Starting in July, college athletes will be able to profit off their image. The Name, Image, and Likeness bill was recently passed and will allow athletes to sign endorsement deals with companies.
A few Georgia Bulldogs have already agreed to partnerships. Multiple players signed with Onward Reserve, a clothing company based in Athens.
Businesses have a great opportunity. They are able to establish partnerships with college athletes that are known nationwide before they become professionals. This will give them a leg up in negotiations later on, as they will have already repped the athlete for multiple years.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining if an athlete is marketable. In order to sign with a large company, the athlete would likely play a premier position, have a large social media presence and have experience on the collegiate level.
Here are the Georgia Bulldogs that we view as the most marketable. This list is very fluid and will change throughout the season.
JT Daniels, QB
This should come as no surprise to anyone. Daniels is a marketer's dream for many reasons. He hails from California and has a distinct personality and sense of humor that sets him apart.
He also plays quarterback for a premier school and has already put up production in the SEC.
An argument could be made that Daniels is one of the most marketable college athletes in the country. Considering that he plays in college football's biggest conference, has a chance to contend for a national title and has a large presence, Daniels checks all the boxes.
He will likely secure a large deal from a nationwide company. There will only be a handful of players that get big deals and Daniels should be one of them.
George Pickens, WR
Pickens is an intriguing client. He has cemented himself as a superstar receiver who constantly generates attention wherever he goes.
Furthermore, he projects as a high-end draft pick leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft with projections as high as the first round depending on how his rehab and potential return to the starting lineup for Georgia go this season.
Pickens is already a collegiate star, but has the potential to become a superstar on the next level. His size and athleticism suggest dominance in the NFL, and big-time receivers are extremely marketable.
A large company will likely sign Pickens because of his long-term upside. For example, after his rookie season, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. became the face of multiple companies, including Head and Shoulders shampoo. Beckham played for the New York Giants, a prime-time market that helped him command millions of dollars in endorsement money.
If a large global company bets on the upside of Pickens, it could be handsomely rewarded in the future.
Brock Vandagriff, QB
Quarterbacks draw attention and money and Vandagriff is the most talented quarterback on the roster at the moment although he hasn't yet played a down of college football.
He can make any throw in the book and has the athleticism to go with it. His personality feels home-grown and genuine, but does translate to a national stage.
Vandagriff has already signed with Onward Reserve. Fans should expect to see Vandagriff marketed as the company's face, as he is the highest-profile athlete to sign with them.
Kendall Milton, RB
Milton is set to be the lead back on a powerhouse SEC team, if not this year then certainly in 2022. That alone should draw eyes around the nation, especially considering the strong line of Georgia running backs.
Milton hails from Fresno, Calif. He is fashionable and has a strong presence on social media.
Amarius Mims, T
Superstar left tackles do draw attention, and Mims could be the best to come through Georgia in a long time.
The staff has raved about the potential of the freshman, and he could be the starting left tackle by the end of the season. NFL success certainly appears to be on the horizon.
Mims could sign with a smaller company now and eventually become the face of it. He has an engaging personality and should be one of the best tackles around the nation in a few years.
Kelee Ringo, CB
Superstar corners draw eyes. Expect to see LSU's Derek Stingley compensated well this season.
Ringo has all of the physical tools that suggest future NFL stardom. He was the most explosive athlete of all corners during spring drills and has NFL size.
If he can put it all together at some point this season, Ringo could draw some serious attention. His physical profile suggests first-rounder, and if he gets up to speed on the field, he could see some serious money off it.
Smael Mondon, ILB
This may surprise some people, but Mondon will be one of the most marketable athletes on Georgia's roster, not only for his talents on the field but his interests off it.
A special player, Mondon is a freak athlete who picks things up quickly and is attentive to detail. He could be the first linebacker off the bench this year, and recent history suggests that he is the next great inside linebacker from Athens.
Mondon also aspires to start a clothing line. He understands fashion and social media trends and could capitalize on his own in this free-market space.