Nike Signs 2016 Rookie Quarterback Paxton Lynch To Its Athlete Roster

It’s likely football fans are already counting down the days until the start of the 2016-17 NFL season, scheduled for Sept. 9. And while the rookie draft is not until April 28, Nike is putting its bets on quarterback Paxton Lynch of the University of Memphis by announcing it has signed him to its elite roster.

This past season, the 6-foot-7, 244-pound Lynch earned first-team All-ACC honors in recognition as a Manning Award finalist.

Lynch joins an impressive list of 2105 Nike draft picks that includes Jameis Winston, now the quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Marcus Mariota, quarterback for the Tennessee Titans. Both were selected by the athletic powerhouse before they signed with their respective teams.

Last season, Nike also signed Amari Cooper of the Oakland Raiders, Melvin Gordon of the San Diego Chargers; Todd Gurley of the St. Louis Rams and Leonard Williams of the New York Jets.

The question is whether Lynch will follow in the footsteps of Mariota, who early on had his own Nike sneaker: the Lunar Force 1, created for him on draft day. The shoe was stamped with 808, the area code of his hometown Honolulu and a nod toward the number eight, which he’s worn throughout his career. He’s also the 80th winner of the Heisman Trophy.

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