Does the NIL signal the return of 'The U'?

Does the NIL signal the return of 'The U'?


Does the NIL signal the return of 'The U'?


For the better part of the last decade Clemson has dominated the ACC without much of a challenge from the rest of the conference.

The Coastal Division has been a revolving door with all seven teams making the ACC Championship Game since its inception in 2004 and each team making it once since 2013.

When the ACC brought Miami into the fold in 2004 it expected the Hurricanes to compete for national championships and boost the league’s profile.

But Miami has yet to win a conference championship game and only played for an ACC championship once in 2017 when the Tigers rolled to a 38-3 win.

For the last decade Clemson has reaped the benefits of recruiting in south Florida and the Hurricanes have watched as the Tigers compete for national championships year in and year out.

However, the rapidly evolving landscape of college athletics has Miami poised to take a massive leap forward thanks to the ability of student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.

On Tuesday America Top Team, a chain of training gyms in the Miami area, announced a $540,000 deal that will give 90 players an opportunity to receive compensation for their NIL.

The company will pay out $500 per month to the student-athletes in exchange for social media and in-person promotion. Each football player will receive a total of $6,000 over the course of the next year.

Hurricane quarterback D’Eriq King inked several deals in the first week of the NIL including with College Hunks, Murphy Auto Group and the Wharf which some estimate could earn him close to $20,000 this year.

King also co-founded Dreamfield, an agency that connects businesses with college athletes, with Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton.

These high profile deals have Miami head coach Manny Diaz in prime position to woo recruits with hopes of NIL compensation.

Clemson student-athletes have inked a few deals including 42 players receiving compensation from Tiger Moving for social media promotion this past week.

Other NIL deals for high-profile players like D.J. Uiagalelei are certainly on the way.

But for now the Hurricanes are leading the way nationally in terms of the NIL.

The question for Miami at the moment is whether they can build on last season’s 8-3 campaign that ended with a disappointing 37-34 loss to Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl.

The Hurricanes open the 2021 season with a tall test against Alabama in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. on Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m.

King certainly feels confident about facing the Crimson Tide and his ability to return from injury since he guaranteed Miami would “beat Alabama badly” to open the season.

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