On SEEING, A Journal. #519
Julian Love, Safety, Seattle Seahawks
March 21, 2023
Julian Love came to the studio recently. He is 24 years of age, 5’11″ tall and weighs 195 lbs. He was brought up in Chicago, Illinois and played college football at Notre Dame. He was drafted by New York Giants in the 2019 NFL Draft and is their starting safety. Just this last week, he signed a two-year contract for $12 million with the Seattle Seahawks.
“Agents begin to contact you after you have a good year in college. Currently, they can communicate with players even sooner. I educated myself on who the top agents were and why. How big is their team? Who do they manage? What do they provide? I went with Drew Rosenhaus which was wildly unpopular among Notre Dame folk because he’s a guy who typically represents flashy players. A different lifestyle and culture. I went with him because I wanted somebody who was unlike me. I wanted somebody who could fight for me, who was a shark, and somebody who could do the tough jobs that I’m too nice to do. I just wanted an agent who makes deals and knows the lay of the NFL land. Currently, we’re in position to negotiate my second contract and he’s been great this entire time.”
“I do not generally spend money on stuff. We’ve had the same apartment for a while and still have the Jeep Grand Cherokee that I had in college. At the same time, I realize that I am in a fortunate position and so, for certain things, such as when I’m out with family, I can treat them to dinner. If I’m out with my hometown friends, I can buy them drinks. Little things like that. I don’t do it very often; I live conservatively.
“My financial adviser is my wife’s father, a family wealth management expert. It’s been a blessing because he is one of the best and he’s realistic and gives us practical advice. ‘Save, save, save. You don’t need to be spending this money. You need to build a future.’
“The hardest thing about the NFL isn’t size or speed. Mental challenge is the biggest factor for success or failure. Living in the New York area is a double-edged sword because of the huge market. If you’re playing well, your name’s out there, but if you have a bad play, everyone’s at your neck. It’s ruthless. We live in a social media culture. The public has access to you at their fingertips; they can message you anything. They can post anything about you. Say anything. I see a lot of guys go through slumps where they feel like the world’s against them. Mental strength and fortitude determines success or failure.
“I meditate before each game; I close my eyes, put noise cancelling headphones on or listen to a guided meditation. It has become second nature to me. I need to center myself because this game, this life, this career, is a lot. I try to reflect as much as I can after each game and let myself not worry about football when it’s not time to worry about football.
“And it’s so fluid: you can be on another team tomorrow. I can get a call right now saying I’m a Cleveland Brown.”
HS: What happens inside, personally, when you fail in a play?
JL: “It’s the worst. I played over 1,400 snaps this year and I had one really bad play and people were all over my head for it. Social media, reporters. No one means to make mistakes. I thought I had a read, I didn’t. It happens. That’s how my coaches saw it, and my inner circle, but everybody else was blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m proud of my response after that really bad play because I just kept playing. Minus that one play, I had a great game; that’s the mindset I have to have as an athlete, as a player.
“You need a free spirit and be locked into your morals. My greatest concern is safety and health for me and my family. I have no fear of being cut because I give my all in whatever I do. If it’s not good enough then it’s not good enough. That’s my mindset.”
Julian came to the studio with his wife, Julia.
Great work, Julian. Good luck in Seattle. And many thanks to Bari Wolfman of Rosenhaus Sports.