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Tennessee commit Nico Iamaleava signs NIL deal with Leaf Trading Cards

Nico Iamaleava
Photo credit: 247 Sports

Nico Iamaleava hasn’t played a college snap yet, but he’s already poised to be a multi-millionaire.

Aside from a deal brokered by Tennessee’s Spyre Sports Group that is rumored to see Iamaleava make upwards of $8 million during his Vols career, Iamaleava has inked a deal with Leaf Trading Cards. 

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Brokered by Leaf CEO Brian Gray, on Monday the company announced Iamaleava will be featured on two different trading card series — Leaf Metal and Leaf Flash — with multiple versions of the cards featuring his autograph.

These cards are also expected to be limited editions, with most versions capped at only 20 copies.

Based on images posted by ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren, the cards show Iamaleava in a neutral uniform, in accordance with California Interscholastic Federation rules prohibiting athletes to use their schools logos and affiliation in any NIL deals.

According to the post, three cards have already sold on the secondary market for anywhere from $217-510.

Iamaleava becomes yet another in a long line of top flight athletes to sign with the trading card brand. Leaf’s 2022 Metal collection included college superstars Bijan Robinson, CJ Stroud, Caleb Williams, Hendon Hooker and more.

In 2021, the company released a Metal Quarterback series that included Bryce Young, Quinn Ewers, Spencer Rattler and DJ Uiagalelei.

Iamaleava’s high school career came to a close in early November 2022, following a playoff loss to Sierra Canyon. 

According to a Twitter post in August from John Davis of the Long Beach Press Telegram, Iamaleava intends to graduate early and join the Volunteers for spring ball.

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“Yes sir, I am going to graduate early,” Iamaleava said. “I’m going to get up there early and get ready for the season.”

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times following his loss to Sierra Canyon, Iamaleava is ready to go in Rocky Top.

“I’m ready to work, man. Can’t wait.”