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Sales pitch

Pending rules changes in college sports will make it legal for athletes to earn money for their name, image and likeness. Here are 10 Illini who should cash in on those new opportunities:Chase Brown, footballEasy to see some sort of Doublemint gum parody ad with his twin brother Sydney, an Illinois safety.

Andre Curbelo, basketballWith Ayo Dosunmu off to the NBA this summer, Curbelo is the new face of the program. Lots of interest, especially in a basketball-crazed state.

Trent Frazier, basketballOne of the best perimeter shooters in school history is a natural for a moving company. Something like “At X, we help you go long distance.”

Jake Hansen, footballLinebackers with their big hits and snarls are perfect in front of the camera. Think Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke.

Olivia Howell, track and fieldBig Ten champion in the mile would be the perfect pick for Jimmy John’s freaky-fast ads.

Justin Janas, baseballCertainly a bat maker will be interested in the Big Ten’s leading hitter.

Jerry Ji, golfHis sport is made for endorsements going back before Arnold Palmer.

Taylor Kuper, volleyballThe first-team All-Big Ten libero would be a good fit for a home security company. She is a defensive specialist, after all.

Brandon Peters, footballWe know another No. 18-wearing quarterback who is an awesome pitchman. His name? Peyton Manning. Maybe someday, Peters will host “SNL,” too.

Da’Monte Williams, basketballHow about a spot with his dad, Illini legend Frank, playing a game of one-on-one?


Bob Asmussen can be reached at 217-393-8248 or by email at

College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).

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