Back in late July, we asked 42 Big Ten football players what their dream name, image and likeness endorsement deals would be if it were truly up to them.
It led to a variety of answers, some cliche and some truly hilarious. While NIL was in its infancy stages just a few months ago, it does seem some of the novelty has worn off. Heck, football players are now posing photos with car dealerships receiving a new vehicle and nobody bats an eye.
Nevertheless, we felt basketball players should get their turn to answer this question, but we had the opportunity to make it more local than purely conference-wide with all 15 Ohio State basketball players available to the media on Tuesday for interviews.
You can tell most of them are paying attention to what NIL deals their football counterparts have received because vehicles were a popular choice, although one in particular was very creative.
All of their answers are below.
Jimmy Sotos, guard: “Frank’s RedHot. I put hot sauce on literally everything. Sometimes literally three to four times a day. I put it on just about every meal. Unless it’s cereal or yogurt, RedHot is going on it.”
Eugene Brown III, guard: “Wow, I don’t know if I have anything. Maybe a dealership or Eggo waffles, I eat those a lot. That’s my go-to late night snack, not going to lie. I’m really liking Kias too.”
Harrison Hookfin, forward: “Definitely would have to be Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Just because growing up that’s always been my favorite snack. It would be like a milestone. I started eating them when I was like seven, I really have a knack for spicy food and I always thought they were really hot. Once I grew up a little I started to get addicted and ate like a bag at a time and had to slow down.”
Seth Towns, forward: “Man, that’s not a question I feel like I could answer right now. Yeah, you’re going to have to come back to me on that one.”
Kyle Young, forward: “That’s tough to answer because NIL is going to bring a lot of different opportunities for different people. Really, anyone that’s interested in bringing different opportunities to us and work with our team, I think we’d be open to looking into it. But there’s not a specific one I’m looking at right now.”
Zed Key, forward: “I said Nike before, but then I decided Volkswagen. Volkswagen is near and dear to my heart. When I got out here, like a month later, I used my high school graduation money to buy a 2007 Volkswagen Golf GTI. And then a couple months later, actually, today (Sep. 28) of last year, a lady hit me and totaled my Volkswagen. So, it’s near and dear to my heart.”
Meechie Johnson Jr., guard: “I’d like doing a shoe deal, I feel like everybody would pick Nike because who wouldn’t want to be a part of Nike, but I like Puma. Puma is something I’d love to be a part of just because they don’t have too many big stars and they have a lot of great clothing. I’d rock that for sure.”
Joey Brunk, center: “That’s tough. I’m a big Lululemon guy, that’d be nice. I like New Balance tennis shoes. Maybe I can be Matthew McConaughey’s personal assistant, maybe I can sway that into an NIL deal.”
Justice Sueing, forward: “I’m really into fashion, so maybe any of the clothing brands and stuff like that. Hopefully I’ll be able to show some of my fits this season.”
Kalen Etzler, forward: “It would have to be Nike. Just because the variety of clothes they have. Especially for shoes. Easy pick for me. Otherwise probably something like Chipotle, get food whenever you wanted and not worry about the cost.”
Jamari Wheeler, guard: “I would say any car dealership and Ray-Bans. I love wearing Ray-Bans. I’m a Cadillac guy, and I’m from Florida so I’ll always be wearing sunglasses when I go outside and Ray-Bans are my favorite.”
Cedric Russell, guard: “I’d probably have to say any type of car. I drive a Charger so I probably want to stay in that range. Also I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but doing something with Russell Athletics, that makes sense considering my last name is Russell. We definitely could collab with some stuff, some super, super off the wall stuff. Just really, getting it more focused on the Ohio State side of things and being able to open that up for basketball especially. We could get some stuff in the works.”
Justin Ahrens, forward: “I don’t know but if anybody sees this and wants to get me a car or something, I could really rock with a car. Any car honestly, my car is about to break down. I like fast cars, though.”
Malaki Branham, guard: “I don’t know, I got nothing right now. That’s a tough question.”
E.J. Liddell, forward: “That’s a great question. Uh, probably Buffalo Wild Wings. I like wings. I (use) wild sauce. Especially on Tuesdays, buy one and get one free.”