As you’ve probably heard, beginning tomorrow college football players can officially begin striking name, image, licensing deals with third parties. The NCAA has essentially dropped back and punted on the issue, and several states (including Georgia) have passed legislation clearing the way for them to do so.
Some UGA players have already made clear that they’re open to business opportunities, and I would expect a flood of others in the next 48 hours.
Some of these will probably be pretty mundane. Others will almost certainly be uproariously funny. A few will be lucrative, a lot will be pizza money.
But before the reality of NIL makes itself known, I thought it might be fun to speculate on some of the best brand partnerships that could have been. I ask you, Dawg Sports readers, what former ‘Dawgs should have struck NIL deals, and with what companies?
A few off the top of my head:
- Kevin Butler, Delta Airlines. It probably would have been Eastern back in the day. But I could imagine a television spot where the Bulldog and NFL legend kicks one from a thousand miles away against Clemson then some guy at Hartsfield catches the ball as he gets off a flight from Tampa.
- Ryne Rankin, Tractor Supply Co. The linebacker who took teammates on night time wild hog hunts and earned spending money in high school by raising prize cattle, while also doing grunt work on special teams for the Red and Black, would be a perfect fit for the store where you can buy feed corn, water troughs, fishing gear, gun safes, and bulk beef jerky at reasonable prices.
- Kevin Breedlove, Vespa. If you ever saw the former Bulldog lineman riding through campus on a scooter while wearing an Army surplus helmet you probably never forgot it. Many credit him as the player responsible for Georgia players’ often comic, occasionally misdemeanory penchant for fuel-efficient, two wheel transportation. Vespa: quick enough for a slotback, tough enough for a 320 pound guard.
- Mudcat Elmore, Oldsmobile. All I’m saying is that if someone had been able to legally furnish the former five star defensive lineman with a vehicle with working lights and no emissions issues we’d have at least one fewer Fulmer Cup titles.
- Jake Fromm, Eagle fishing hooks. Costa sunglasses would be the easy choice here. But I’d prefer a spot highlighting the fact that Eagle treble hooks are so sharp you can go to the emergency room with one through the leg in the morning and be back at practice that afternoon.
- Herschel Walker, Pontiac. Herschel’s Black Trans Am was the subject of much speculation back in a time when inducements from boosters were viewed as scandalous by the general public. Did his dad buy it? Who knows? But the second generation Trans Am was the perfect muscle car for a tailback with more speed and horsepower than anyone around.
Feel free to drop your own suggestions in the comments, and...