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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Florida football stars quick to usher in NIL era

Emory Jones, Malik Davis, Jacob Copeland and Gervon Dexter all dove into the merchandise game following the name, image and likeness bill going into effect.

Jacob Copeland catches a touchdown against South Carolina in 2019. Copeland unveiled his personal logo Wednesday on the heels of the NIL bill going into effect Thursday.
Jacob Copeland catches a touchdown against South Carolina in 2019. Copeland unveiled his personal logo Wednesday on the heels of the NIL bill going into effect Thursday.

It did not take long for some of the biggest names on the Florida football team to take advantage of the new opportunities available under the name, image and likeness bill on July 1. 

On Thursday, NCAA athletes officially became eligible to be paid for endorsements and other company revenue. This also opens the door for profit from autographs and personal advertising campaigns. 

Some Gators quickly started to explore their new options under the NIL rule, and merchandise has been the hottest item on the market throughout the first hours of the new collegiate landscape. 

Wide receiver Jacob Copeland got the party started Wednesday when he took to Twitter to unveil a t-shirt with a new personal logo. The insignia features his initials and a hyena. There was a strong positive response from Gator fans, and the redshirt-junior promised  a link to buy the shirt would be coming soon. 

Running back Malik Davis created an instagram account called MD Apparel and offered a look at his first shirt Wednesday. The design features his number, initials and lightning bolts all in orange and blue. The redshirt-senior also encouraged his followers to “get at [him]” with a repost of a news update about the NIL bill. 

Quarterback Emory Jones’ likeness can be found alongside 12 other DI quarterbacks on shirts for QB Takeovers merchandise shop.

Defensive lineman Gervon Dexter tweeted out a link to his new clothing brand G9apparel Thursday featuring four shirt designs. Three designs feature his new logo and the other branded with the phrase “counted out.”

This is only day one, and many more Gator athletes are bound to capitalize on the updated rules soon. 

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Contact Joseph Henry at jhenry@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @Josephhenry2424.

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