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NIL Momentum at the HS Level is Building... Ewers, Williams, and their potential impact!

If you follow the Name, Image, and Likeness space, you'll already know that a lot of things happened this past week!

At the college level, you saw Quinn Ewers, the highly touted QB from Ohio State, enter the Transfer portal. While some might say - why does that matter, I honestly believe it's a key linch pin for the continued discussion regarding why NIL coming to the high school space will pick up speed.

And here's why -

Quinn Ewers, who at one point held the #1 ranking in the class of 2022, graduated early from Carroll High School, in Southlake, Texas to head to Ohio State to become part of the Buckeyes football program.

Controversy surrounded this from the very beginning, as Ewers stated he would have preferred to stay at Carroll H.S. and play his senior season, but said the current ban on endorsements led him to leave early.

If you followed Ewers journey at Ohio State, you'd know that it may not have panned out the way everyone initially thought, and has led to him to entering the Transfer portal before doing much of anything.

Part of that could be related to his NIL sponsorships, as one is said to have required a certain playing percentage. But at the end of the day, he profited, and is now moving on.

The state of Texas High School Athletic Association, who originally came out fervently opposed to NIL at the high school level, has publicly announced that they will be having further discussions regarding NIL this upcoming year.

Additionally, this past week found another state's athletic association heading into talks around NIL within their high school ranks.

The Board of Directors of the North Carolina High School State Athletic Association (NCHSAA) spent part of its winter meetings on Dec. 2 & 3 discussing Name, Image, and Likeness.

Are discussions increasing because North Carolina has a prominent student-athlete that falls into a somewhat similar category of Ewers named Mikey Williams?

I highly doubt it's for that specific reason, but, it's important to consider his impact.

Mikey Williams is a 17-year-old star basketball player from outside of Charlotte, NC, who recently signed a multiyear football and apparel endorsement with Puma.

Mikey Williams Source: Puma SE

Now you might ask the question...

How is this legal if the NCHSAA doesn't allow NIL yet?

And this is where the Ewers connection comes into play.

Mikey Williams wasn't able to leave school early for college, but rather, left to play for a North Carolina state sanctioned high school, and now suits up for Vertical Academy, an unaffiliated school that will play a 25 game schedule in 19 different states.

By doing this, he's allowed to cash in on his massive online following (5 million+) and sports notoriety.

So the questions come swirling....

  • If NIL was allowed in NC, would he have stayed at his previous school and played for a school sanctioned by the NCHSAA?

  • If it was allowed in Texas, would it have been a different story for Ewers, and would he have done what he said he wanted = finish his Senior Year at Carroll?

  • Are either of these a good thing?

I'm not 100% sure, but as I stated in the very beginning of the launch of, this isn't about taking a side in the right vs. wrong battle.

I firmly believe NIL legislation is coming to more states at the High School level, and it's coming faster than most want to accept, especially with situations like Ewers & Williams begin to occur more regularly.

Additionally, I think many believe this is only for their elite athletes.

Interestingly enough, it's important to note that the first student-athlete to profit off of NIL at the collegiate level was a freshman volleyball player at a Division III in Michigan. She started making "Do it Yourself" content in high school.

It's a different world for students today.

Many are considering what NIL means for them moving forward, and a large majority are already creating content online.

Right now the focus for schools needs to be on BUILDING A PROCESS & SYSTEM for educating students, coaches, AD's, administrators, parents, and anyone involved in the high school realm on NIL and Personal Branding (as a first step).

It's not just about sports and student athletes.

It's about being prepared for something that is inevitably going to get thrown on the High School's plate.

If you need help or have additional questions - I'm here to help.

Add Value. Build Relationships. Create Opportunities.

- Doc G

Dr. Scott Grant is a college professor in educational leadership / social media, and founded Triple Threat Leadership, LLC. (

Need resources for Personal Brand Education - check out Dr. Grant's "Branding of ME" course, utilized by over 10,000 students, and integrated into hundreds of school curriculums across the country. Learn more --->

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