NIL Awards: First summit crowns top athletes of Year 1 in NIL

On3 imageby:Pete Nakos06/13/22


ATLANTA — The first-ever NIL summit began Monday night at the College Football Hall of Fame.

Hosted by INFLCR, the summit will hand out Name, Image and Likeness awards following the first ever academic year seeing athletes able to profit off their performances on the field. In the summer of 2021, the NCAA’s Board of Directors adopted an interim rule opening the opportunity for NIL activity.

The NCAA released updated NIL guidance in early May, stating collectives – groups of boosters and businesses – are not to be involved in the recruiting process or in the transfer portal. However, there are a number of states that have recently passed legislation that remove the prohibition of schools from directly or indirectly arranging for a third party to provide compensation to a student-athlete through NIL.

Players across college athletics have tapped into the potential to pocket cash off of their Name, Image and Likeness since last summer. There have also been plenty of untraditional deals made.

A protein bar company in Utah, which is a large supporter of BYU athletics, agreed to pay the tuition of all 36 football walk-onsMcKenzie Milton and D’Eriq King signed on as co-founders of Dreamfield, an NIL-based platform focusing on booking live events for student athletes.

Here is the full list of awards handed out on Monday night:

Male Athlete of the Year — Chase Griffin, UCLA

Female Athlete of the Year — Sedona Prince, Oregon

Innovator of the Year — Chloe Mitchell, Aquinas College

Hustle Award — Rayquan Smith, Norfolk State

Scholar Athlete of the Year — Leah Clapper, Florida

Athlete Advocate of the Year — Megan Skaggs, Florida

Breakthrough Athlete of the Year — Jordan Chiles, UCLA

Crypto Award — Shareef O’Neal, LSU

Best Individual Campaign — Morgan & Morgan

Best Team Campaign — College Hunks Hauling Junk & Movers

Best Social Media Campaign — Mercedes Benz

Best Institutional Program — Boise State

Brand of the Year — WWE

On3’s NIL team will have more information on awards as they are announced. We’ll be in Atlanta all week covering news and notes from the first NIL Summit.