause I talked to the guy that was invented prism over in the UK. Um, but having gone through it now and been doing it for seven, eight months, I mean the conversations that I'm having with people, you and I, and just, you hear people say things and you can't, I don't know specifically, but you start to have an idea as like, this person has a higher preference for these couple of behaviors. He doesn't really seem to like this. Do you have a general idea now? It's not all data. It's just kind of purely a little bit of a, of a, of a guest speculation, but I've been doing it at least enough now that I can, I don't miss too bad. The one guy on our team's been doing this for 15 years and he is amazing.

Collin Kushner:

Now I almost want to chat with him that way if he can, because I just find it fascinating though, just during our, our one chat. Like I didn't, I felt like I didn't divulge like too much, but you're just like, I get the feeling that like, if, if, if we want to hire you to work in the back room of an accounting firm, that you probably wouldn't like that. And , and little by little do, you know, Kaelin that thought gives me anxiety.

Kellen Clemens:

But the anxiety that you feel is what prism is able to detect. And then, I mean, there's, I could , you have to experience it to fully appreciate it. I've realized that, which is it's unfair to just explaining it. Doesn't do it justice, but we can, prison shows areas of, okay, this is a behavior that's going to cause this person, anxiety, this is a certain behavior that's going to cause someone that stress that you probably don't get. And I, I don't get, but that some people give them was like, we need you speak to the board today, or we need you to speak at your child's assembly or we need, and they go and you know, and they, you know, they make a mistake that, you know, they tell them on , uh, on Monday and the assembly isn't until, or the engagement isn't until Friday night. And that person doesn't sleep it's, you know, until that time. So like , I , I don't want to , you know, this whole picture , people in the underwear thing doesn't really work. Um, you know, it just makes it even worse. But , um, that was not a great lead time joke, but anyway , um, but that's exactly what prison was able to that same anxiety or that same stress or the frustration, right? For you. If I was like, we're going to put you in the back room and Tommy is going to be out schmoozing with the customers or the people you'd be like, wait a minute. I can do that. I want to do that. So you come home and you're like, yeah, I, you know, wife , spouse whoever's says, Hey, how was work today ? It's like, I'm so frustrated. You're not staying at that job with the ability to bring all that to the service and completely data driven information. That is just, that is diverse, ju uh , you know, diversity neutral and, and bringing it to the surface. And someone can be just like, this is a good fit, or it isn't based on this person's preferences to do this, their behavioral profile. So you hire the right people, because if you're in a job that you like, even if you don't have as much experience as Tom, that also applied, if you match, I will guarantee you , you are going to learn it faster and deliver over the longterm . And it's probably the short term you're going to deliver better results than Tom was like, yeah, I've been doing this for 12 years and I'm pretty good at it, but I mean, it's not even close. It's not even going to be close .

Collin Kushner:

That's the thing. I think companies, companies, universities, coaches , um , student athletes, people need to stop being so traditional because I mean, I, I love the data stuff. I mean, I was chatting with, with , um, Carrie Carter, he played at Stanford and he's doing stuff , um, it's called activists . It's like a tackling analytics firm. And, you know, like it's again and something else that that's data-driven. And I think it's so important, especially when it comes to your career and, and having a passion, because like you said, you only get one shot, man.

Kellen Clemens:

You only get one shot. And when you start over, it's like, and you can only do this, but, and here's the cool part, especially in the HR world and the talent acquisition world, there isn't data. There isn't numbers there isn't, you know, it's, there, there isn't as much of that. And we're, we're able to give numerical values on the eight different dimensions on the work environment , uh, preferences on your , um, on the work aptitudes on mental toughness, on emotional intelligence, our team building stuff that we've done now for six different companies is on real the feedback that we've gotten from it and the impact that it's had, it's been an unbelievable. And it's just because it's based off of everything that we're talking about. Understanding if I can understand you and what makes you click in the same way that the coach would want to understand the players. I need to understand my coworkers . And if I can understand where you're coming from, when you say X, Y, and Z. So I don't hear ABC. And we do this for the next three weeks. That's better for everybody. Everybody wins.

Collin Kushner:

I just think tons of tons of companies that people just have it backwards because it becomes, let's just say, we're talking TV, okay. How does this person look? How does this person sound? Okay, this person worked in market two Oh two Butte, Montana. Then they worked in Nashville. Then they worked in Seattle. They take this very traditional chronological, very robot approach. And it's like, well, wait a second. You're that doesn't mean that that person is going to be the best candidate for that particular

Kellen Clemens:

A hundred percent. And, and what we found too, like in our little, even in our team, in a latest, what we found is, I mean, we're, we're practicing what we preach because like, there are guys, like, for example, yourself being fairly highly innovative, right? We have another guy on the team who was a big time innovator. I'm not. So if you tell me to just like, Hey, I want you to go create something. I'm like, Oh my gosh. And I can do it. It's not, you can, or you can't it's do you enjoy it? Do you prefer to do it? How much do you prefer to employ that behavior? You know, and it's not right wrong or indifferent, but we've what we've realized is okay, I can, I can do it. It'll take me three weeks to do this tiny little PowerPoint presentation that you want me to do. Or I can send it to my buddy. Who's a high green and be like, Hey, can you help me out with this? And it's done in three hours because he enjoys it. It's like the work that I can give you, you know, I, if you didn't lag data and I don't know, cause we haven't gotten there yet. But if you didn't like crunching numbers, I can give you the spreadsheet. You can be like me , you can do it, but it may not be the highest quality work and it's not going to be done efficiently. You give me a spreadsheet and I'm a kid on Christmas. I'm like, Oh my gosh , let's put in some formulas. Um, and , but , but, and that's the difference, but to move a project around a team, especially if you know, four to eight, nine, 10 people efficiently, everybody wins and it works. And I know because I'm living it. It's incredible.

Collin Kushner:

First of all, I'm going to hire you for any sort of Google or a spreadsheet stuff. You're you're my guy now, because I do not, I mean, data entry, like I love statistics and numbers, but there there's a line. There's a line in the sand. And I do not cross that line.

Kellen Clemens:

The beautiful thing about prism is that we can differentiate between two, those aren't, those, aren't the same behavior that you just talked about. And we can cause some people like it. I like putting it in. I like doing it or like we're running it. And some people like looking at it, some people like doing both, but it doesn't, it doesn't make sense for me to give you all this information and be like, update this spreadsheet, do all this stuff. And it's like, Oh my gosh. I mean, that's, you're the guy in that situation that works for 15 minutes. It's like, I'm going to go get coffee and goes back and works for another 15 minutes is like, I'm gonna take the dog for a walk and then works with, it's not, I'm going to sit down. If it's an hour where the work you're going to do it over the course of two and a half, three hours. And it's not because you don't like to work. It's like, I'm looking for anything to get me away from this that I don't enjoy doing. I'm going to do that hours worth of work in 30 minutes because I love it. I'm going to wake up early and I'm going to do it anyway. Sorry. I get a little bit, but that's the difference of it. And the flip side, you give me three hours worth of creativity on, you know, trying to come up with a concept, a new concept for what we want to do for this Popkin podcast and be like, I have no idea. I put it on your desk. You like, let's do , um, Hey man, where'd you go? Let's do that me come with it like that. It's just, it , it comes because you enjoyed that.

Collin Kushner:

It is , um, it is amazing though, because I've seen like, I think back to like certain points in my career when I was a sports anchor reporter, I've rarely like, I would just, I hated getting up from my desk because it's like, I'm like writing, crafting this like comedic script or something. And just like, you're so like entrenched in glued. And next thing you know, you have your mom's best friend. Who's crazy saying, why aren't you eating dinner? I'm like, you don't understand. Like I love what I do. And then on the flip side, something you don't like, and it's like, Ooh, you know what? I got to get my car wash. I have to get my oil change . And I'm not that responsible of a guy,

Kellen Clemens:

A hundred percent. You asked me to write that comedic strip because I'm super low in inmate innovating. I'd be like , uh, I mean, okay, you're going to get something. That's going to be somewhere between stinking , diehard and Winnie the Pooh, but not very, but not even close to good riddled with grammatical errors, because I don't want to do that. I don't want to ,

Collin Kushner:

After chatting with you and hearing your excitement and obviously, I mean, you have my curiosity in , in some respects, don't get me wrong. I've thoroughly enjoyed discussing the early days, you know, in burns and kind of taking you through your football career. But man, this is so cool.

Kellen Clemens:

It's fascinating stuff. It's fascinating stuff. I love it. I'm excited. It fits for me from a behavioral standpoint, I'm excited about it.

Collin Kushner:

And if you had to go back in time, let's let let's, let's put a year on it. 18 year olds Kaelin . You get to go back in time. You get to talk to him for five minutes and to impart some knowledge, what would you

Kellen Clemens:

Slow down, slow down and enjoy the process. I was a guy that was always so driven is like, what's next? What's next? What's next, what's next. I didn't stop and smell the roses as they say. Um, and that would be the, that would be the thing that I wish I would have done is just taken some time to just, this is, this is pretty cool, you know, and just enjoy the ride a little bit more. Yeah .

Collin Kushner:

That's some very sound advice. I think many of us, including, I'm kind of like you, I'm always running, running, running, running, going, going, going, going, and very rarely, you know, then two years after something great happens, I'm like, Oh, that was pretty cool. Kevin, I appreciate you taking the time. And we discussed a lot again, thank you for the time. And um, I really enjoyed the conversation again. It's it's those tiny moments that, that we don't get to see us sports fans. Um , and obviously what you're doing now. I it's. It's cool. It's great. And um, where can people check out what you guys are [email protected]

Kellen Clemens:

Actually it's , uh , you can see everything you need right there. I appreciate it. Yeah. It's good stuff.