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Volume 22 No. 11
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Casserly relishes role as adviser to EXOS draft prospects

Charley Casserly’s top advice for young football players going into interviews for a job with an NFL club is easy to remember.

“I tell them, ‘Absolutely never lie,’” Casserly said. “Because, No. 1, it’s gonna come back to haunt you, and No. 2, they are probably going to know the answer to the question when they ask you anyway.”

For the second year in a row, Casserly, a former general manager who is now an NFL Network broadcaster, has been hired by EXOS to help about 100 draft prospects it trains for the NFL combine. While EXOS has speed and strength coaches for the combine’s physical workouts, Casserly has been hired for the mental tests that NFL prospects must pass, interviews with NFL club personnel.

“We have had people fill that role, usually multiple people fill that role, that Charley is uniquely qualified to capture by himself,” said Mark Verstegen, EXOS’ president and founder. “To have Charley be a mentor with his perspective about what it takes to be successful as a person and as a player in the NFL is invaluable.”

Casserly was GM of the Washington Redskins from 1989 to 1999 and the Houston Texans from 2000 to 2006. In addition to his NFL Network work, Casserly is a member of the NFL Career Development Advisory Panel and is an adjunct professor at Georgetown and George Mason universities.

Casserly plans to give draft prospects an overview of what kinds of questions and interviews to expect at the combine and spring meetings with clubs. Players invited to the combine will be interviewed on video from five to 10 minutes, and may attend sessions where multiple club personnel ask them questions, as well as individual team interviews.

Casserly will meet with players in a group session, where, he says, he will make all of them talk. And, for players with “complicated” stories or situations, he will meet with them individually.

“I’m not going to be nice to these guys,” Casserly said. “I’m going to be professional, but I am going ask them the tough questions. If they ever had a problem — and I’m gonna ask every one of them, ‘Have you ever been arrested? You’ve been suspended?’ OK, why?’”

He prepares those with past problems to explain what they’ve done, why they did it and what they’ve done to correct the problem. Casserly says he tells the players, “You have to control the rest of your life here, because if you do it again, you are going to be gone.”

> EAG SIGNS LAILA ALI: EAG Sports Management has signed health and fitness expert and retired boxer Laila Ali, daughter of the late Muhammad Ali, for representation in all areas.

The agency, founded by Denise White, will serve as Ali’s manager and marketing firm.

Ali has appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” and other entertainment programs. Since her father died June 3, she has had many requests to appear at tributes for him, White said. “It’s important to her to keep his legacy alive and present,” White said.

Golfer Paige Spiranac has signed on with Octagon.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
> OCTAGON SIGNS SPIRANAC: Octagon has signed golfer Paige Spiranac, a social media influencer known for speaking out against cyber bullying, for representation.

Jeremy Aisenberg, Octagon vice president of strategic initiatives, will represent her. She was represented by Prime Athletes.

Spiranac, who is working toward playing on the LPGA Tour, produces digital videos and has 847,000 followers on Instagram and 157,000 followers on Facebook. Her endorsements include Callaway, Descente and Topgolf.

Spiranac has been approached by production companies about TV and other opportunities. Octagon will work with her on that, as well as on her passions of expanding golf participation among girls and fighting bullying of young women.

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