With that said, let's turn our attention to a lesser-known, recruiting method I hinted at earlier. In fact, this personnel recruiting game-changer was discovered over 40 years ago by none other than the National Football League nfl latest news But, before I reveal this secret, let's learn some NFL history. The key to understanding the NFL's longstanding success lies in the evolution of the NFL's recruiting philosophy from the 1920s to the present day. Hence, our historical review begins in the 1920s when the league was initially formed. NFL stars of that era were Jim Thorpe, Red Grange, and Bronko Nagurski to name a few. Certainly these are familiar names to diehard football fans, but in those early years, there were also lesser known players such as 5 ft. 1 in., 119 lbs., blocking back, Jack "Soapy" Shapiro. Surprised? You may ask yourself, as I did, "How did a 5 ft. 1 in. running back make the roster in the NFL considering the uber-sized, gargantuans of the gridiron we see today?" NO WAY could Mr. Shapiro slip into a team's roster in modern times due principally to his physical shortcomings. So, what happened to the league's recruiting philosophy between the 1920s and now that significantly reduced the chances of athletes like Mr. Shapiro becoming players in the NFL? Answer: The introduction of the NFL Combine. The Combine was formed in the early 1970s to serve as a talent screening process for college athletes interested in playing in the NFL. By qualifying athletes via the Combine, based on their "natural born" aptitudes for playing football, the league consistently filled team rosters with ONLY "good to great" players.