Ovie Mughelli tackling life after football

By John Nugent

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV ) -- Ovie Mughelli is always smiling. And why not; the former Porter Gaud standout is busy enjoying his first year away from the NFL.

"I've been doing a lot of radio and a lot of TV," says the personable Mughelli. "I hear they pay you to talk -- so I want one of those jobs. I had a chance to work for CBS Radio, and 92.9 FM in Atlanta. I did some work on Sirius Radio the last couple of weeks, the NFL Network, ESPN, whoever wants a chance to hear me talk and get my opinion out there, I'm available."

Mughelli played nine seasons in the NFL, earning All-Pro honors twice while playing fullback for the Atlanta Falcons, and then last year at the end of training camp he was cut by the St. Louis Rams.

"I loved playing fullback, and ask anybody in the NFL and they will tell you that fullback is the most brutal position in the game," insists Mughelli. "It's like a car crash every time you hit, and over the years I went up against the greats like Takeo Spikes, Ray Lewis, Lavar Arrington, Patrick Willis, and Jeremiah Trotter, and it was painful! I was sore after every game, sore every year, and after 10 years of that, I'm OK with not playing."

The Charleston native is back in the Lowcountry on this rainy weekend, playing host to his annual football camp and environmental workshop. He is an eco-athlete, a leader in the green movement, working with kids to change the planet.

"I know we have to do our part to keep the environment as good as it is, and keep it there for our next generation," says Mughelli. "So I use something kids love, like football, and teach them how to be part of the solution and not the problem. You can't just make it about football, because life isn't just about football, you have to be a total person, and with the platform I have I want to teach them something no one else is teaching them, and that's the environment."

So what's next for Ovie Mughelli?

"I've had some auditions, even a new sports network out in Chicago interested in me doing all sports. I've been blessed to learn from the best, to go to broadcast boot camp with the NFL, and sports journalism boot camp to learn to be a good writer. Experiences that have prepared me for this moment," he said.

And while he has not officially retired from the NFL, there is no chance Mughelli will return to the game in which he has flourished since his high school days at Porter Gaud.

"I was the first Pro Bowl fullback in Falcons history, which is a huge accomplishment that nobody can take away from me," says the proud former football player. "I want to concentrate on myself, my family, and the next chapter in my life."

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