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ASU Looking To Boost Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) Support In Hopes To Land Top Recruits

Arizona State’s football season may be over, but the grind never stops for Head Coach Kenny Dillingham and his team. The Sun Devils have been hitting the recruiting boards hard since the end of 2023 season, and there’s already significant noise being made in Tempe.

ASU hosted a number of players this past weekend on official visits. Some of which included Jayden Fortier, a three-star tight end out of Oregon who has already committed to the Sun Devils prior to his visit; offensive lineman Filivia’a Saluni, who would end up committing the following Monday; and four-star punter Kanyon Floyd, who is a local product out of Horizon High School. Along with the three, Arizona State also hosted four-star Class of 2024 running back Jason Brown from Washington, who committed to the Sun Devils late Tuesday night. According to 247Sports.com, Brown is the 179th ranked player and the 13th ranked running back in his class. Brown attends O’Dea High, the same high school as Minnesota Vikings running back Myles Gaskin.

Landing top players like Brown has become increasingly challenging over the last few years given the growing landscape of players profiting off their NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness), something that ASU has not been known to have a strong support for, but with recent growth, might not be the case for long for Arizona State.

In terms of football success, what are the next steps for ASU? Here’s what Dillingham told the media following the Sun Devils’ 59-23 loss to Arizona. “Fundraise. Like I can go recruit, it’s cool. I’m gonna go fundraise, cause that’s what the name of the game is nowadays. So, what are we doing? I’m going to go and fundraise, fundraise, fundraise, staff’s going to go out and recruit players, I’ll go out and recruit some players but, I’m recruiting people who want this place to win as well, and that has nothing to do with players, and that’s one of the most biggest factors in college football right now. You know that’s my job as the Head Coach.”

Dillingham first saw a helpful boost in the team’s NIL funds the moment he was introduced to Sun Devil Nation thanks to a generous $1,000,000 donation from passionate Sun Devil athletics booster Nap Lawrence, which would help the head coach immensely in an effort to even field a team in his first year as head coach. “Nap Lawrence built our football team,” Kenny Dillingham told the media following the team’s scrimmage at Camp Tontozona, “Because of what he did the first day I got hired, we would not have a team.”

ASU would also see a double in donations to their Sun Angel Collective 24-hours after it was announced that Ray Anderson would be stepping down as the Athletic Director at Arizona State. The Sun Angel Collective is an organization created to help raise funds and create opportunities for Sun Devil athletes to grow their NIL. 

Quarterback Trenton Bourguet is also one of the players on Arizona State’s team that has shown strong support in ASU’s NIL efforts, donating $10,000 to the fund, showing he is all in on the efforts to see the program succeed and has bought into the culture Kenny Dillingham has installed. The Sun Angel Collective also announced a “Million Dollar Match” that will take place between now and ASU’s spring game.

To add on to Dillingham’s goal for the offseason of bringing in people that want to make Arizona State succeed, the Sun Devils turned to members that were already inside the program, announcing Wednesday morning that they have extended the contracts of two members of their staff that have been vital to the success of ASU’s recruiting, Ra’Shaad Samples and Bryan Carrington, who are both Top-10 when it comes to recruiting, according to 247sports.com. Both contracts are being extended through the 2025 season.

We’re still in the early stages of the offseason, the transfer portal just now opened and ASU has a lot of spots to fill. There’s hope that the NIL money that has come in and will continue to come will give ASU a big boost to turn things around quickly, not only in terms of recruiting, but also in the team’s hopes for success. For Sun Devil fans, there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to the future of Arizona State’s athletic programs. With hopes that football turns things around, basketball recruiting being phenomenal as of late, and a move to the Big 12, there’s hopes that ASU will dominate the country once again.

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Adam Beadle

Student Sports Director / Pulse Sports Connection Co-Host

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