We might as well start calling 2022 the year of NIL.

Now that college athletes can profit off their name, image, and likeness, we’ve seen NIL collectives become one of the most important aspects of college sports.

These collectives raise money and help athletes find NIL deals. They can also play an important part in recruiting, though that’s technically against NCAA rules. Right now, there’s basically a massive gray area when it comes to NIL deals, collectives, and recruits/student-athletes. Every collective is essentially operating on its own terms.

On Sunday, a collective associated with Florida created headlines thanks to four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada.

Rashada committed to Miami over Florida on Sunday. According to On3’s Jeremy Crabtree, Rashada turned down an $11 million NIL deal with the Gators in favor of a $9.5 million NIL with the Hurricanes.

The Gator Collective and Miami mega-booster John Ruiz have each denied the report, claiming they haven’t been involved in Rashada’s recruitment.

Michael W. Caspino, the lawyer who brokered an $8 million deal for an unnamed 2023 quarterback (which is believed to be Tennessee Vols commit Nico Iamaleava), told On3 that he feels the Gator Collective is “dysfunctional”.

“Florida is the most dysfunctional collective in all of college football,” said Caspino. “I plan on steering my clients away from them. From my standpoint, I never ever want to deal with them again. If it weren’t for the collective that’s completely dysfunctional at Florida, he (Rashada) probably would have been there.”

Caspino also took to Twitter to offer some thoughts on the Gator Collective.

“I understand what the Florida collective is saying,” tweeted Caspino. “Damage control. I get it. However, the FLA (Florida) collective is run by inexperienced millennials. I deal with every collective in the country. Serious ventures call for serious leadership.”

Caspino was then asked which collectives were among the best run in college football. He named six programs in response: Miami, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas, and Michigan State.

That’s an important compliment from Caspino, a key power player in the NIL world.

NIL deals aren’t going anywhere. If the Vols are going to compete for SEC championships, then they’ll need a strong NIL presence. So far, it appears that’s exactly what they have — though it’s important to remember that Tennessee is still dealing with an NCAA investigation, so they need to be very careful as they navigate uncertain NIL waters.

Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK