Popeyes has signed Dieunerst Collin — "The Popeyes meme kid" — to an NIL deal.Collin is now a freshman offensive lineman at D-II Lake Erie College

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Popeyes has signed Dieunerst Collin — "The Popeyes meme kid" — to an NIL deal.

Collin is now a freshman offensive lineman at D-II Lake Erie College. Talk about a full-circle moment.

Front Office Sports reported Popeyes signed Dieunerst Collin, who is an offensive lineman at Lake Erie College, to a name, image and likeness deal. While it is notable that a D-II player landed an NIL deal, this move is of particular interest to those familiar with a certain meme.

As Jelani Scott of Sports Illustrated noted, Collin is the "Popeyes meme kid" from the viral Vine video that circled around the internet in 2013. He was just nine years old at the time and gave quite the side-eyed look to the camera while inside a Popeyes.

As reported by Front Office Sports, and confirmed to Complex by Collin, he’s signed an NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) deal with the chicken chain.

In a how it started/how it’s going–style IG post this week (above), Collin wrote, “I need everyone to repost this and tag @popeyes I just wanna talk [business].”

He shared a similar version on his Twitter account, which Popeyes quote-tweeted Tuesday night, writing, “Let’s get this bread(ing) ✍️.”

Collin also posted a photograph of himself holding a state championship he won in high school on Instagram with a caption urging fans to tag Popeyes because he wanted to talk about business opportunities.

The efforts worked, and he is now in a partnership with the restaurant that made his face such a familiar one to internet users.

The deal was preceded by people online calling for this exact result in the last couple days.

Lake Erie, a D-II school, enlisted Collin as an offensive lineman. In December 2021, Collin’s East Orange High School football team won the New Jersey state championship.

Dieurnerst wasn’t publicly identified as the 9-year-old from the eternal, Vine-spawned meme until that same month. In an interview with Complex’s Zion Olojede at the time, he said of the preceding eight years of anonymous internet fame, “I ain’t gonna lie to you. Before, I did take it as offensive. Now, I do take it as a joke. When I look back at it, I laugh at it. In general, I’m known as being a funny guy.”

Collin revealed in the same conversation that he didn’t tell people growing up that he was the star of the meme, saying, “What’s funny is no, I have not. People would just come up to me and ask, ‘Are you such and such?’ Sometimes I’d take it as a joke and say, ‘Nah that’s my twin brother.’ … I’m telling you, for years. I never said nothing about it. Sometimes I’d comment on posts saying, ‘Yeah, that’s me,’ and people wouldn’t believe me.”

Asked by Olojede if we’d ever get a remake, Dieunerst answered, “If Popeyes trying to do it all over again, I don’t mind.” (Zion propethically called for Popeyes to give him the bag.) As for his football ambitions at that point, he said, “Everyone wants to go pro. I want to go pro. Aside from that, I want to be a sports analyst. That’s all I talk about.”

It’s been a decade since the video went viral on a platform that was shut down in 2016, but Collin has thrived.

In the past decade, he’s become an American football star, winning state title in high school for the East Orange Campus High School in New Jersey as well as being named a County and Division First Team All-Conference member, as well as an All-State Second Teamer.

Far from hiding from his brush with fame, Collin steered into it when film, TV and podcast producer Jim Weber came across his profile.

Weber tweeted: “The @Popeyes meme kid @CollinDieunerst is now a freshman offensive lineman at Division II Lake Erie College and if this guy doesn’t have a NIL deal by tomorrow, the Louisiana kitchen needs to clean house on upper management.”


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