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NFL agent with local ties keeps busy with former Bison players

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Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

As an attorney, Matt Striegel has a title that has several letters in it, specifically "NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor." Former North Dakota State offensive lineman Keith Buckman is just concerned about the first three letters.

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NFL.

It's doubtful Buckman will get drafted during the three-day event that starts today, but Striegel - his agent - has been working the phones to get him a tryout or free agent contract of some sort. It's just one connection the Denver attorney has to the Red River Valley.

The other is his education. Striegel spent his freshman and sophomore years in high school at Fargo Oak Grove and then moved with his family to St. Louis for his last two years.

He played one year of football at North Dakota State. He graduated from the University of North Dakota law school in 2006.

"I knew he's one of those guys who wouldn't pass you along," said Buckman, from Belfield, N.D. "It's kind of hard to pick an agent. They all basically offer the same thing, so you have to go with your gut."

Former North Dakota State running back Tyler Roehl also employs Striegel as his agent. Roehl will attend the Minnesota Vikings mini-camp in hopes of landing a contract.

"They want to see him in a fullback role," Striegel said. "That's the next step. There's no film yet on him playing fullback. He played running back at North Dakota State and he played it very well, but now he's up to 245 pounds and teams want to see him at the fullback position."

Buckman is getting NFL attention by virtue of a good performance at NDSU's "Pro Day" in March.

"Hopefully that will get me a shot at a camp," he said.

Bison running back Pat Paschall is also hoping to get a shot. He turned in a good performance at the NFL Combine. The website NFLdraftscout.com lists him the 25th best running back available.

The 6-foot-5, 325-pound Buckman plays with the kind of intensity that offensive coordinators and offensive line coaches like, Striegel said. In general, he said, NFL teams like Buckman's personality both on and off the field, they like him as a person and they like his game film.

"He's always in a good mood," Striegel said. "And on the field, he's nasty."

The combination of football and law made the sports agency business an ideal career for Striegel. He's one of only 10 on the team at Ascent Sports Management, with primary offices in Denver and Los Angeles.

The firm touts clients like former NFL stars Randall McDaniel, Tony Boselli, Eric Dickerson, Irving Fryar and Craig "Ironhead" Heyward.

"The part I like the most is managing a player's career," Striegel said. "It's not just negotiating a contract, it's managing their career from the moment they sign until they retire. It's helping a player reach their end result, which is the long-time goal of making an NFL roster."

For Buckman and Roehl, that starts this month.

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