Miami quarterback D’Eriq King has become a pioneer of the NIL era.
King became the first college athlete to agree to a promotional deal with a professional sports team on Monday. The Florida Panthers signed the quarterback to a deal that will require him to appear at Panthers games, develop merchandise and concession items, and collaborate with the organization on social media content to engage fanbases.
“We are thrilled to welcome D’Eriq to Panthers Territory as our first ‘FLA Athlete,” The Panthers’ chief strategy officer Sam Doerr said in a statement. “D’Eriq is a superstar both on and off the field and we are excited to reach and engage South Florida sports fans in new ways through this collaborative partnership.”
The 23-year-old spent four seasons as a Houston Cougar. Originally, King returned from an Achilles injury for the 2019 season, but then decided to redshirt after four games. He then entered the transfer portal and chose to attend the University of Miami in January of 2020.
In his first season at “The U,” King threw for 2,686 yards, 23 touchdowns, and just five interceptions while completing 64.1% of his passes. The dual-threat QB also added 538 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground to lead the team to an 8-2 regular-season record.
King tore his ACL in a 37-34 loss to Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl. However, he is currently feeling “100 percent” heading into fall practices. King and company will open up the 2021 season against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Sept. 4.