'Popeyes Meme Kid' Dieunerst Collin, Now a College Football Player, Scores Deal with Popeyes

Collin, who just finished up his first football season at Lake Erie College, officially signed an NIL deal with the fried chicken chain

Dieunerst Collin 'Popeyes Meme' Kid Offered NIL Deal

As the "Popeyes meme kid," Dieunerst Collin became one of the internet's most recognizable faces. And now, as a college football player, a resurgence in his internet fame led to a partnership deal with the fried chicken chain.

Collin's image first went viral in 2013, when he was just 9 years old. A decade later, he's now a freshman at Lake Erie College in Ohio and an offensive lineman for the school's football team, which caught the attention of SportsCenter.

On Sunday, SportsCenter shared a side-by-side image of Collin's viral meme next to a recent photo of him after he won a state championship with his team at East Orange High School. And according to ESPN, Collin saw the post as a chance to get the fast food company's attention once again.

"I thought this is probably the opportunity I can get with Popeyes to at least reach out," Collin told the outlet.

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Collin jokingly asked his followers to "repost and tag Popeyes" on Instagram to get the company's attention, not expecting much of it. But after getting tons of support from his internet fans, Popeyes came through.

"I believe Monday afternoon was when Popeyes DM'ed me and said we actually want to work with you," Collin said.

And on Thursday, Popeyes confirmed that they had signed Collin to an NIL deal, which will include featuring him on a billboard near his hometown in New Jersey and "other fun content to come," they said in a press release shared with PEOPLE.

"A lot can happen with the power of the internet behind you!" Collin said in the release. "I can't believe I can say I'm officially sponsored by Popeyes. Thank you to everyone who helped spread the good word!"

Collin thanked social media for the new opportunities he's been given. "I just want to thank everyone for going in the comments and tagging Popeyes," he told ESPN. "That actually led me to where I'm at now, so I'm grateful for that."

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