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Nico Iamaleava’s latest NIL deal lands him on trading cards

Nico Iamaleava’s latest NIL deal lands him on trading cards
Nico Iamaleava is one of the most coveted recruits in the history of the Tennessee football program. (Courtesy: @nico_iamaleava8/Instagram)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (BVM) – Tennessee QB commit Nico Iamaleava has taken full advantage of the burgeoning NIL landscape. The consensus five-star Tennessee Volunteers pledge just wrapped up his senior season at Warren High School before inking another significant NIL deal.

Iamaleava and Leaf Trading Cards have agreed to a partnership and although the exact terms of the NIL deal were not revealed, the company announced that the future Vols QB is featured in two different trading card series: Leaf Metal Football and Leaf Flash Football.

“He’s been amazing,” Leaf CEO Brian Gray told On3 about Iamaleava. “We are super excited to see him become one of the best college quarterbacks next season at Tennessee.”

Nico Iamaleava NIL
Five star quarterback Nico Iamaleava, center, celebrates after Tennessee’s football game against Florida in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Sept. 24, 2022. (Photo: Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel/USA TODAY NETWORK)

There will be multiple versions of the card series featuring Iamaleava’s autographs but most will be limited editions with quantities capped at 20. The front of the trading card features a picture of Iamaleava in a uniform that resembles one of Warren. But because of California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) rules, Iamaleava’s deal can’t be affiliated with a school or team, so it couldn’t include the Bears’ logo.

Three of the signed pre-rookie cards sold for more than $200 in November on eBay and one sold for $510. Multiple cards are currently selling in the $189-$299 range while others are going for much cheaper.

The trendsetting deal comes on the heels of Iamaleava signing with Spyre Sports Group back in March for an NIL deal that could see him make $8 million after four years. With a current On3 NIL Valuation of $1.1 million, Iamaleava is No. 2 in the On3 High School Football NIL Rankings.

After throwing for a combined 50 touchdowns to just two interceptions across his sophomore and junior seasons, Iamaleava led Warren to a 9-1 record while throwing 24 touchdowns during his senior campaign. The 6-foot-6 QB led the Bears down to the 19-yard-line with less than a minute left in a playoff matchup with Sierra Canyon earlier this month, but a missed game-winning field goal attempt as time expired put a close to Iamaleava’s high school career.

Now, Iamaleava’s bright future as Tennessee’s next great QB is in focus.