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Volume 23 No. 18
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Octagon on Jack: ‘This is a big signing for us as a company’

Former UCLA linebacker and running back Myles Jack signed with an agency earlier than any other highly ranked NFL draft prospect in years, but his new agent doesn’t think it is the start of a trend.

“Myles just suffered an injury in practice that put him out for the season,” Octagon Football agent John Thornton said. “I don’t think every player can leave early like this.”

Thornton, who played defensive tackle 10 years in the league before becoming an agent, signed Jack earlier this month, beating out other major agencies in the process. Jack’s mother, La Sonjia Jack, an executive who has worked at Microsoft, conducted the agent search.

Myles Jack (left), a two-way player at UCLA, signs with agent John Thornton and Octagon.
Photo by: COURTESY OF OCTAGON
“He selected us over quite a few well-known agents, and I think that’s great for Octagon Football,” Thornton said.
Thornton was certified by the NFL Players Association in 2013 and joined Octagon in 2014, after several of its veteran NFL agents, including Doug Hendrickson, left the agency.

“This is a big signing for us as a company,” Thornton said. “I know we will do an excellent job for him. We expect him to be a high draft pick.”

Jack was the first player to be named Pac-12 offensive and defensive freshman of the year, in 2013, and as a junior was on the preseason watch list for the Butkus Award, given to the top college linebacker. His season ended when he suffered a torn meniscus in September, and he announced in October that he was leaving school to prepare for the draft.

He is now rehabbing and training at the Fischer Institute in Arizona, which has helped many professional athletes, including NFL quarterback Carson Palmer and former MLB pitcher Randy Johnson recover from injuries. Jack was a projected top-10 draft pick before his injury.

“Assuming he checks out medically, he’s a cinch for the first round,” CBS Sports senior NFL draft analyst Rob Rang wrote in a text. “Myles Jack is a natural. Whether at linebacker or running back, his agility, acceleration and instincts make him an obvious standout.”

Thornton said he thinks Jack is a linebacker who can play multiple positions. “The difference between Myles and other guys is Myles excels at every position he plays,” Thornton said. “So it will be interesting to see how he’s used at the next level.”

> BASEBALL AGENT JOINS ACES: Aces Inc. has hired MLB agent Jason St. Clair, whose clients include New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki.

St. Clair had been working for Lagardère Sports, but he was not under contract with the agency and the parting was amicable, sources said.

St. Clair started his career as an agent more than six years ago at the former Gaylord Sports Management, before it was acquired by Lagardère in 2012. He is based in Arizona and will give New York-based Aces a presence there.
St. Clair is a former minor league player who was drafted by Tampa Bay in the 10th round in 2001.

> WASSERMAN SIGNS PITCHER, MOTOCROSS RIDER: Wasserman Media Group has signed 22-year-old Texas Rangers relief pitcher Keone Kela for representation.

He will be represented by Nick Chanock, Adam Katz and Joel Wolfe. He was represented by TWC Sports Management.

Wasserman also has signed Jeremy Martin, the 2014 and 2015 AMA Pro Motocross champion. Martin, who was not previously repped by an agency, will be represented by Lucas Mirtl.

> CAA SIGNS BROADCASTER ROSE: Creative Artists Agency has signed MLB Network and NFL Network broadcaster Chris Rose for representation.

Rose, who also is the host of the ABC series “Battlebots,” will be represented by a team of agents led by Tom Young.

Rose was represented by True Blue Artists.

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