This morning, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN announced that Hooters has signed NIL deals with offensive linemen across nine schools. Of those nine schools, Vanderbilt is well represented with six of its offensive linemen signing the dotted line.
Junior Bradley Ashmore, sophomore Jake Ketschek, sophomore Gage Pitchford, senior Junior Uzebu, senior Julian Hernandez, and freshman Gunnar Hansen are those from Vanderbilt who signed with Hooters.
NIL has mainly impacted skill position players and big-name defensive players but Hooters says that they want to change this and recognize offensive linemen for the crucial work they put in week in and week out. Bruce Skala, Hooters Chief Marketing Officer says, “For decades, the physical play, blue-collar mentality, and on-field leadership of the offensive lineman has shined, but national praise and attention for these crucial players have all-too-often been sidelined … We want to change the narrative and celebrate these elute student-athletes who play a pivotal role in making college football so thrilling and give them their fair share of the spotlight.”
The deals are meant to “redefine what it means to be the big man on campus.” The Vanderbilt offensive linemen will promote Hooters through social media. They will visit various locations, create promotional content, and encourage fans to visit their local Hooters on game day.