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Name, Image and Likeness Part 4: What elite HS players think

So much goes into the recruiting process, from academics to early playing time to the facilities and relationships, the list of considerations feels endless at times.

And now factor in Name, Image and Likeness.

Quarterbacks could benefit the most since most times they’re the face of the program. But many of the top 2021 quarterbacks nationally said NIL had little to do with their commitments and some are not too concerned about it right now.

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RIVALS' NAME, IMAGE & LIKENESS SERIES:

MONDAY: Answers to biggest questions | NIL 101 - Who will make the money

TUESDAY: Building an athlete's brand

WEDNESDAY: What HS athletes think

THURSDAY: How colleges are handling this

FRIDAY: The most marketable college athletes

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For some it was a timing thing.

“I committed more than a year ago, and at that time, image and likeness wasn’t as hot of a topic as it is today, so there was no talk about it at all in my recruitment and therefore it didn’t have any effect on my recruitment,” Notre Dame commit Tyler Buchner said. “We’ve had minor discussions about it, but it’s not a huge deal to me at the moment and not my main focus.”

USC pledge Miller Moss said: “It honestly did not play a huge role in my decision. I feel that it’s something you look at as an added bonus, but not a major player in terms of making or breaking a school’s recruitment of you. USC definitely harped on the idea of building my brand and having that opportunity, especially in a city like Los Angeles, but it did not play a large role in me ultimately choosing them.”

Michigan commit J.J. McCarthy: “Not a consideration at all.”

Washington pledge Sam Huard: “Not at all,” although Huard added opportunities in Seattle could be tremendous in the coming years.

LSU quarterback commit Garrett Nussmeier said he isn’t much into the name, image and likeness considerations yet and that his decision was more about finding the right home and the right fit as a football player.

Jack Sawyer
Jack Sawyer (Josh Helmholdt / Rivals)

Other top prospects, while still trying to navigate what NIL will mean for them and their careers both on and off the field, did admit that it played a factor in their commitment.

“I considered it a lot,” five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer said. “Ohio State has such a great fan base and arguably one of the biggest followings in the country, so I always had that in the back of my mind.”

Clemson four-star linebacker commit Barrett Carter said: “A lot of consideration for sure. I had to pick a school that’d develop me as an athlete, but (also) a school that will promote my brand is where I want to be. Clemson talked about it a lot and always brought up how I would thrive there.”

Four-star Oregon linebacker pledge Keith Brown said: “I had a feeling that the image and likeness would come into effect at some point. So on me committing to Oregon, I knew that me being an Oregon kid would help with local businesses and my image would help me capitalize on it.”

"I had to pick a school that’d develop me as an athlete, but (also) a school that will promote my brand is where I want to be. Clemson talked about it a lot and always brought up how I would thrive there.”
— Clemson four-star linebacker commit Barrett Carter

Four-star offensive lineman Blake Fisher has not put too much consideration into NIL – like many other top prospects in the early stages – as he leaned more on the traditional ways he could be successful at Notre Dame.

In some ways, a Notre Dame degree is more valuable than chasing some marketing dollars throughout college someplace else. For Fisher, he’s fine with that for now.

“There has not been much talk about it and I have not thought much about it,” Fisher said.

“If you think about it, when you graduate from Notre Dame, you’re already set. We have so many different connections and opportunities at Notre Dame than this name, image and likeness. This is like second nature to them. Even through college, the people you meet and interact with are some of the top-notch people in the world.”

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

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