Ohio State Players Sign Endorsement Deals Following NCAA Name, Image and Likeness Changes

By Kevin Harrish on July 1, 2021 at 10:22 am
There buckeyes are inking deals.

The endorsement deals have begun.

Beginning on Thursday, college athletes are free to profit from their name, image and likeness for the first time in modern history, and the Buckeyes are already making the most of it.

Ohio State players began announcing their new endorsement deals as early as Thursday morning with cornerback Ryan Watts appearing to be the first Buckeye football player to make an endorsement announcement, signing with Yoke Gaming.

Here's a roundup of some of the various endorsement deals and partnerships Ohio State players have signed since the NIL changes.

More Than a Dozen – Yoke Gaming

Ohio State basketball players Zed Key and Eugene Brown became some of the first Buckeye athletes to publicize a deal, signing with Yoke Gaming shortly after midnight.

Buckeye cornerback Ryan Watts also announced his partnership with Yoke Gaming early Thursday morning, becoming the first Ohio State football player to announce an endorsement deal since the NIL changes.

"We are COLLEGE ATHLETES… We are building our brands and working every day to be the best student-athletes we can be. We finally have the chance to get paid for marketing opportunities," Watts said in an Instagram post. "This is my first paid post announcing I’ve joined @yokegaming. All fans can now game with me on the @yokegaming app. All athletes DM me and I can help you get set up and let’s get PAID."

Yoke is an app that allows people to play video games with notable athletes around the country and the world. Now, since the NIL changes, that includes collegiate athletes.

Nearly two dozen Ohio State athletes have since announced partnerships with Yoke.

Nicholas Petit-Frere – Flix CV

Buckeye offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere was one of the first Ohio State players to announce an endorsement deal on Thursday, signing a partnership with Tampa-based technology company Flix CV, which helps streamline hiring with brief video resumes.

“I am honored to be associated with Flix CV,” Petit-Frere said in a release. “In football we win by executing flawlessly, and I am impressed at how Flix CV has revolutionized the process for companies to build their teams. Much like the adoption of the forward pass in football, they have completely changed the way winning companies recruit new employees.”

Instead of a paper resume, Flix CV allows for a 10-minute highlight reel which enables potential companies, hiring agents or recruiters to observe personality and communication style in addition to career achievements.

Multiple players– Gopuff

Multiple Ohio State players including Jeremy Ruckert, Tyreke Smith Zed Key signed a partnership with the app Gopuff.

Gopuff is a service that delivers food and consumer goods through its app. It operates in over 650 cities in the United States.

Teradja Mitchell – Above the Realm

Ohio State linebacker Teradja Mitchell didn't sign a typical endorsement deal or partnership; he started his own business.

Mitchell officially rolled out Above The Realm Clothing on Thursday, debuting his own clothing line.


Above the Realm will begin accepting pre-orders at 6:30 p.m. Shirts are $35 each.

Meechie Johnson – Blaze Pizza

Meechie Johnson took advantage of the new name, image and likeness rules by booking an autograph signing with Blaze Pizza on July 27, through a service called Klout Machine that helps athletes facilitate NIL transactions.

Johnson's deal is the first of any Ohio State player to have a currency number attached to it. According to his post, he'll be paid $1,000 for the signing.

Haskell Garrett – Impact by HG

Like Teradja Mitchell, Haskell Garrett didn't ink an endorsement deal to make use of the new NIL rules, but he is starting his own business. And like Mitchell, it appears he'll be in the apparel business, as well.

There aren't many details on the new business just yet as it seems he's just getting it off the ground.

Eleven Warriors will update this page throughout the day as we learn of more endorsement deals and partnerships.

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