Jayhawks Ascend takes significant step forward in the NIL era, among eight nominees for Best Institutional Program.
ATLANTA – Kansas Football’s Jalon Daniels was named the Male Scholar Athlete of the Year at the 2023 INFLCR NIL Summit in Atlanta this past weekend. The national award recognizes a student-athlete that achieved exceptional results in the classroom and in their respective sport, while maximizing their NIL for the greater good.
Daniels was alongside Stanford’s Caitie Baird, who was named the female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, Oklahoma’s Tanner Groves, Baylor’s Jaden Owens and Nebraska’s Lexi Rodriguez were among the nominees.
Kansas’ NIL platform, Jayhawks Ascend, was also nominated for Best Institutional Program, awarded to a college or institution that has shown exceptional commitment to supporting its student-athletes in maximizing their NIL opportunities through a combination of education, resources, and industry-leading innovation.
Daniels, a junior from Lawndale, California, had a breakout 2022-23 year across the board, leading Kansas to its first Bowl Game since 2008 and being named a CSC Scholar-Athlete All-American, all while maximizing his impact in NIL.
Daniels has utilized the Jayhawks Ascend program to maximize his earning potential through branding and social media efforts, community engagement, licensing opportunities, and working with corporate partners.
On the field, Daniels led a breakout season by completing 152 passes for 2,014 yards and 18 touchdowns. In the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against Arkansas, Daniels passed for a KU football record 544 yards on 37-of-55 passing, while combining for six total touchdowns, which was a Liberty Bowl record.
Daniels was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team following the 2022 season, as voted on by the league’s coaches. He earned recognition as the Walter Camp National FBS Offensive Player of the Week following his performance at Houston, while he was a four-time Manning Award Star of the Week and three-time Davey O’Brien Great 8 List honoree this season. Daniels also rushed for 404 yards and six touchdowns on 63 rushes in 2022.
In the classroom, Daniels earned Academic All-America honors with a 3.51 cumulative GPA in Sport Management. Daniels has been named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team in each of the last two seasons and was a member of the All-Big 12 Rookie Team in 2020.
Jayhawks Ascend, nominated for Best Institutional Program, took significant steps forward in year two of the NIL era, hosting the first annual Jayhawks Ascend NIL forum featuring major brands including Adidas, Meta, Instagram and Wendy’s, among others.
Kansas student athletes have benefitted from Jayhawks Ascend by working with national brands such as Pepsi, Adidas, Continental Tire, Wendy’s, Raising Cane’s, and more. KU student athletes have used their NIL for community impact through partnerships with the American Cancer Society, Lawrence Humane Society, Boys and Girls Club, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters, among others.
In addition, student athletes gain support with one-on-one and team NIL education and guidance sessions, licensing opportunities through Rally House and Mass St. Collective and more.
Kansas was represented at the INFLCR NIL Summit by Moira Kelley (soccer), Daniels (football), Camryn Turner (volleyball), Holly Kersgieter (women’s basketball), Devin Neal (football) and Hanna Hawks (women’s golf).
Now in its second year, the INFLCR NIL Summit is an immersive multi-day professional development experience and gathering place for student-athletes to share cutting-edge ideas, discover new interests, and learn how to maximize NIL opportunities to build their brands and amplify their voices.