As the Name, Likeness, and Image rights avalanche of opportunities continues, a high school QB is now tasting the rewards.
This week, one of the best quarterbacks in next year’s college football recruiting class, Jaden Rashada, is signing his first endorsement deal with a recruiting app company.
Rashada will be paid four figures to help promote the AIR, or Athletes in Recruitment, by posting on social media. AIR is a platform designed to help college coaches, high school athletes, and advisers simplify the process and find suitable matches.
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The Pittsburg, California, high school QB finished his junior season as ESPN’s top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the 2023 recruiting class.
Popular belief is that Rashada is the first high school football player to profit from endorsements. Due to the NCAA changing rules over the summer that previously made Rashada ineligible to play in college if he accepted NIL money, he has broken the ceiling.
Top 2023 QB Jaden Rashada has signed an NIL deal with recruiting app AIR.
He'll be paid a "four-figure sum" to promote the app via social media 📲
Rashada said he did his own research to confirm that he was allowed to explore endorsements, also hiring an advisor, per @ESPN. pic.twitter.com/G4dydGUvVA
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) December 21, 2021
Getting To The Money
Some high school basketball players have signed endorsement deals recently, but Rashad was first to the actual “bag.”
“It feels pretty good,” Rashada said to ESPN. “Maybe it can open up more opportunities for others, and people can be more aware of it. It’s a blessing to be able to make some money and promote a good brand.”
Although NCAA athletes can make money from their name, image, and likeness rights, the rule change’s effect on the high school level remains murky in many areas.
Pittsburg High QB @jadenrashada signs an endorsement deal with a recruiting app pic.twitter.com/0xbNmbndbJ
— Luke Johnson (@Scoop_Johnson) December 21, 2021
Along with Minnesota, New Jersey, Alaska, and New York, California allows high school athletes to accept endorsement money without jeopardizing their eligibility to keep playing.
However, 15 states staunchly restrict high school athletes from cashing in on athletic fame via state law or their high school sports associations.
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Most countries do not have clearly defined rules for high school athletes looking to start earning. Rashada revealed he had to research to ensure his eligibility for endorsement deals.
Jaden Rashada was the:
•5th HS athlete to sign a NIL deal
•2nd HS athlete in Cali (behind Mikey Williams)
•1st Active HS football player
Only a few states currently allow HS players to profit off of their name, image, and likeness. Expect more in 2022. pic.twitter.com/Dp7r3wArDM
— Andrew Petcash (@AndrewPetcash) December 23, 2021
The highly touted QB prospect plans to narrow down his list of potential colleges to his six top choices in the next couple of months.
Rashada gave credit to a higher power as he seemingly referred to the deal in a social media post.
BEARDOWN 🔥🔥🔥🐻⬇️🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/0kaq4Ufmfa
— Zona 🐻⬇️ (@catsSZN) December 25, 2021
“There’s no better person to talk about recruiting than someone who has recently gone through the process or is currently going through the process,” said James Sackville, founder of the AIR app. “It’s been a resounding success so far, and after talking with Jaden, it was a literal no-brainer to work with him.”
This winter, Rashada is also partnering with Safeway grocery stores to provide food gift cards for the homeless near his Northern California hometown.
Blessings on Blessings! https://t.co/fkNTPvGwIZ
— Jaden Rashada 5️⃣ (@jadenrashada) December 21, 2021
“I was already handling it like a business in recruiting when I’m talking to coaches,” Rashad said to ESPN. “They’re offering me $200,000 in education, so it didn’t feel much different. It was just a few more things to learn.”
Reportedly, Rashada is also interested in getting into the sports agency business in the future. Exploring NIL deals hasn’t changed his athletics attitude, but he recognizes the value in his brand.
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