DJ Wagner has moved closer to committing to the University of Kentucky. Nick Depaula of ESPN is reporting Nike has signed five players to NIL deals, including Bronny James and DJ Wagner. It’s becoming more clear Wagner intends to play for Kentucky in 2023. Kentucky is currently in the middle of an eight-year contract with Nike, worth $30.6 million dollars, expiring in 2025. The University of Louisville is presently under contract with Adidas, having signed a 10-year extension in 2017 for $160 million dollars. No contractual agreement requires a player who signs a NIL to play for a school that represents its line of apparel, but it is unusual for a 5-star player to then commit to a school that represents another brand.
DJ Wagner, a combo guard from Camden, NJ, is rated the #1 prospect in the class of 2023. He is the son of Dejuan Wagner and grandson of Louisville’s Milt Wagner. DJ’s referred to Louisville coach Kenny Payne as “Uncle Kenny” in the past and has had endless praise for the Louisville coach. Milt is currently on Kenny Payne’s staff as Louisville’s Director of Player Development and Alumni Relations. However, most recruiting experts are presently predicting Wagner is signing with UK.
If DJ Wagner does indeed sign with Kentucky, it could open the door for combo guard AJ Johnson to commit to Louisville. Louisville is clashing with NC State, LSU, Texas, and USC for the 6’5” guard from Woodland Hills, California. He is the number two combo guard in the class of 2023 and the 14th overall prospect. Kenny Payne and staff have been heavily linked to Johnson.