SBJ/Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 2017/Labor and Agents

Watson heads strong NFL class for AF’s Mulugheta

Athletes First has signed a large class of high-profile prospects for this year’s NFL draft, including Clemson quarterback and CFP National Championship offensive MVP Deshaun Watson.

Agent David Mulugheta signed Watson, who was ranked No. 6 overall on the CBS Sports mock NFL draft last week.

Mulugheta also signed Auburn defensive tackle Montravius Adams, Washington safety Budda Baker, Missouri defensive end Charles Harris and Ohio State safety Malik Hooker. He is co-representing Harris with Athletes First colleague Ryan Williams.

Watson is one of three quarterbacks who draft analysts see as going in the first round.

“Deshaun is my first high-profile college quarterback I’ve worked with,” said Mulugheta, who is 34. “I recruited him because I thought he was the best quarterback in college football all season. I can’t really answer why he chose me. I am sure everybody wanted to work with Deshaun.”

Charles Harris, Budda Baker, Deshaun Watson, agent David Mulugheta, Montravius Adams and Malik Hooker. Mulugheta will rep all of them, co-repping Harris with Ryan Williams.
Photo by: Enter Name Here


It’s unusual for such a high-profile quarterback to sign with an agent as young as Mulugheta. But Mulugheta, who was certified by the NFL Players Association in 2012 after graduating from the University of Nebraska College of Law, has assembled a strong client base of about 25 NFL players. Six of them — Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, New York Giants safety Landon Collins, Oakland Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele and Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward — have been Pro Bowl selections in the last few years.

Brian Murphy, Athletes First president, said Mulugheta has established himself as “a superstar” in the industry, based on hard work, integrity, humility and the ability to form relationships with clients and their families.

“He is the same person, no matter who he is around. He doesn’t change who he is, depending on who he is talking to,” Murphy said.

Athletes First has signed several other players for the draft, including Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer, who is represented by Murphy and Kyle McCarthy. CBS Sports had Kizer ranked No. 13 on its mock draft last week.

It is not the first time an agency has signed two projected first-round quarterbacks. Rep 1 Sports represented Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, the No. 1 and No. 2 picks last year.

Athletes First also signed Wisconsin offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk, Louisville tight end Cole Hikutini, USC guard Damien Mama, Michigan wide receiver Amara Darboh, Michigan defensive end Chris Wormley, Pittsburgh offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty and guard Dorian Johnson, also from Pitt. Joe Panos, Camron Hahn, Andrew Kessler and Justin Schulman represent the players.

> LUCK FOR IMG: IMG has signed Curtis Luck, a 20-year-old Australian, who is the No. 2-ranked golf amateur in the world. Luck, who won the 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship, will turn pro this spring.

> BASEBALL SIGNINGS: The Scott Boras Corp. has signed left-handed pitcher Adrian Morejon, who recently signed with the San Diego Padres.

Boras also has signed Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez. He was formerly represented by TLA Worldwide.

■ Chicago White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech has signed with CAA Baseball agents Peter Vescovo and Ryan Hamill. He was formerly represented by Ballengee Group.

■ Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia has signed with Octagon agent José Mijares. He was formerly represented by TLA.

> ASM SIGNS CHRISTON: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Semaj Christon has signed with ASM Sports founder and agent Andy Miller. He was formerly represented by Wasserman.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.

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