The endorsements are rolling in for student-athletes at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

HBCU Buzz reports that Johnson C. Smith Univesity’s (JCSU) Ky’Wuan Dukes just landed himself a revolutionary deal with Bojangles. The move allows him to join the ranks of HBCU athletes like Hercy Miller who AfroTech reports recently secured a $2 million deal thanks to the move made by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to allow college athletes to make a profit from their name and likeness.

“It’s already hard for us as it is,” said Dukes in reference to being an HBCU student-athlete. “I’m glad we get that rule because… we are able to promote ourselves for marketing and be introduced to things we’ve never really seen.”

He also explains how the new rule is a huge turning point for those athletes who struggle to make ends meet while their schools have been able to receive all of the profit off of their hard work.


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“It’s definitely a big help,” he continued. “Students that have parents that aren’t fortunate and don’t have things…now they can do it for themselves. This is definitely a good thing to happen for us.”

Dukes, a redshirt freshman receiver is now the first HBCU athlete to sign with the Charlotte restaurant chain.

“It was something positive that I needed to see,” said Dukes during an interview with QCity Metro. “I was just happy for the opportunity.”

Thanks to his North Carolina ties, the Statesville native was the perfect fit.

“We’re thrilled to have Ky’Wuan join Team Bojangles as the first HBCU athlete on our roster,” said chief brand and marketing officer at Bojangles, Jackie Woodward, in an official statement. “We look forward to continuing our partnerships with HBCUs and athletes throughout our footprint.”

The JCSU receiver has always been quite the athlete. In high school, Dukes finished with 1,596 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns for the Statesville Highschool Greyhounds. He was also named First-Team All Conference and First Team All-Piedmont twice.

Upon graduating, Dukes received a football scholarship to Elizabeth City State. However, thanks to the pandemic canceling his freshman season, he transferred to JCSU.

Details on how much Dukes will score from the Bojangles deal have not yet been released.

The following HBCU athletes have scored big with the following endorsement deals:

  • Alabama A&M University’s Gary Quarles and Zabrien Moore have signed deals with Boost Mobile.
  • Jackson State University defensive end, Antwan Owen, inked a deal with Three Kings Grooming, a black-owned hair product shop located in New York.
  • Norfolk State University’s Rayquan Smith signed six endorsement deals with several companies within the first month of the new NCAA rule.
  • Tennessee State University’s Hercy Miller signed a $2 million deal with Webb Apps America

Dukes joins two other collegiate athletes who are on the Bojangles squad, DJ Uiagalelei and Sam Howell, both from Predominantly White Institutions.