The era of Name Image and Likeness is creating many new opportunities for college athletes like never before, and Penn State players are among those taking advantage of those new outlets for exposure. On Tuesday, Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith announced he had agreed to a deal with Roc Nation Sports, the entertainment agency founded by Jay-Z that also has former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley as a client.
“Excited to join the Roc Nation Sports family for NIL,” Smith announced on his Twitter account this week. “I’m excited to explore opportunities off the field when time permits.”
Smith is one of the thousands of college athletes marketing themselves and signing with sports agencies to explore their potential opportunities. The NCAA gave in to years of pressure and mounting intimidation and challenges from individual states regarding the power of student-athletes to capitalize on their name, image, and likeness. Pennsylvania was one of the final states to sign into law NIL rules to benefit student-athletes before the NCAA made a drastic and widespread change to its decades-long stance.
Excited to join the Roc Nation Sports family for NIL. I’m excited to explore opportunities off the field when time permits. For all paid, non paid, and charitable inquiries, please DM or email (in bio) #WeAre @RocNationSports pic.twitter.com/d8sccja43B
— Brandon Smith (@brand0n_smith12) August 17, 2021
Smith is one of Penn State’s fixtures on defense this year, pegged as a starting linebacker once again in 2021. Smith recorded 37 tackles and two sacks last season, and he added an interception to his stat line for the 2020 season.
Penn State opens its season on September 4 at Wisconsin for FOX’s first Big Noon Kickoff of the 2021 season.
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