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NFL Draft prospect Braden Fiske reveals goal with NIL earnings, urges regulation of college football impact

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  • 5 min read

Former Florida State defensive tackle Braden Fiske made headlines earlier this month for his standout performance at the NFL Combine. 

Fiske told Fox News Digital he noticed a surge in interest from teams around the league, and with most early projections showing him as a second-round pick, Fiske is gearing up to earn some serious cash in his rookie season. 

But the former college lineman is seemingly well prepared to handle that influx of cash, saying he’s already been investing most of his NIL earnings. 


“My big thing is just trying to build generational wealth and just not having to work the rest of my life. I mean, in a humble way of just like, there’s the way to set yourself up, set your family up,” the 24-year-old said. 

“Whatever way I can try to do that and find ways to do it, I’m going to find them. And just try to be as aggressive as I can right now. I have a few different investment portfolios that I contribute to monthly, and I just try to keep building those and hopefully set myself up.” 

Fiske spent five seasons at Western Michigan before entering the transfer portal in 2023. He started in all 13 games at Florida State, where he recorded 43 tackles, including nine for loss with six sacks and five quarterback hurries.

At the NFL Combine, he went viral for his 4.78 40-yard dash. For his position, Fiske had the top score in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and the 20-yard shuttle, and he finished in the top five for the 10-yard split and bench press.

Fiske could be drafted in the second round. According to Spotrac, early-round picks are projected to make around $9 million, while late-round picks could sign contracts worth around $6.3 million. 

But Fiske, who says he first learned about financial security from his stockbroker uncle and from his grandfather, appears to be in a prime position to manage his rookie contract earnings. He’s already invested over six figures from NIL deals into a brokerage account. And, no, he hasn’t made any “big purchases.” 

“I’m not necessarily a sneakerhead, but I’m not shy about seeing a pair of shoes at the store and buying them. But no crazy purchases. I’m pretty good about the big, big purchases. I try to stay away from that, but, yeah, I definitely dabble in some shoes.”

Fiske also discussed with Fox News Digital the changing landscape of college athletics as it relates to NIL. And while he is an advocate for athletes benefiting from their own name, image and likeness, he does believe more regulation is needed. 

“I do think that there needs to be some regulation because I think there’s just too much gray area. There’s too many unknowns with the NIL and how it controls the game and kind of how it’s kind of controlling the mentality of players nowadays,” he explained. 

“I am 100% for players being compensated — like 100% for players being paid. I get that. However, just with how open it is to just be able to offer players money and you can go from one school to the next school and just bounce around. I don’t know, I feel like it, in a way, it kind of takes away from the integrity of what college football really is.” 


Fiske also raised concerns over the lack of information available to athletes as they navigate signing deals and contracts.

“Kids signing contracts where they have no idea what the contract’s really stating, and they’re giving away their earnings for however many years. I mean, there’s a lot of things that need to be checked out about [these] NIL deal[s].” 

Last week, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was joined by several notable figures in college athletics, including former Alabama football coach Nick Saban, at a roundtable event where Cruz estimated that there was a 50-50 chance Congress would pass legislation that would provide antitrust protection and regulations for college athletics in the U.S. by the end of the year.

Saban, who retired after leading the Crimson Tide to six national titles in 17 seasons, spoke about the current landscape of college athletics as it relates to NIL and how that contributed to his decision. 

“All the things I believed in for all these years, 50 years of coaching, no longer exist in college athletics,” Saban said. “It’s whoever wants to pay the most money, raise the most money, buy the most players is going to have the best opportunity to win. And I don’t think that’s the spirit of college athletics, and I don’t think it’s ever been the spirit of what we want college athletics to be.” 

It’s a statement that Fiske would agree with — to some extent. 

“The college football I grew up in was a little different than what I was able to finish off my career in and kind of see like both sides of it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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