College scouts work tirelessly to prepare for the annual NFL Draft. They study film, and attend workouts, practices and games to learn all they can about prospects. They compile the information and present their suggestions to the team they work for.
That's one way to choose which player to select. And then there's how Eagles head coach Mike McCormack made the decision to pick Randy Logan in 1973. He asked tight end Charle Young, one of Philadelphia's first-round selections, for his suggestion.
"They had asked Charle who he felt was the best strong safety that he played against in college," said Logan, who was chosen in the third round. "Charle gave them my name because I had played against him in the (East-West Shrine Game and Hula Bowl). I was excited just to get an opportunity to get into the National Football League.
"To get that call was very exciting. Here was a team in the National Football League that was calling me and saying that they were picking me and would I like the opportunity to come and play with them? And it was just a resounding yes! Yes, I would love to do it!"
Earning a starting position during Training Camp, Logan led the Eagles with five interceptions during his rookie season.
"The transition was good because each step allowed me an opportunity to enhance my ability to do what I really wanted to do in life, and that was to play ball," said Logan, an All-America at Michigan. "I wanted to play football ever since I was in Pop Warner. I just loved the game and would watch it on TV constantly and would just stay out late at night playing as much as I could, sandlot ball back in (my hometown of) Detroit.
"I think I was very blessed to have that gift and desire and fortitude to stick with it in the midst of circumstances. And there were some circumstances where I could have easily quit and said, 'Forget this.' But because it was something that I really wanted to do, I overcame those obstacles."
Logan didn't know it at the time, but as an Eagle, he would be able to gather enough experience to write a thesis on overcoming obstacles. There were no winning seasons during his first five years in Philadelphia. But in 1978, Logan and his teammates compiled a 9-7 record, equaling the number of victories of the previous two seasons combined, and made the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. Logan credited the turnaround to the team's new head coach.
"Most definitely, Coach (Dick) Vermeil. No doubt about it," said Logan, who returns to Philadelphia on Sunday to be the Honorary Alumni Captain presented by Santander. "We started on an uphill climb in '78 and it was definitely the fortitude and the discipline and the stick-to-it approach that Coach Vermeil brought to the team. He was a dedicated worker, a discipline-oriented coach. You would appreciate what he was doing as time went on, and we began to win and do better than we had done."
That, they did. With a 12-4 record, the Eagles won often in 1980 and earned the NFC Championship. They met Oakland in Super Bowl XV, but fell short, 27-10.
"I didn't expect to lose or want to lose," Logan said. "It was such a unique experience. I'll never forget when we beat Dallas at home (in the NFC Championship Game). When the gun sounded which ended the game, I just fell to my knees right there on the field and my mind was like, 'We are in the Super Bowl! We are in the Super Bowl!'
"We were greatly privileged because how many individuals have an opportunity to do that? The number of players that have played in the league and never had the opportunity to experience this ... I said, 'Hey, I've got the opportunity to experience something that a lot of players wished they had.' It was a great experience from that standpoint. I wish we could have won it, but still, I thank the Lord for being a part of it."
Logan, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, was a part of it for 11 seasons and never missed a game. A fixture at strong safety for 159 consecutive games, he collected 23 career interceptions.
"I have to attribute (my longevity) to the goodness of the Lord. To do all that in 11 years, the constant hitting and playing and everything, it had to have been His mercy to watch over me because a lot of players that I've seen definitely didn't last that long.
"I had the aches and the pains and the dislocated fingers and that sort of thing, but nothing really major to keep me out. It could have happened to me, but through the grace of the Lord, it didn't."