Q&A: Florida Gators’ DJ Lagway on latest NIL deal, spring football

Florida Gators five-star quarterback DJ Lagway has already completed what appears to be one of the new rites of passage for superstar recruits:

He has launched a clothing line as part of a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal.

Lagway’s line has gone live through his partnership with the lifestyle brand Only the Strong Survive. Merchandise is available through the OPEN SuperApp.

Lagway signed with the Gators in December as their biggest recruit since Tim Tebow. Gatorade’s national player of the year added to the hype with a pair of touchdown passes in his debut at UF’s spring game.

The Gators do not make freshmen available to reporters, but a PR company did so via email as part of the recent product launch. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

How did you get hooked up with Only the Strong Survive in the first place?

Through my manager, Justin Giangrande. I really liked that the company was founded by a father-son team, which really hits home because my dad is such a big part of my journey. And that they’re bringing new technology to merchandising with college athletes.

You said launching a lifestyle brand was a dream you’ve had. How so? Why is that something that’s interested you?

I’ve always had a passion for comfortable, stylish athletic wear, brands like Nike. So the idea of starting up my own lifestyle brand and telling my story through the designs, it’s just super exciting.

What are your general goals with name, image and likeness?

My goals with NIL are to build long-standing relationships with companies I love and to build my own brand that can create opportunities for my family and the next generations of student-athletes. Beyond that, I want to use my platform to make a positive impact with my faith.

Are there any specific industries or businesses or products that interest you the most?

I’m keeping an open mind right now. I’m interested in everything from fashion and fitness to tech and gaming. It’s cool that NIL allows you to explore passions and interests outside of football, so I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.

What’s your strategy for balancing NIL with school and football?

It’s definitely a challenge, but I’m fortunate to have a great support system in place with my coaches, teammates, my manager and family. As far as my strategy, it’s all about time management and prioritizing what’s most important at any given moment. It’s one day at a time.

How’d spring ball go? What was UF like compared to what you expected?

Amazing. Coming into UF, experiencing the level of competition, the attention to detail, it’s on another level here. But that’s what I love about it. It pushes you to be better every single day. And the atmosphere here is unparalleled. I feel truly blessed to be a part of this program, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

• • •

Sign up for the Sports Today newsletter to get daily updates on the Bucs, Rays, Lightning and college football across Florida.

Never miss out on the latest with your favorite Tampa Bay sports teams. Follow our coverage on Instagram, X and Facebook.