Cam Ward inks NIL deal with Miami-focused NIL collective Canes Connection

On3 imageby:Pete Nakos02/09/24

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Cam Ward Commits to Miami

The path to Miami was not exactly straight for Cam Ward.

The Washington State transfer quarterback took visits to Coral Gables and Florida State in December, seemingly cutting the list down to those Sunshine State schools. Auburn tried to make a late push, too. But he never seemed at peace with waiting a year to enter the NFL draft.

So on January 1st, the top transfer quarterback this offseason stunned most of college football when he announced the decision he was entering the draft. That decision held up for just 13 days, however, as Ward doubled back and committed to the Hurricanes.

Now fully bought in to Mario Cristobal’s program, he’s ready to get the Canes back on the right track in the ACC. He announced an NIL partnership with the Miami-driven NIL collective Canes Connection on Friday morning. It’s his first endorsement since he arrived in South Beach.

The collective was launched in August 2022 and is operated by co-CEOs Zach Burr and Brian Goldmeier, who are fundraising professionals with more than 30 years of experience running business development firms in the Miami-Dade area. The collective has set a goal of raising $10 million annually.

 As of this summer, roughly 75 of the 85 scholarship football players were under contract along with the entire Miami men’s basketball team.

In a video released to launch the partnership with the new Miami starting quarterback, Ward broke down the wide receiver room.

“Strep [Xavier Restrepo] is our dog,” Ward said. “Jacolby [George] – he’s going to be the factor that’s going to take us all the way. Even the young cat that I’ve been throwing to recently, Jojo [Trader]. I feel like Jojo is that special player that not a lot of teams have in the country at that age for their freshman year. But I feel like he’s going to be a huge impact player for us.”

Cam Ward primed for NIL success at Miami

The grad transfer will be immediately eligible to play for Mario Cristobal and the Hurricanes in 2024. A former no-star recruit, Ward thrived the past two seasons on The Palouse, throwing for over 6,300 yards and 43 touchdowns. Known for his mobility, he was ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in this year’s transfer portal, according to On3’s Industry Rankings.

Viewed by many coaches as a “baller,” the Incarnate Word star turned Washington State starter is 24-18 in 42 career starts. He gives Miami its next starting quarterback, stepping in for Tyler Van Dyke who transferred to Wisconsin.

With more than 32,000 social media followers, Ward will see his platform grow with the backing of the Miami brand. Cam Ward has an On3 NIL Valuation of $934,000, which ranks No. 16 in college football. The valuation is No. 24 in the On3 NIL 100, the first of its kind and defacto NIL ranking of the top 100 high school and college athletes ranked by their On3 NIL Valuation.

The On3 NIL Valuation is calculated by combining roster value and personal NIL. Roster value is the value an athlete has by being a member of his or her team at his or her school, which factors into the role of NIL collectives. NIL in an athlete’s name, image and likeness and the value it could bring to regional and national brands outside of the scope of NIL collectives.

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