Darryn Peterson is making history.
The Five-Star Plus+ shooting guard has become the first high school athlete to ink an NIL deal with adidas. The sportswear giant has continued to build out its NIL program, recently signing the Washington quarterback-wide receiver duo of Michael Penix and Rome Odunze as its first football athletes.
Now the three-strip logo is adding the nation’s third-ranked prospect in the class of 20205, who is a junior at Huntington Prep in Huntington, West Virginia.
“I’m extremely proud to join an elite group of athletes with adidas,” Peterson said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the team as I embark on this pivotal moment in my career.”
A native of Canton, Ohio, NIL played a role in his decision to transfer from Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy to Huntington. During the 2022-2023 season, Peterson averaged 31 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.3 assists and was a finalist for the Ohio Mr. Basketball Award.
Before this season, he made the move to West Virginia.
“We don’t have NIL deals in Ohio,” CVCA coach Matt Futch said. “That was a lot in the reasoning and decision-making that they had to go into making this decision. You gotta put yourself in a position as a young person to take advantage of that. That can be life changing. That played a major role in this decision because Ohio does not have NIL.”
The 6-foot-6 guard recently helped Team USA’s under-16 team win a gold medal at the FIBA America Championship in Mexico this summer.
Adidas ramping up NIL activations
Adidas is one of the leading spenders in the NIL space through its nationwide program. Operating in a significantly different way than other sports brands, all athletes at Division I institutions can partner with adidas. Launched last fall with athletes at Power 5 schools and HBCUs, it’s become one of the largest marketing campaigns in college sports.
Run through the sports marketing agency Postgame, adidas has been able to work with some of the top athletes in college sports and place them as a central piece of major sneaker releases. LSU guard Hailey Van Lith was one of the leading athletes of adidas’ Exhibit SELECT sneaker campaign in June.
“Darryn is an all-star athlete and at such a young age embodies what adidas Basketball is all about,” adidas basketball’s global general manager Eric Wise said. “We cannot wait to see what the future holds and welcome him into the 3 Stripe family.”
Latest on recruitment
The junior also had a strong summer with his Phenom United team on the Adidas 3SSB Circuit. The shooting guard also averaged 15.4 points at the NBPA Top 100 Camp.
Peterson released his top 16 schools list in September, including Auburn, South Carolina, Baylor, Oregon, Ohio State, Louisville, Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State, Kansas, Texas, UCLA, Arkansas, Kansas State and Indiana. The one surprise was he left Duke off his list, which courted him all summer.
The Tar Heels, Wolverines and Buckeyes have been top contenders since the summertime.
“I’ll probably start looking at my recruiting during my junior year,” Peterson told On3’s Jamie Shaw this summer. “I want to play for a coach that is going to hold me accountable. Sam Mitchell played in the league, coached in the league, he’s my AAU coach, and he’s holding me accountable, getting us ready for the next level. I want that from every coach I play for.
Darryn Peterson budding On3 NIL Valuation
The Five-Star Plus+ prospect holds a $269,000 On3 NIL Valuation, which ranks in the top 25 of the high school basketball NIL rankings. He’s closing in on 20,000 social media followers, too.
The On3 NIL Valuation is the industry’s leading index that sets the standard market NIL value for high school and college athletes. A proprietary algorithm, the On3 NIL Valuation calculates an athlete’s NIL value using dynamic data points targeting three primary categories: performance, influence and exposure.
While the algorithm includes deal data, it does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals athletes have completed to date, nor does it set an athlete’s NIL valuation for their entire career.