The Zips will play under the banner of Nike and hometown hero LeBron James for the next three years.
Despite its contract with adidas, Akron signed a contract to have the James' "LJ23" brand as its apparel provider.
Assuming that Nike re-designs the team's look, Akron will be playing its third consecutive season with new uniforms. The partnership with the NBA's finest young star should add some credibility to the team nationally. It should also impress top recruits, who have been more willing to play for Akron in the past few years.
I am curious about how this contract is structured. I made a public records request, and hopefully I will be able to upload a PDF of it soon.
Akron recently received its first verbal commitment.
Dee Frieson is a wide receiver from Orange Park, Fla. Although the recruiting sites lack information on him, a news report calls him a speedy slot receiver, who committed to Akron so he could play a similar role in a Division I offense.
Here are some new offers...
offensive tackle, Cleveland (Shaker Heights H.S.)
Offers: Akron, Cincinnati, Indiana, Bowling Green and Ohio
Joe Moorhead told Conway he has a "conditional offer" from Akron, which probably depends on Conway raising his below-average grades. Conway has visited campus. He would like to play in the Big Ten or Big East. Rivals.com gives him three stars.
offensive tackle, Hyattsville, Md.
Offers: Akron, Maryland and Syracuse
Notes: Maryland is at the top of DeSouza's list because he wants his mom to visit. He has only been playing football for three years, so it's likely he would redshirt his true freshman year.
offensive guard, Alliquippa, Pa.
Offers: Akron, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Marshall
Speed: Not listed
Notes: Hollins has "low" interest in Akron, Buffalo and Marshall, according to Rivals. He wants to attend a school where a lot of players graduate. Rivals.com gives Hollins three stars.
outside linebacker, Washington, D.C.
Offers: Akron, Duke, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Syracuse
Notes: Drakeford might also play tight end. Pitt is one of his favorites after camping there. He also likes Syracuse, which was the first school to offer him a scholarship.
running back, Durham, N.C.
Offers: Akron, Ball State and Buffalo
Notes: Rivals suggested that Rhodes is underrated, considering his high school production.
wide receiver, Beaver Falls, Pa.
Offers: Akron, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Illinois, Iowa, Miami (Fla.) and West Virginia
Notes: It is sort of surprising to see Thomas have so many "big-time" offers, considering he does not play receiver in high school and he's not the tallest or fastest guy around. Rivals.com gives him four stars. Michigan is leading the race so far.