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Buckeyes over Bucks: 5-star Brandon Inniss turned down NIL deals to play for Ohio State


In the days of flip-flopping commitments and programs making loud moves in the recruiting game while dangling the NIL deals that now seemingly carry just as much weight as stadiums and campuses and playing time, Brandon Inniss sidestepped the trend and let the bandwagon move along.

The 5-star American Heritage (Fla.) standout said that he passed up possible lucrative NIL deals late in his recruiting process, all of which were efforts to get the talented receiver to change his mind about joining the Ohio State Buckeyes.

It was a decision, as Inniss told 247Sports while speaking at the All-American Bowl check-in, that came down to a long-tail perspective that goes well beyond Saturdays at The Horseshoe.

Related: See the full 2023 All-American Bowl roster

“Do you take the money now or do you get developed to be the best you can be, and in the long run you’ll earn more money and be more ready and developed by the time you get to the NFL?”

The state of Ohio, at the moment, doesn’t allow players to earn revenue off their name, images or likeness, one of only a small batch of states that still need to make a shift to permit NIL deals.

As expected, that legislation has caused athletes to skip town and search for monetarily greener pastures.

Related: Current high school NIL rules in each of the 50 states (plus D.C.)

But not Inniss, who factored in the development he spoke about while looking at Buckeyes receivers coach Brian Hartline, as well as the other top wideouts on the roster.

He continued to 247Sports: “What excites me most is when I get on campus, just learning from the best receiver coach in college football and having guys like Marvin (Harrison) and Emeka (Egbuka) in the room. Me working every day with them is going to make me a better player and I’m excited to do that.”

(Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch)

Smart move?

Regardless, while there’s little reason to naysay or preach from outdated soapboxes when it comes to student-athletes making millions off their employers who make tens if not hundreds of millions, Inniss’ football decision is wonderfully refreshing.

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