South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is expected by many to be the top pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night, but before he dons the cap of his new team and takes a picture with the commissioner, Clowney signed a shoe deal.
Rather than go with Nike or Reebok, Clowney eschewed the biggest names in the market and instead signed with Puma, according to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, Rovell reports.
"I just want to be a part of something different," Clowney told Rovell on Wednesday night. "Why not change it up?"
Clowney is the only member of this year's draft class Puma has signed thus far, according to Rovell.
"He represents everything we are and the consumer we are trying to attract," said Jay Piccola, president of Puma North America, who, according to Rovell, presented Clowney with custom snakeskin Puma shoes valued at $2,500. "[Clowney is] already a known brand to consumers and retailers alike."
Puma does not have a deal with the NFL, meaning Clowney cannot wear cleats with a Puma logo on the field. Among the company's notable NFL clients are Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Nike has signed quarterbacks Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortels, Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater — according to Rovell — who are expected to be among the top QBs taken.SI WIRE: Commissioner Roger Goodell: Bills need new stadium