‘Popeyes Meme Kid’ Dieunerst Collin Playing College Football, Nabs Popeyes NIL Deal (UPDATE)

Dieunerst Collin, a.k.a. the one-time Popeyes meme kid, is now a freshman playing football for Lake Erie College—and he just secured a big deal.

UPDATED 01/12 1:30 p.m. ET: Following the announcement of his sponsorship deal with Popeyes, meme sensation Dieunerst Collin has his own billboard in promotion of the fast-food chain.

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

To coincide with the launch of the partnership, Popeyes has started to roll-out billboards featuring Collin as he appeared in the wildly popular meme and as a freshman playing football for Lake Erie College. One such billboard will appear near his hometown in New Jersey, and more context between the two is expected to arrive soon.

See original story from 1/10/23 below.

Dieunerst Collin, known to you and yours since 2013 as the Popeyes meme kid, is now a freshman playing football for Lake Erie College. And the 19-year-old fittingly just secured a deal with 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) ✍️.”

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.”

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