noun: elite; plural noun: elites
A select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society.
Sebastian Fernandez, October 2 2023, 4:11 P.M. CT
In such a competitive world like the one we live in, it is essential to stand out from the rest, to be elite. Former ULM combo guard Vincent Taylor turned this into a lifestyle. Fast forward 24 years, the former college basketball player now leads one of the most successful independent agencies in sports. However, the road has not always been smooth.
The story of Elite Loyalty Sports can be traced back to 2004, when Vincent Taylor established a relationship with future Hall-of-famer Jason Peters. The name of the agency was non-existent and the foundations of the company were still in the works. Little did they know this would be the beginning of a world-class sports agency for elite athletes across the country.
Peters, an undrafted TE-turned OL was a longshot to make the roster as a member of the Buffalo Bills. Peters was given one opportunity and he took advantage of it, eventually earning two contracts (2004 & 2006, combined $24.2M) before the young agency Elite Loyalty Sports and the young superstar landed the richest contract for a lineman in NFL history (6-years, $60M deal with the Philadelphia Eagles). A 9x Pro-Bowler, Peters became the richest undrafted free agent in NFL history, as his total contract value topped $190M.
There are countless stories of one-hit wonders; Elite Loyalty Sports is not one of them. In 2006, when agent Vincent Taylor was still establishing himself as one of the better agents around the league, he became part of another underdog story that would change the course of a franchise and eventually, the tight end market. For 3x Pro-Bowler Delanie Walker, it was always an uphill battle as well. However, elite players make elite things happen. In 2016, Walker earned the richest contract extension for a TE over 32, and the largest guarantee for a TE over 34 in 2018 ( 2-years, $17M w/ $12.76M guaranteed & $8M signing bonus).
Success was achieved on and off the field, and Elite Loyalty was moving the free agent market. This translated into the war rooms in April. Oklahoma offensive lineman Trent Williams was drafted fourth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, becoming the agency’s first player to go in the top round. As a rookie, Williams signed a 6-year, $60M contract with the Washington Redskins, matching fellow client Jason Peters’ record-breaking deal. In 2015 he agreed to a five-year, $66 million contract extension with $43.25 million guaranteed. Wrecking the trenches and the OL market, Williams once again broke the NFL record books in 2021, signing a six-year, $138.06 million contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. The 10x Pro-Bowler was given more money than any other player in franchise history, while also becoming the highest paid OL in the history of the game.
Draft day success does not end there. In 2019, offensive lineman Greg Little became the first rookie drafted beyond 37th overall pick to get a guarantee in year 3 of their rookie deal. Two years later, in 2021, WR Terrace Marshall became the company’s second player to go in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.
However, 2022 was the year Elite Loyalty Sports and their clients shocked the sports industry. “When I saw him, I said, ‘Man, this is a non-quarterback year. Pound for pound, he will be the best player in this draft.”, Vincent Taylor said to the Sports Business Journal, May 2022. He was right. Georgia’s Travon Walker, a projected second-round pick made the biggest jump in NFL Draft history as he was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the first overall pick. The story does not end there. LSU’s Tyrion-Davis-Price, a projected late-round pick was selected in the third round by the San Francisco 49ers. Their draft jumps reflected on their contracts. Both players earned an extra $32.7M, compared to what they were initially projected to earn if selected in the later rounds.
Agencies like Elite Loyalty Sports are built when the lights are bright and the attention is on. Whether it’s on the stage with the commissioner or on paper with record-breaking numbers, these moments make the best stand from the rest. However, agent Vincent Taylor and partner Keith Houston believe that there is much more than the bright lights. It is also about being there during bad times and making sure there is a success story behind everyone. Former Marine Ahmard Hall at the age of 32 had no shot at making an NFL roster, nor did Ty Nsekhe, who spent time behind bars. At least that’s what they thought before making $18.5M in the league. Their hard work made it happen, Elite Loyalty Sports secured it.
For Elite Loyalty Sports, there ain’t no mountain high enough. They believe in opportunity, resilience, legacy and the elite mentality. These are values that are shared between those that are part of the family. Every player has a story to tell, and they want to make sure it is heard. With hundreds of millions secured in contracts since 2007 and many changed lives throughout their history, the road goes only up for Vincent Taylor, Keith Houston and their team.
With NIL now being part of their company, many young talents will soon get their names in the EL history book. The agency’s determination to help athletes through all stages of their career makes the future exciting. Elite Loyalty Sports has and will continue to change the way representation is done in the country.