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USFL Founder Launches High School Football League With NIL Appeal

  • Ex-USFL president Brian Woods is launching the Prep Super League for elite high school football players.
  • The league will work with players on NIL deals, freeing up athletes who face restrictions from state associations.
The Prep Super League aims to facilitate NIL deals for top HS players.
Courtesy of Prep Super League

USFL founder and former president Brian Woods is launching Prep Super League, a six-week spring high school football league focused on drawing top four-star and five-star recruits, with NIL earnings potential being a major selling point.

The 11-on-11, 12-team league will use NCAA playing rules and host its first season next April 19 to May 24 with teams based in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, New Jersey, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Tampa. 

“In states where they currently allow [high school NIL deals], most of the state associations do not allow players to enter any NIL deal where it’s done in conjunction with their sport or their high school team, wearing their high school uniform or promoting their district,” Woods told Front Office Sports. “We feel our league brings more value to NIL capabilities in that we’ll allow players to do deals in conjunction with the Prep Super League. We would allow him to do a deal wearing his team uniform.”

While most states allow high school athletes to sign NIL deals, powerhouse football states such as Florida, Georgia, and Ohio still prohibit them. Players from those states who join the Prep Super League could risk their eligibility to play their fall high school football seasons. Attorney Mit Winter, a NIL expert at Kennyhertz Perry LLC, is advising the Prep Super League. 

“The player that comes into this league and is currently from a state that doesn’t allow NIL that gets a little, that gets a little trickier,” said Woods. “They would at that point be making a decision that they are gonna do football full-time, and they might be coming into the Prep Super League and not thinking about returning to their traditional high school at that point.”

NOCAP Sports, a NIL marketing company traditionally working with college athletes, is partnering with the Prep Super League to help find deals for their high school players. Prep Super League’s investors include ISOS Capital Management, a sports investment firm whose backers include retired NBA star Carmelo Anthony. 

Players will pay a fee to join the Prep Super League that figures to be somewhere in the low four-figure range and a fraction of what high school athletes could pay to attend IMG Academy, which can cost upwards of $80,000. 

Prep Super League games will stream on the league’s direct-to-consumer platform launching later this year. “The end goal is to create an elite national league that provides significant exposure for college football prospects and a fresh and exciting on-field product for football fans,” added Woods, who stepped down as the USFL’s president at the end of last year.

“I think certain brands are gonna view the Prep Super League as a way to establish a relationship with the player prior to them stepping foot on campus at a college,” Woods said. “I’m looking at this property no differently than if it was a professional sports league. I’m having conversations with trading card companies. Nobody would ever think that a high school player could get a trading card deal, but because we have a national high school league and everyone is looking to build a relationship with a star athlete at a younger stage, all of this could be possible.”

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