When Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams was selected third overall in last night’s NFL draft, it marked a big moment for him and his agent, Nicole Lynn. The move made Lynn, an agent with Young Money APAA Sports, the first Black woman to represent a top five draft pick in the NFL.
What makes the feat so special, is that Williams and Lynn aligned knowing the opportunity they had to help one another reach their goals.
In an interview with BET, Lynn shared that Williams told her, “We’re going to do this together. We’re going to make history and make change in sports for women."
And that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Only 5% of certified agents in the NFL are women. Which means that Lynn is one of less than 50.
Her ability to break through the glass ceiling in a male dominated industry isn’t by happenstance. In a 2018 interview with Mercury News, Lynn shared that growing up poor in rural Tulsa, Oklahoma, prepared her for life as an NFL agent.
“I always had this drive of, ‘How do I get out of this vicious cycle of poverty,’” Lynn said. “All of it just trickled down from my upbringing. I didn’t have much, and so I didn’t have any other option but to work hard.”
That hard work pushed Lynn to attend the University of Oklahoma where she entered as a freshman with 21 college credits that she earned in high school. She graduated with her bachelor’s in business management and after a stint on Wall Street, returned to Oklahoma for law school in pursuit of her dream to become an NFL agent.
“Seventy percent of all football players go broke or file bankruptcy — like 75 percent, which is crazy,” she told BET. She continued, “We’ve got guys making $100 million and they go broke. That’s the reason I got in the business.”
Lynn’s experience growing up coupled with her education has made her a unique force when it comes to representing players who have managed to overcome their own set of obstacles.
“Many players grew up in similar situations like I did,” Lynn shared in a 2017 interview. “They, too, have demanding families that they have to support and families that pull at them from all sides. I know exactly what this is like so I am able to relate to players on a level that many other agents will never be able to. I can also provide guidance to them on how to navigate their family and can be a voice of reason on how to never go back to that life by retaining their wealth long term.”
With Williams projected to sign a rookie contract worth at least a $29 million dollar deal, Lynn has proven to be the perfect agent to guide him along the way.
Congratulations to Quinnen and Nicole! We’ll be rooting for the two of you, both on and off the field!