Penn State University is on one of the biggest stages in college football. Beaver Stadium is second in the country in capacity at 106,572 fans, according to NCAA.com. Two other Big Ten schools, Michigan and Ohio State, are first and third, respectively, in stadium capacity. That in itself is a huge draw to play Penn State football.
Several Penn State athletes, across all sports, have benefitted from name, image and likeness (NIL) deals. But one would think the Penn State football program draws huge NIL numbers.
The controversial topic of NIL has eclipsed the one-year anniversary earlier this month. NIL deals mean college athletes can make money off their name, image and likeness.
Let’s see how Penn State football players have taken advantage of NIL deals in Year 1.
Penn State athletes book more than 300 NIL deals in Year 1
Penn State athletes must follow NCAA rules when participating in NIL deals.
Here are some key points to the NIL policy:
- Name image and likeness compensation must be for equal market value.
- Student-athletes can not receive payment for playing a sport (no pay to play).
- A person who produces a college team jersey, a college video game (i.e. EA Sports NCAA Football), or college team trading cards for profit, must make a royalty payment to each athlete whose NIL is used.
- A student-athlete can obtain professional representation from agents, financial advisors or legal representation in relation to NIL matters.
- Earning compensation from their NIL may not affect their scholarship eligibility.
- Athletes can not use trademarks or logos from colleges while profiting from their NIL.
- Schools can also prohibit a student-athlete’s compensation from activities they deem to conflict with “existing institutional sponsorship arrangements” or “institutional values.
Penn State athletes have more than 300 NIL deals in place, according to its athletic department. Out of 981 total student-athletes at Penn State, more than 130 athletes across 28 sports are participating in NIL deals. Nittany Lions student-athletes are working with more than 145 brands.
Penn State football odds and watch lists
Penn State started last season 5-0 but faltered at the end of the season. The Nittany Lions, ranked as high as fourth in the AP poll, finished 7-5 and lost to Arkansas in the Outback Bowl, 24-10.
Sportsbooks are expecting Penn State to bounce back this season. FanDuel Sportsbook PA has the Nittany Lions at +10000 odds to win the National Championship, tied for the 13th-best odds with seven other schools.
Sean Clifford is the only Penn State player that has Heisman Trophy odds. FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbooks in PA have the sixth-year senior at +10000 to win the Heisman Trophy.
Clifford is also on the watch list for the Maxwell Award (National Player of the Year) and the Davey O’Brien Award (top quarterback). Sophomore running back Keyvone Lee made the Lee Doak Walker Award (Top running back) watch list. Receivers Parker Washington and Mitchell Tinsley are on the Biletnikoff Award (Top receiver) watch list.
Penn State football Name, Image and Likeness deals
With all the hype that surrounds Penn State football, let’s take a look at Nittany Lions players that have NIL deals and what their valuation is according to On3, a website that uses various indexes such as performance, social media following and endorsement deals to determine the value of college athletes:
Junior CB Jerry Porter, Jr. (On3 Valuation: $550,000)
Sophomore WR Parker Washington (On3 Valuation: $187,000)
Senior QB Sean Clifford (On3 Valuation: $116,000)
Sophomore WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith (On3 Valuation: $87,000)
Freshman RB Nick Singleton (On3 Valuation: $46,000)
- Three-year deal with West Shore Home
- Potential deal with car dealership
- Potential deal with Gatorade
Senior S Ji’Ayir Brown (On3 Valuation: $32,000)
Junior S Keaton Ellis (On3 Valuation: $31,000)
- Make Your Move clothing brand
Sophomore OL Caedan Wallace, Junior DT D’Von Ellies, and Sophomore DE Adisa Isaac all signed NIL deals with Scholar Hotel Group.
Though student-athletes must report all deals to their respective schools, in Penn State’s case, specific terms of the deals are often not disclosed to the public.
Sean Clifford’s Limitless NIL partners with Bala Cynwyd, PA-based company
NIL deals not only enable student-athletes to make money, but it can also unlock their entrepreneurial creativity.
Clifford’s company Limitless NIL, founded in April 2022, is a marketing agency that helps student-athletes create their own brand through education to be able to profit from name, image and likeness. The company slogan is “For the Players, By a Player.”
Limitless NIL’s services includes talent management, marketing strategies and financial education through Bala Cynwyd-based partner Beacon Pointe. Through Beacon Pointe, student-athletes have access to financial and investment guidance.
According to the website, Limitless NIL has five employees working under Clifford and has six clients, four of which are Penn State athletes:
- Ji’Ayir Brown: Senior safety, Football
- Anna Camden: Junior forward, Women’s Basketball
- Myles Dread: Senior guard, Men’s Basketball
- Ishaan Jagiasi: Junior guard, Men’s Basketball
Lead image Image via @joeyporterjr on Instagram