Joey Spallina is not waiting until his college lacrosse career begins to start making his money.
On Wednesday, Terry Foy of Inside Lacrosse reported that Spallina, the Syracuse Orange commit and No. 1 overall recruit in the Class of 2022, signed a NIL endorsement deal with Gait Lacrosse.
Sources: @SpallinaJoey has inked a 4-year deal with @gaitlaxofficial.— Terry Foy (@TerenceFoy) January 12, 2022
To my knowledge, it’s the first #NIL deal of its kind, as @ILPreps’ No. 1-ranked high school senior signs a brand deal with an endemic manufacturer.
Story on @Inside_Lacrosse https://t.co/cqVp7eqre6 pic.twitter.com/bud53U5JGY
The deal lasts for four years and starts now, while Spallina is still a senior at Mount Sinai High School on Long Island. This deal is believed to be the first of its kind between a lacrosse manufacturer and a boys’ high school lacrosse player.
According to IL, the discussions around Spallina’s deal have included a signature stick head and glove for the future Syracuse No. 22.
Gait Lacrosse was founded by Paul Gait, the twin brother of ‘Cuse’s new men’s head coach, Gary Gait. Obviously, this makes Spallina’s deal especially interesting since it’s with a company whose namesake is his future college head coach.
This is huge news for Spallina, but the question for SU now becomes how effective Gait can be in using the company that bears his name to his recruiting advantage in the age of NIL.
This coming spring season will be the first for lacrosse since the NIL rules went into place last July. As we progress through this and future seasons, it will be fascinating to see the types of deals that lacrosse players get across the landscape.
One thing that we now know for sure is that Gait Lacrosse will be in play for some of these deals. And, as one of the biggest names and brands in the sport, will hopefully have a shot to ink the biggest players at the college level.
How many top flight recruits are going to be interested in playing for the legend himself while signing a deal with the company that dons his name?
You would think that’s a combination that would be quite enticing for many, and if Gait can figure out how to harness the power of his own name and reputation in recruiting, it could just be the key to unlocking Syracuse’s return to the top of the college lacrosse world.
We’ll have to wait for time to reveal the impact that NIL has on Syracuse lacrosse, and even though Spallina was already a ‘Cuse recruit, his deal provides a glimmer of hope for what could be yet to come.