BOCA RATON, Fla. — Several South Florida college football players have signed endorsement deals with Hooters.
Hooters spokeswoman Ilona Wolpin announced Wednesday that the Florida-based restaurant chain has inked a trio of offensive linemen from both Miami and Florida Atlantic to serve as ambassadors at select Hooters locations in South Florida.
Offensive linemen Zion Nelson, Cleveland Reed and Laurence Seymore signed from the Hurricanes, while offensive linemen Brendan Bordner, Andre Lamas and Chaz Neal signed from the Owls.
"For decades, the physical play, blue-collar mentality and on-field leadership of offensive lineman has shined, but national praise and attention for these crucial players has all-too-often been sidelined," Hooters South Florida marketing director Kristi Quarles said. "We want to change the narrative and celebrate these elite student-athletes who play a pivotal role in making college football so thrilling and give them their fair share of the spotlight."
Hooters has created endorsement opportunities for college athletes in eight states from Florida to Missouri since the NCAA began allowing student-athletes to receive compensation for use of their name, image and likeness.
"Growing up in Miami, we always had Hooters locations nearby, including the Doral location, and we would go after my youth games," Lamas said. "So it's a dream come true."
Neal said he's been going to Hooters since he was a child.
"I love the food," he said. "This relationship is a great opportunity."
They'll serve as ambassadors at three area Hooters, including the Boca Raton location, promoting the restaurant and encouraging fans to watch games there.
All six linemen recently visited and posed for photographs with several Hooters waitresses who work at the Boca Raton, Pembroke Pines and Coral Way (nearest to the Miami campus) locations.