Dec 29, 2020; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback D'Eriq King (1) reacts after running the ball in for a touchdown which is called back for a penalty during the first half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Cheez-It Bowl Game at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

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Miami QB D’Eriq King ices NIL deal with Panthers

Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King will try to raise his profile all around town this fall and winter after agreeing to a name, image and likeness rights deal with the NHL’s Florida Panthers.

College athletes were allowed to have NIL deals starting July 1, giving them the opportunity capitalize on their popularity. While some deals with college athletes were expected to be unique, King’s definitely is of the outside-the-box variety.

King does not play hockey. Even so, he will use his celebrity in a number of ways, from working with the Panthers’ social-media team to developing co-branded merchandise and even helping to establish concession items.

The Panthers, who play home games at Sunrise, Fla., announced the signing as the first ever between a college athlete and a professional sports team. King had not mentioned the partnership on his official Twitter or Instagram accounts as of Monday evening.

“D’Eriq is a superstar both on and off the field and we are excited to reach and engage South Florida sports fans in new ways through this collaborative partnership,” Panthers chief strategy officer Sam Doerr said.

In line to play in his sixth college football season this fall, King will be in his second season with the Hurricanes program after first playing at Houston. He left the Cougars program after just four games in 2019, making him eligible to transfer while keeping his final year of eligibility.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Division I athletes were given an extra year of eligibility, which King will use for the upcoming season.

The 23-year-old passed for 2,686 yards and 23 touchdowns with five interceptions over 11 games for Miami last season. In 45 college games with Houston and Miami, he has passed for 7,611 yards, 73 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

The Hurricanes went 8-3 last season and lost to Oklahoma State 37-34 in the Cheez-It Bowl.

–Field Level Media

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