USC WR Makai Lemon signs with NIL collective House of Victory
USC freshman wide receiver and Class of 2023 top-40 recruit Makai Lemon signed a name, image and likeness agreement with the collective House of Victory. House of Victory announced the news Tuesday.
Lemon graduated from high school a semester early, and he enrolled at USC for the spring semester. His player bio on USC’s website says he “will compete for playing time at wide receiver as a true freshman in 2023.”
Lemon is a 5-foot-11, 178-pound wide receiver who attended Los Alamitos (California) High School, where he played alongside USC freshman quarterback Malachi Nelson. He was ranked as the No. 6 wide receiver in the 2023 recruiting class and the No. 37 overall prospect, according to the On3 Industry Ranking. Lemon has an On3 NIL Valuation of $265,000. He has more than 22,000 followers on social media.
Nelson is ranked as the No. 5 quarterback recruit and No. 11 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting class, according to the On3 Industry Ranking.
As a senior at Los Alamitos, Lemon had 69 receptions for 1,044 yards and 12 touchdowns. Lemon was named a 2023 Under Armour All-American, and he was chosen for the 2023 Polynesian Bowl.
Lemon also received scholarship offers from other high-profile programs such as Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Utah and Tennessee.
House of Victory launches, becomes official collective
There have been announcements for seven different NIL collectives or similar entities to support athletes at USC. However, House of Victory is an official sponsor of USC, suggesting alignment in a market that has been crowded at times.
House of Victory launched in April as a nonprofit corporation. It announced a corporate agreement with USC’s multimedia rights holder, Playfly Sports, which allows the collective to be an official sponsor of USC Athletics.
Its first event will be in early June, when at least 12 current USC athletes will attend a meet and greet at The Rex Seaside Steakhouse in Redondo Beach, California. Eight USC football players are confirmed to be in attendance, including freshman wide receiver Zachariah Branch, redshirt freshman defensive back Zion Branch, junior defensive back Calen Bullock, senior linebacker Mason Cobb, junior linebacker Eric Gentry, junior wide receiver Michael Jackson III, redshirt senior linebacker Shane Lee and junior wide receiver Dorian Singer.
Zachariah Branch, who was the No. 1 wide receiver and No. 4 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting class, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, is another headlining member of USC’s 2023 recruiting class, along with Nelson and Lemon.
Tickets to the meet and greet are available for $200.