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Utah NIL collective gives every football player on scholarship Ram truck

By Josh Furlong

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    SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KSL) — Five brand new Ram 1500 Big Horn trucks lined the south end zone of Rice-Eccles Stadium on Wednesday afternoon as the University of Utah’s officially endorsed collective, the Crimson Collective, had an announcement for the football team.

Former Utah linebacker Steven Sylvester delivered the news to the team, announcing that every player on scholarship (approximately 85 players) would be getting their own truck.

With the news, the players quickly ran out onto the field to check out the trucks, as smiles, laughter and individual cheering could be seen from each of them. A handful quickly jumped into the trucks while others packed into the back to check out what would soon be theirs.

One player even tried to take it for a quick spin on the field before he was stopped about 20 feet from where it was parked.

The excitement from the players was palpable.

Each truck, which is the Night Edition package that retails for approximately $60,000, will be leased and managed by United Fleet Management and paid for by private donors of the collective. As part of the deal, the insurance costs will be covered as long as the student remains eligible and on scholarship at the university.

“To have this kind of impact is just incredible, so we’re so grateful for that,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. “This is huge for our players, it’s huge for recruiting, no doubt about it. It’s going to get national attention and give us a real leg up in recruiting, which is what it’s all about. So I can’t thank everybody enough.”

The deal requires the athletes to maintain a good driving record and they’re encouraged to take part in various community service opportunities in what is one of the biggest name, image and likeness deals in the country.

“I doubt there’d be anyone that would want to turn it down,” said freshman offensive lineman Spencer Fano about the opportunity to do community service to get his own truck.

Utah athletic director Mark Harlan said the NIL opportunity is another example of the “priority” of the university to enhance the student-athlete experience.

“This is the priority of the athletic department to have the Crimson Collective at a level that these guys deserve, because everybody loves a top 10 program, right?” Harlan said.

For the players, it’s an outward expression that Utah is committed to competing in the NIL landscape as the university looks to attract top-tier players to the football program. Already, the Crimson Collective has raised $3.25 million in six months, with hopes to get to $6 million by December.

“If I saw as a senior coming into college that every scholarship player has got a truck, I mean, I’m not sure many other programs are doing that, so it would definitely be a step up for that school,” defensive end Jonah Elliss said.

“It’s definitely a step up,” he added. “I mean, every school has these collectives and are all trying to bring enough money to hopefully take one step up on another school to try and get these recruits, but not many schools are giving out trucks to kids.”

As part of the Wednesday announcement, the collective revealed a news video platform for the collective called For The Win 360, a Salt Lake City-based company, to launch a streaming app for fans to engage with players.

“The three biggest needs of every student are education, housing and transportation. No one has addressed this transportation need comprehensively before today. We’re here to enable change by celebrating the Crimson Collective, the athletes, and everyone who loves their school,” said Derek Mattsson, CEO at FTW360, in a statement. “Today’s action of addressing student transportation needs cannot be overstated. #KeysFortheWin is just one example of how FTW360 is working with the Crimson Collective to create new opportunities to benefit every student-athlete.”

“I can’t even believe it. It still seems unreal, man, but just grateful for the opportunity that we’re able to get one and be able to put the work in, and I’m just grateful for it, for everything,” defensive lineman Junior Tafuna said. “This is unreal still.”

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