Far more than in other major sports, former F.B.I. agents handle background checks of potential pro-football draftees. Teams submit extensive lists of players to the N.F.L. security office, headed by Milt Ahlerich, former assistant director of the F.B.I. laboratory. His staff includes former agents knowledgeable about 9/11 and the subsequent investigation, says an F.B.I. alum. An executive for a sports-security firm adds that “every city has a designated ex-F.B.I. guy” for vetting draft prospects.

Portfolio has a fascinating profile of Muhammad Abdulqaadir, a former SIU running back who may or may not have missed out on a pro football career because his father, Mujahid Menepta (born Melvin Lattimore in St. Louis),  was an associate of Zacarias Moussaoui and the first American detained as a material witness after 9/11. The article isn’t wholly convincing on the subject of Abdulqaadir’s allegedly NFL-level talent–he’s short, small, and ran a mediocre 4.6 40-yard-dash at the combine, although he’s described by some as a potentially reliable third-down back. Still, an interesting article.