TEWKSBURY, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Clifford “Big Cliff” Omoruyi, a 6’11″ student athlete at Rutgers University, has signed with IPZ under the NCAA’s NIL rules.
Omoruyi is originally from Benin City, Nigeria, and came to New Jersey as a 14-year-old old seeking an education and a college degree. Basketball was a tool that he hoped would help him achieve his goal. He began his high school career at Queen of Peace (North Arlington) and ended it by leading Roselle Catholic to a 22-7 record and an NJSIAA Non-Public B North title in a season that was cut short due to the Covid shutdown.
Omoruyi was a consensus four-star prospect in high school and became the first New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year to commit to Rutgers University. He was also the first top-50 High School prospect to commit to Rutgers since 2010. In the 2020-21 season he became the first Rutgers freshman since 2008 to record a double-double in his debut, while, in the classroom, making the Dean’s List for academic excellence.
Omoruyi had a breakout campaign as a sophomore. As the starting center for the entire season, he led NCAA Division 1 basketball in dunks, while averaging 11 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game.
“I saw Cliff play in high school and was immediately drawn to his smile…his love for his teammates…and of course his game,” said Robert Zito, IPZ managing partner. “This is a young man who exhibits discipline, loyalty, teamwork and ‘getting it done’ in the classroom and on the court. With a 3.5 GPA and his work representing Rutgers and New Jersey on the basketball court, Cliff has been a phenomenal asset to both the school and the state.”
In 2021 the NCAA officially announced a new NIL policy that allows athletes to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness. However, the law remains unclear as it translates to international students in the United States on F-1 student visas.
Prominent New Jersey attorney Peter Till has been engaged to navigate the complexity of the F-1 student visa issues as it relates to Cliff and other New Jersey and United States college athletes.
“‘This law firm could not be prouder to preserve and protect all of Cliff’s opportunities that are only available in America,” said Till. “There is a clear and unmistakable reason why so many students come to these shores because of the unparalleled opportunities for greatness that can only happen in this country. We will seek and explore every opportunity to obtain the benefits of hard work available to student athletes today, including the foreign student-athletes who are unquestionably and utterly accomplished on behalf of their respective colleges and universities.”
“I sincerely appreciate the work that IPZ and Mr. Till are doing on my behalf,” said Cliff Omoruyi. “I know that they have met with Rutgers and that my school is supportive. I hope to have the ability to use my personality, knowledge, work as a student in the classroom and my basketball acumen to help brands in New Jersey…the United States…and the world.”
About IPZ: IPZ represents clients in sports, media, and entertainment, providing management, contract negotiations, consulting, public relations and marketing communications support. The company, an alliance with Zito Partners, is built on the integrity of its professionals, maintains a family focus, and provides whole life solutions for its clients. For more information, visit www.ipzusa.com