YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – College athletes are taking advantage of the new NCAA rules where they can profit off their name and likeness. One Youngstown State University football player has teamed up with a local business to sell shirts.
YSU senior running back Jaleel McLaughlin has been with the Penguins for two seasons and has made a name for himself in Youngstown.
He started the season strong, topping 200 yards and scoring three rushing touchdowns in the season opener vs. Duquesne.
But off the field, he’s making moves, too.
“At a point in time, football is gonna come to the end… or whatever sport you’re in. It may come to an end and you’re gonna need these connections and this networking that you actually use through your sport. But, then you start to realize that, ‘Hey, this is definitely something that I want to do after I get done playing sports,'” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin says he’s teamed up with local t-shirt shop Youngstown Clothing Company to sell merchandise using his name and likeness.
A few years ago, this would’ve been unheard of. Last season, NCAA athletes were finally allowed to profit off their own brand.
McLaughlin says it has been a great opportunity to work with the company.
He says that the opportunity goes beyond just making a few extra dollars.
“I may get a couple dollars off this. I may get my name out there off of this. But, use it to build connections and network because these are connections that, you know, you could use in a lifetime, so, that’s awesome,” said McLaughlin.
According to a social media post from Youngstown Clothing Co., this is the first NIL deal they have done.
McLaughlin spoke highly about the experience of working with the company owners through the entire process.
He says that there are so many benefits for college athletes taking advantage of using their name and likeness.
You can find McLaughlin’s shirts at Youngstown Clothing Company at their store in Boardman or online.