Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which I suppose Patrick Star did make look oddly fun), you know that NIL is all the rage in college athletics right now. It will continue to play a crucial part in recruiting players to programs, as well as keeping them in those programs. And you thought college football recruiting was the wild west before — ha! We were just getting started. It’s exciting, it’s controversial, but boy, it is important.
On Tuesday night, James Franklin made the comment that “Penn State started out two years behind everyone else” on NIL, but is “making progress.” Two years behind? The largest living alumni base in the world? How does that add up, you ask? Well, I’m here to have fun today, so we won’t go down that road, but have I mentioned to check out who Brandon Short and Michael Mauti are endorsing for the BOT election happening right now?
One of the major ways that our guys are able to make money with NIL is through brand partnerships, so I’ve taken it upon myself to do a little brainstorming for some of them.
Zakee Wheatley: Wheaties
Are we still putting athletes on Wheaties boxes or is that just an old thing that people make jokes about? I haven’t eaten cereal in like a decade (don’t come for me please), so I honestly have no idea, but maybe I’d start again if I could purchase a box with the Takeaway King on it. Actually, do you think they’d put him and his dad on a box together? That guy’s awesome, he’d definitely help sell more. And I’m not just saying that because we’re twitter BFFs.
Hunter Nourzad: NORAD Santa Tracker
If your family celebrates Christmas, and you never tracked Santa on Christmas Eve, I’m sorry that you missed out on a crucial part of your childhood. It’s never too late though. Keep that holiday magic alive and try it this year!
Think of the possibilities… Offensive linemen are jolly ole fellows. You could dress him up in a Santa suit. The whole nine. Santa with a mullet! It would be a major hit with the kids. This is what we mean when we talk about student-athletes giving back to their community. Making sure kids believe in Santa for as long as possible should be near the top of the priority list.
Anthony Donkoh: Dunkaroos
More like Donkoh-roos, am I right?! *ba dum tiss*
But seriously, regardless of your age, these things slap. Do kids still eat them? Or is everything in their lunchboxes organic and sad? The mom-fluencers that my mother follows on Instagram give major organic and sad energy. We need to fix this. Caroline’s Penn State NIL Plan For The Kids: sugar and Santa stalking. That’s what my childhood consisted of, and I turned out great! *awkward silence*
Abdul Carter: Pixy Stix
More candy that I have no idea if kids still eat because I am extremely old! But it makes too much sense — they even spell stix the right way.
“Hey kids, if you eat these little stix filled with pure sugar, you too can become the best linebacker in the country one day!”
I’d buy anything Abdul Carter sold me, if not due to the intimidation factor alone. Even if the stix were those nasty paper ones. Remember those? When you were a dumb little kid and you’d get your lips all over the opening and it would close up and then you couldn’t get any of the sugar out? Absolutely brutal. I love turtles (they’re even on my phone case), but I am unfortunately #TeamPlasticStix in this scenario.
Golden Israel-Achumba: Record Deal
Forget brand partnerships, this man needs a contract with a major record label! Have you heard the pipes on this guy?
Like, how can I get this on Spotify? I’m about to walk through Music Row in Nashville and go door-to-door trying to figure this out. Someone’s gotta be searching for the next coming of John Legend that can also pancake a Big Ten defensive lineman. It’s an untapped market.
Mega Barnwell & Malick Meiga: Mega Millions Jackpot
This would be an easy one for them to promote, as money tends to sell itself. Especially for me, as I am showing no signs of exiting my MGOT (Money Grows On Trees) Era any time soon.
Mekhi Flowers: 1-800-FLOWERS
Mother’s Day is just around the corner! And what’s more adorable than a guy who loves his mom and shows her how much he appreciates her? I think it even tugs on the heartstrings a little more when you see a big, intimidating athlete who’s actually a total softie on the inside.
Riley Thompson: some sort of mustache grooming product
Unfortunately, I cannot grow a mustache, so I have no idea what the best brand would be here, but I do know that mustaches rule, and a partnership is in order. If you’re unfamiliar with Riley, he’s a new guy in town, a transfer from FAU, and originally Australia. What’s cooler than an Aussie punter with an immaculate mustache? Literally nothing.
Any players with mullets: Head & Shoulders
Speaking of hair… As I’ve mentioned previously, this team needs more mullets. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been living in Nashville or what, but for some reason, I have become a huge proponent of them recently.
I’ve since been informed that at least one player has cut his off since these photos were taken, so again, this is me filing my formal complaint. Mullets win football games. Remember when Coastal Carolina came out of nowhere in 2020? I’m pretty sure their whole team had mullets.
This is all I’ve got for now, but let me know what I missed! Supporting our players through NIL is a team effort, and no one is doing that better for the football team than Lions Legacy Club, a football-focused collective. Now through April 21, they are holding an autographed merch sweepstakes that you can enter here, daily, if you’d like. There are footballs, posters, gloves, and one lucky winner will receive a jersey. You don’t want to miss out!
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