Let's Make a Deal: 42 Big Ten Players Reveal Their Dream Name, Image, Likeness Endorsement

By Garrick Hodge on July 25, 2021 at 10:10 am
Tanner Morgan
Tanner Morgan

What would be your dream name, image and likeness endorsement deal if you were a college athlete?

That’s the question Eleven Warriors was determined to find out at Big Ten Media Days. Forty-two Big Ten players across all 14 Big Ten teams were asked what brand or company they’d choose to represent if they had their pick of the litter, and it led to some interesting answers. Hell, even two coaches were asked what NIL deal they would have wanted in their playing days. 

There was a lot of love for Nike across the board. Some players came up with creative answers, some did their best to let any potential advertisers know they’re open for business and some had no interest whatsoever in answering the question.

All of their answers are below.


Owen Carney, senior linebacker: “Nike, I’m always wearing their products. I’m a big supporter of them and I hope one day they sign me as an athlete.” 

Doug Kramer, senior center: “Offensive linemen love to eat, so the easy partnership is any restaurant. I think the dream place to partner up with is (Illinois-based restaurant) Portillo's, something I grew up eating all the time.

Vederian Lowe, senior tackle: “If I could sign with anybody, I think it would be Huggies. Huggies diaper brand. So Huggies, please DM me on Instagram. I buy your diapers all the time, almost every Costco trip. I have two beautiful sons, so I use Huggies all the time.”  


Nick Cross, junior defensive back: “It really depends on what I’m looking for. I need certain brands for certain things. If I need clothing, I’d probably try to go with Nike. Underwear, PSD, so if PSD is listening, give me a deal. Toothpaste, I’d go with Colgate, their mouthwash is good too.” 

Dontay Demus Jr., senior wide receiver: “I really like Body Armor. I like drinking it a lot. That could be it.” 

Taulia Tagovailoa, junior quarterback: “I’d probably go with Jordan. Jordan is a nice brand, their cleats and clothes are really nice. I’d look really smooth in them.” 


Hassan Haskins, senior running back: “I don’t know if I should answer that question. I’m just going to keep it safe and not say anything.”

Aidan Hutchinson, senior defensive end: “I would choose Vans. I love Vans. I DM’d them and tried to get something going. They didn’t respond. But that’s alright, hopefully for the future we can get something going. That would be the one brand I’d like to do it with.” 

Josh Ross, senior linebacker: “I don’t know. I really don’t know. But one thing I’ll say about that is, it’s a big deal. It’s a really good thing us college athletes are able to get paid for our name, image and likeness. Just don’t make it a distraction and let your play speak for itself.” 


Mohamed Ibrahim, senior running back: “I think that any brand that is willing to work with me, is a brand I’m willing to work with. I’m willing to work with anyone long term. I just don’t want no name, image and likeness short term deals. I want someone that’s going to be with me for a long time.” 

Boye Mafe, senior defensive line: “Nike. I just like the message, ‘Just do it,’ and how they get up and motivate. It’s not just about a flashy brand, it’s a motto of making sure you get up and attack the day. They’re one of those brands that has a friendliness about him.”

Tanner Morgan, senior quarterback: “I feel like (my) bald head could do something, right? There’s different ways you could take that. I mean, (Pro Football Hall of Famer) Brian Urlacher has hair now. If you drive to Chicago, you’ll see that on a billboard. Something like that or a golf brand just to get free golf stuff.”

P.J. Fleck on what he’d pick back in his playing days at Northern Illinois: “In DeKalb, Illinois? I tell you what, I'm enamored with architecture. I love architecture. Like, Sears Towers back then? It probably would've been something like that. I love John Deere lawnmowers. It probably would've been like John Deere lawnmowers at Sears, believe it or not. Because in DeKalb, there's not a lot. Except I was at Fatty's (Pub & Grille). But I'm sure that's not the sponsorship the university probably would have liked for their student-athlete to have, a bar and grill. At the end of the day, I probably pictured myself that way.”


Austin Allen, junior tight end: “Man, you’re putting me on the spot right now with the companies I’m already talking to. I’m an outdoors guy, so I’d pick some sort of clothing or camo brand or a weapons brand. I’m an outdoor enthusiast. I’d love a new truck, so maybe Ford or Chevy.”

Ben Stille, senior defensive line: “I think getting Adidas personally would fit well for obvious reasons, we’re sponsored by them.” 

Deontai Williams, senior defensive back: “Probably Adidas. I love Adidas. My whole wardrobe is Adidas, so if it’s not them, it probably would be something like something with a cell phone, Boost or AT&T. Zaxby’s if it’s a restaurant.” 


Sam Gerak, senior offensive line: “I gotta go Chipotle. I’ll eat there up to seven times a week. It changes from time to time, but I go with a burrito, brown rice, chicken and steak, hot salsa, sour cream and cheese.” 

Brandon Joseph, sophomore safety: “I’m going to go ahead and jump on Nike early. I’m trying to get as much Nike gear as I can, it’s always been my brand. The next deal would be a food deal. I’m from Texas, so I’m going to need Whataburger. I’m saying it now, Whataburger, go ahead and find me.” 

Cam Porter, sophomore running back: “Let me think. That’s a tough one, you caught me. Anything I could sign with would be a blessing. I’ll support all kinds of different companies and businesses.” 

Penn State 

Tariq Castro-Fields, senior cornerback: “Anyone. Anyone. Well, not anyone, because it has to be worth it, money and time. But, shoot, I think my favorite fast food is Chick-Fil-A. So them.” 

*A follow up question was asked what would make it worth his while*

“A lifetime supply of free nuggets! Something like that.”  

Jahan Dotson, senior wide receiver: “That’s tough. Probably Nike, just because I grew up wearing Nike all the time. I go to a Nike school and I’ve been wearing Nike pretty much ever since I’ve come out of the womb.” 

PJ Mustipher, senior defensive tackle: “I like coffee. I follow this company called Black Rifle Coffee. I probably would go with them. I drink coffee every day so why not, I don’t have anything else that I really like or do. Well, a car would be nice, but I have a pretty nice truck right now.” 

Ohio State

Zach Harrison, junior defensive end: “Probably some food. I like to eat. Nothing specifically but I like to eat. I like cheese sticks, I like buffalo chicken wraps, I like pizza, I like mac and cheese, so somewhere with all those foods.”

Thayer Munford, senior left tackle: “Anybody? It don’t matter. Anybody at all.” 

Jeremy Ruckert, senior tight end: “It’s a tough one, there’s a bunch of them. I’m trying to think of what would be the most useful for me right now. Whatever pays the most I guess, I don’t know yet.”

Ryan Day on what he’d pick in his playing days at New Hampshire: “A dream endorsement for me back then was probably the local sub shop. Something like that, I don’t know what else it would be.” 


Tyler Linderbaum, junior center: “Nike would be cool. I’d like to wear Nike gear.” 

Tyrone Tracy Jr., junior wide receiver: “That would be tough. If I’m going with an actual brand, I’d say Nike. I love how the clothes fit and I love wearing Nike cleats. So Nike would be the best for me. If you’re going with something else, I’d go with Body Armor water. I love their drinks.” 

Zach VanValkenburg, senior defensive end: “That’s a tough question. The easiest thing to say would be a food company, I like food. So, Firehouse Subs.” 


Ty Fryfogle, senior wide receiver: “Probably Jordan. I love Jordan’s and I love shoes.”

Micah McFadden, senior linebacker: “I like the clothing brand Carhartt. I like their shirts.” 

Michael Penix Jr., junior quarterback: “I can’t answer that question.” 


Jake Ferguson, senior tight end: “Probably Oreos. I love Oreos. I used to eat Oreos as a kid, I’d eat a whole sleeve at night. I was a little chubby, so I had to cut back. I haven’t had a double-stuffed Oreo in a long time. It’s a struggle.” 

Faion Hicks, senior cornerback: “If I had to choose, it would probably be Chick-Fil-A. I love it, it’s probably one of my go-to cheat meals.” 

Jack Sanborn, senior linebacker: “I think there would have to be some things talked out. Money, stuff like that. I don’t have a brand more than I love specifically more than any other. Maybe some sort of clothing brand.” 

Michigan State

Drew Beesley, senior defensive end: “I haven’t done my homework on the NIL stuff yet. I think I would do a Nike deal if that ever came up. But who knows.” 

Xavier Henderson, senior safety: “That’s a great question. I’d probably do something with video games. That’s what I spend most of my off time on. I don’t know a specific company, but I like Madden and I have a Playstation 5. I’ve been rolling ever since.” 

Jalen Nailor, junior wide receiver: “I don’t even know. I’m not really focused on the NIL stuff, I’m focused on school and ball. I don’t have an answer for you.” 


Olakunle Fatukasi, senior linebacker: “Any brand? My brand. Because that’s who I am. I want to represent myself. You feel me?” 

Bo Melton, senior wide receiver: “I would go with any one of them. But I like Jordan and Nike, so if I ever wanted to do it, it would be with them. But it doesn’t matter to me.” 

Noah Vedral, senior quarterback: “I’m not the biggest gamer because I’m not good, but getting a custom Xbox or something would be really sweet. That’s shooting for the moon, Microsoft is big time. But it would be cool to have your number or a jersey on an Xbox or something. That’s something I couldn’t bring myself to actually spend the money myself on, it’s a cool gift idea, but I haven’t seen that kind of deal yet.” 


Jackson Anthrop, senior wide receiver: “There’s two. I’m a big golf guy, so TaylorMade would be kind of cool. I’m also a big coffee drinker, so Black Rifle Coffee company would be it, I drink it every morning.” 

David Bell, junior wide receiver: “I’d probably have to say Core Water. I’m a big Core fan. Every time I go to the gas station, I get Core, so I’d probably have to say them.” 

George Karlaftis, junior defensive end: “I don’t really know. There’s so many things you could possibly do. My whole take on this whole subject is if you take care of your business on the field, your business off the field will take care of itself.”

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