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University of Michigan School of Information


Samantha Thick

Samantha Thick on a football field

In August of 2021, I had the pleasure of working as an NFL Scout for the Houston Texans during training camp. This opportunity combined my athletic experience with data management skills learned through the U-M School of Information. My roles included collecting data for college and professional scouting staff, working with the data analytics department and supporting the video technology crews.   

My work with the scouting department revolved around video analysis of player performances. I used online resources to create statistical breakdowns of position-specific height, weight and speed averages across the NFL. This role involved player evaluations and documenting skills observed during live workouts and from video research. These statistics and player performance reports were then used by the scouting department, coaching staff and General Manager to make team management decisions.

The data analytics department introduced me to an in-house-built tracking system. This tool was used to monitor scouted players across the league, transactions made, injury updates and various important moves made by other teams. This was then used to create statistical scouting reports for upcoming opponents.

My responsibilities with video technology included maintaining video replay technology at practices, so that players and coaches could watch and analyze previous plays. I also worked on the field with the camera crew, ensuring that there was sufficient video storage in each camera at all times.

My experience with the Texans was extremely fulfilling. It allowed me to see how technology and data are used within a professional sports industry.

Samantha Thick observing football players on the field