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What's Next for 'King of NIL' Norfolk State's Rayquan Smith?

HBCU athlete is crowned "King of the NIL", what's next for Norfolk State athlete?

Rayquan Smith burst onto the NIL scene just as he did when he ran 62 yards on his first carry from the Norfolk State backfield as a freshman. Smith was crowned "King of the NIL" at the NIL Summit on June 13-15. The Spartans athlete had stiff competition to earn the NIL honor.

What makes Rayquan Smith the NIL King? In less than one year, Smith has inked over 70 NIL deals. Yes, 70!  

According to Front Office Sports, he has high-profile partnerships with Body Armor, GOAT Fuel, Eastbay, Arby's, and Champs Sports. Smith's ability to market wisely and network professionally with NIL decision-makers is remarkable.

One reason it's an outstanding job by Smith is that he has only two football seasons of playing time at Norfolk State. In 2022, Rayquan will forgo football and run track instead. Still, Smith's talent to navigate the NIL market with tremendous success is a great story - and one he's ready to tell.

Rayquan will begin hosting open forums to help other athletes and social media influencers with NIL deals.

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Rayquan Smith

HBCU Legends' Q&A with the "King of the NIL"

How does it feel to be recognized by the King of NIL?

It feels great because I know I worked hard and hustled throughout this NIL journey. I'm blessed to have the most NIL deals in the country. It just shows that you can do anything you want to do in life if you put your mind to it. Don't let anybody tell you what you can't do. I paved the way for most HBCU athletes, and I want them to see my story and realize that you could do anything you want to do.

What is your next step in the NIL arena?

My next step in the NIL game is to go to different schools and Speak with their student-athletes and tell them how they can market themselves and brand themselves to get deals and speak about my life and my story of how I did it. I will start having one-on-one sessions in Zoom classes. I want to help as much as possible while the NIL game is still here.

And, how did you feel about the upcoming year with the Spartans? Unfortunately, I'm not playing football for the Spartans this year. I'm running track, but I wish the best for the NSU FOOTBALL team. When it comes to the track team, I know we will do what we must do to bring back the MEAC indoor and outdoor conference championships to NSU.

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