The NIL era: The return of Miami and USC

When summer hit in 2021 we knew that the NIL era was on the horizon. but what we did not know is how it might effect college football and recruiting down the line. Will the haves and have not divide continue to grow? That question has not been completely answered. But, the one thing we do know is that some schools have had an easier time having NIL opportunities offered to their players.

Schools like Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State have positioned themselves well into the future based on past players having great success at the next level. Any smart business owner would consider a partnership with a high profile college football player as a chance to set their company and brand up for the future.

One good deal with the right player can have you sitting like Nike after making a deal with Jordan in the 80s.

The one aspect of the NIL era that will most certainly effect college football is recruiting. Schools in major Metro areas like USC and UCLA located in Los Angeles or even University of Miami located in Miami, Florida should benefit the most from the NIL.

If you can remember, Miami and USC were penalized and sanctioned by the NCAA for players taking benefits from off the field sources in two separate cases. Both programs were effected greatly in recruiting and in their attempts to hire quality coaches. But now the flood gates are opened.

Miami and USC have been spectacular since the NIL era began with both programs locking down the top two coaching hires. Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal left for Miami and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley left for USC. Both programs have two high profile quarterbacks and a roster loaded with talent looking to be developed in the right way.

Most of us can agree that when these two programs are on top of college football the sport is better and more competitive. Both programs are situated in two of the biggest hot beds for recruiting; and both have assembled great assistant coaches who are considered great coaches and recruiters.

For programs like Alabama and Ohio State who have benefited from the down years at these two programs, they won’t feel the effects of their return so quickly. Defending national champion, Georgia should be able to weather the storm, but Clemson should feel the effect fairly quickly. Dabo was against the NIL era happening from the start. He finally caved in, but it might have already ruffled the feathers of recruits and their families. Only time will tell.

Do Not Fall Behind

Programs like Florida State seem to be having difficulties getting their current players NIL opportunities. Unlike Miami, FSU is located in college town Tallahassee. Yes, it is the Florida state capital, but it is not Miami which is a tourist destination. I don’t think Crab legs will constitute as a benefit anymore like it did for former FSU quarterback Jameis Winston.


FSU corner back Jarvis Brownlee posted on social media about the lack of NIL deals at FSU. Obviously, FSU rivals took that post and ran with it. Although, FSU is a prestigious program with amazing history, players now are looking for opportunities to get paid for their services. This could cause FSU to lose out on recruits that were considering the seminoles.

Again, only time will tell if the NIL era will effect recruiting. But here is what I do know, programs better get with the changes in college football or risk getting left behind.

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