CFB News of the Week: 7/2/2021

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Interim NIL laws passed for NCAA athletes

As of July 1st, NCAA athletes are now allowed to profit off of their name, image, and likeness. The NCAA passed an interim set of NIL laws while they sort out the full landscape of what NIL laws should look like. Interim laws or not, the dam has broken and NCAA athletes will now be able to earn money the way they always should have been able to.

These new NIL freedoms stretch to a number of things. Simple advertisements are among some of those freedoms. Auburn QB Bo Nix, for example, announced a deal with a tea company just a few minutes after midnight on July 1st. Plenty of other players, both from big and small programs, have signed similar deals for various products.

Players have also been able to join various appearance-based services, such as Cameo and Yoke. In short, athletes can be paid a fee (varying from player to player) in order to shoot a short video message or play video games or what have you with patrons. There is no need for company advertisements with this avenue, so players can profit exclusively off of their own personal brand with these services.

Some athletes have even taken to turning themselves into brands. Just to name a few, Spencer Rattler, Graham Mertz, and D'Eriq King now all have their own logos to be stamped on merchandise. Rattler has even turned his brand opportunity into something more than just himself. The Oklahoma QB announced that a portion of proceeds on his merchandise would be going towards charities, stressing that the need for change for communities in need “starts now.”

Presumably, these new NIL laws should also mean that the NCAA football video games should not only return to what they were before going on hiatus, but now be able to add player names into the game. It’s not entirely clear how that would be done, seeing as every individual player would likely need to sign off on having their name and likeness in the game. That’s certainly something that needs more exploring and is no guarantee, but having actual player names in the game rather than USC QB #7 would be a welcomed change.

LSU OT Dare Rosenthal leaving as transfer

In theory, Rosenthal was supposed to be LSU’s starting left tackle. However, a couple of disciplinary issues have added up over the past couple of years, ultimately leading to Rosenthal looking for a new opportunity. LSU HC Ed Orgeron did not give any details on why exactly Rosenthal faced a suspension last season, nor did he delve much into why Rosenthal faced some disciplinary issues this year. Whatever it may be, it makes sense that repeat violations would end up with Rosenthal out the door.

Rosenthal was a four-star commit to LSU back in 2018. After redshirting in 2018 and starting a few games in 2019, Rosenthal emerged as the starter in 2020, at least for the games in which he was not suspended.

With some SEC experience under his belt, it’s likely Rosenthal could start at all but a handful of schools who already have NFL-ready left tackles. Of course, the string of suspensions may slim down his options some, but a former four-star recruit with playing experience will be sought after. Rosenthal has three years of eligibility left, too, so this is potentially a long-term play for whichever school can land him.

Former Missouri WR Jalen Knox now with Ole Miss

Though short of stardom, Jalen Knox was one of the better wide receivers on the transfer market this offseason. Knox has been a solid role player for Missouri in each of the past three seasons despite some horrendous quarterback play in the two most recent seasons.

In three years of play, Knox has 77 catches for just over 1,000 yards, as well as four touchdowns. Three of those touchdowns were as a freshman when he had Drew Lock playing quarterback, who, for all his warts and NFL failures, was certainly an above-average college passer. Missouri’s quarterback play has taken a step back since then, leaving Knox with just one touchdown over the past couple years. Hopefully that changes at Ole Miss.

Ole Miss lost some WR talent, too, so there should be room for Knox to step up. Not only did WR Elijah Moore leave for the NFL, but TE Kenny Yeboah also left, meaning there are plenty of targets to be replaced in the Rebels offense. Ole Miss’ offense is also guided by the crafty Lane Kiffin and quarterback by future NFL-er Matt Corral, both of which are upgrades over what was going on at Missouri.