Confessions of an Agent -- Featuring Willie Howard!


In this week's issue of Sports Illustrated, former NFL agent Josh Luchs dishes on the shady nature of the business, including payments he made or offered to dozens of college players. As part of his tell-all, Luchs alleges that one of his former colleagues, Gary Wichard, used his friendship with Mel Kiper to help him recruit. Luchs recalled one particular incident that featured a former Stanford star. In 2000, before a meeting with Stanford defensive lineman Willie Howard, Gary arranged for ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper to call. Gary and I were talking to Willie in Gary's office when Gary's phone rang, and he put it on speakerphone. "Viper, how are you?" Gary said. That's what he called Mel, Viper or Vipe. "Viper, I'm sitting here with the best defensive lineman in college football. Do you know who that is?" "You must be with Willie Howard," Mel said. For the record, there is no indication in the story that Howard was offered improper benefits. Here is Kiper's 2001 first round draft projection. The repercussions of Luchs' story will be interesting to follow.

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