New NIL rules mean business for Nittany Lions

National News

Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (9) celebrates a fourth down stop on Indiana in the first half of their NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) – When Beaver Stadium starts to roar, it transforms into one of the most effective home field advantages in college football. Just ask Penn State offensive lineman Caedan Wallace — now in his third season with the Nittany Lions.

“Every third down, when they’re on offense, I’m positive that they can’t hear,” said Wallace. “They definitely make a swing in the game. It’s definitely demoralizing to walk into probably the biggest stadium they’ve ever played in and have hundreds of thousands of fans against you.”

Now, because of NCAA rule changes, Wallace can connect with the fans on a closer level, and take advantage of his success on the field, partnering with such local businesses as State Motorcars, McClanahans, and Happy Valley Brewing Company.

“Tyedye is actually one of my favorites, I really like tyedye designs,” said Wallace. “So, we came up with this one with my number and my name.”

“I’ve had a couple times where people have come up to me and been like, ‘hey, you’re Caeden Wallace, I have your shirt.’ And, I’m like, ‘yeah, it’s pretty cool.’ People I’ve never met before just coming up and interacting with me is just awesome.”

Having to juggle more responsibility has helped teach caeden skills that he can use even after football.

“NIL is kind of like networking a little bit, you know, you get to meet so many new people, people you wouldn’t have met before,” said Wallace. “It’s a great way to build relationships.”

“Not just so they can capitalize right now on their name, image and likeness, but really make contacts for the future that really benefit them for the rest of their lives,” said Jim Ivler, a NFL Player Agent with SportsStars Agency in New York City.

And, the local business owners are thrilled to be able to not only partner with the players, but also introduce them to other local causes that they support.

“Combining the talents and the skills and the notoriety of the Penn State players, or the publicity they can bring to a good cause, like Centre Safe and to the Pennsylvania Mental Health Initiative, well, that was irresistible,” said Gregory Somers, a partner at Happy Valley Brewing Company.

“The Pennsylvania Mental Health Initiative is something that I’m working with right now,” said Wallace. “They’re an organization that works with mental health, and for me at least, I saw a lot of different aspects of mental health come out especially this last year with coronavirus and stuff going on with that. So, I think it’s extremely important and I feel like everyone should take an initiative for their mental health. And, so, that’s why I support them.”

After a full day of class and checking in with his local business partners, it’s back to the film room for caedan, as he looks to refine his game.

“A lot more film study has gone into it for me at least,” said Wallace. “Watching nfl guys, watching other college guys, learning from their techniques and wanting to build off of those, it’s been a big uptake in my game this year for sure.”

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