SBJ/March 4-10, 2013/Labor and Agents

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  • Small-school lineman shows off speed, strength at combine

    Liz Mullen
    Every year there are players who surprise observers at the NFL combine, and this year arguably the biggest eye opener was 6-foot-5, 306-pound Terron Armstead, who ran a 4.71 second 40-yard dash, a record for offensive linemen.

    “He ran it on Saturday [Feb. 23], and I had people immediately tell me, ‘Wow, that moves him up at least two rounds,’” said Dave Butz II, Armstead’s agent at Sportstars. “That is what NFL personnel told me.”

    It wasn’t just Armstead’s speed that impressed onlookers, Butz said. The left tackle from Arkansas-Pine Bluff also did 31 bench repetitions at 225 pounds. “I had one team tell me they were more impressed with the bench than the 40 time because sometimes players have one without the other,” Butz said. “Sometimes there is a guy who is very fast but not very strong.”

    Terron Armstead, a client of Dave Butz II, helped his draft chances at the combine.
    Photo: AP IMAGES
    Although the record 40 time put Armstead on the radar for the mainstream sports media, he was already known by many scouts for his ability. Butz said one factor in signing him was that Armstead’s coach at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Monte Coleman, played linebacker for the Washington Redskins at the same time Butz’s dad, Dave Butz Sr., played on the defensive line for the Redskins.

    Butz, the agent, did not play professional football.

    Sportstars represents about 20 NFL draft prospects this year. Another one of those prospects, Connecticut defensive end Trevardo Williams, ran an official 4.57 second 40-yard dash, the fastest time for a defensive lineman at this year’s combine. Jared Fox represents Williams.

    > VANTAGE SIGNS SPEEDY RB: Vantage Management Group has signed Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb, who ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at the combine, the fastest of any running back. Agents Adam Heller, Greg Diulus and Michael Simon will represent him. McCalebb was formerly represented by NFL agent Chris Martin. It was not known why McCalebb made the agent switch.

    > DEMOFF GOES LONG AGAIN: Marvin Demoff, one of the pioneers of the NFL player agent business, has signed Oregon offensive tackle Kyle Long, another member of the successful Long football family. Kyle is the brother of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft, and both are sons of Hall of Fame defensive end and current Fox broadcaster Howie Long.

    “I represent Chris, and, you know, it’s family,” Demoff said of signing Kyle Long.

    Demoff first started representing NFL players in 1975. His star clients have included John Elway, Dan Marino and the late Junior Seau.

    Demoff did not represent Howie Long, who is currently represented by Steve Rosner of 16W Marketing for broadcasting and other work. 16W will represent Kyle Long for off-the-field endeavors.
     
    Demoff signed Chris Long after an agent search conducted by Howie Long and Rosner, but Kyle Long did not conduct much of an agent search, Demoff said. “I think, really, Kyle just spoke with Chris and his father,” Demoff said.

    > ON THE BOOK SHELF: Three IMG clients are scheduled to release books on Tuesday: New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin, legendary basketball coach Bob Knight and college basketball TV analyst Jay Bilas.

    Coughlin’s book, “Earn The Right To Win: How Success in Any Field Starts with Superior Preparation,” is being published by Portfolio, a division of Penguin. Knight’s book, “The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results,” is being published by Amazon Publishing. Bilas’ book, “Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court,” is being published by Penguin.
     
    Sandy Montag, IMG senior corporate vice president and managing director of clients, negotiated each of the book deals and said the timing of the releases is tied to the opportunity to promote the books in media publicity. The time between the NFL combine and the draft is a small window when Coughlin can do media interviews and appearances, Montag said. “With the basketball guys, well, we have March Madness coming up,” he added.
     
    Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.

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