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Kwity Paye to Release 1-of-a-Kind NFT After Being Selected in 2021 NFL Draft

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2021

Michigan defensive lineman Kwity Paye plays during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye will release the first collegiately licensed football NFT (non-fungible token) as soon as he's selected in the 2021 NFL draft, which starts Thursday night.

ESPN's Adam Schefter provided details about the 1-of-1 NFT, which will benefit the Uniform Funding Foundation:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Michigan DE Kwity Paye is releasing a 1/1 draft night NFT. This digital trading card is the first collegiate licensed football NFT. It will be live on OpenSea the moment Paye is drafted. All proceeds will go towards his non-profit, The Uniform Funding Foundation @getTUFF__ https://t.co/L1WTjlJZWw

Paye is a likely first-round pick who could come off the board as early as the fringe of the top 10. The New York Giants at No. 11 are one of his first potential landing spots.

The 22-year-old edge-rusher didn't post huge numbers with the Wolverines. He compiled 97 total tackles, 11.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 28 appearances across four years, but he's viewed as a high-upside prospect with elite athleticism who's only scratching the surface of his potential.

NFTs have risen significantly in popularity over the past few months, started by the NBA Top Shot craze, as part of the sports memorabilia boom that's occurred during the coronavirus pandemic. The digital art pieces can either be treated as collectibles or as an investment to flip.

In turn, buying Paye's 1-of-1 NFT is essentially making a bet on the success of his NFL career, which will impact how much the item is worth five or 10 years from now.

The Uniform Funding Foundation works to "advance the lives of youth athletes and fight for social justice by donating uniforms and equipment, while also offering mentorship to underserved sports teams."

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