Oregon Defensive Lineman Reveals How NIL Allowed Him To Stop Working Two Jobs To Make Ends Meet Financially

Oregon defensive lineman Sam 'Taki' Taimani is grateful that the NCAA came to its senses in July of 2021 and allowed student-athletes to profit from their Name, Image and Likeness. It has allowed him to focus on winning football games and getting good grades without worrying about money.

Taimani, a former four-star recruit in the Class of 2018, committed to Washington out of high school. From Salt Lake City, he traveled north to Seattle and spent his first four years with the Huskies before transferring to play for the Ducks during the offseason.

Although his 2022 production has not matched his 43 tackles from a year ago, Taimani has battled injury. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound redshirt junior played in just six of the first 11 games this season and recorded 10 total tackles in that timespan.

Despite his struggle to stay on the field, Taimani has been very fortunate off of the field. Although exact numbers are unknown, On3 Sports projects his annual value in terms of NIL at $33,000.

Taimani's NIL opportunities have allowed him to give football and academics his full, undivided attention. That was not the case at Washington.

Upon Taimani's arrival in Seattle, NIL was not legal. He spent three years (and some change) with the Huskies while unable to make money through things like endorsements and appearances.

As a result, during the time where Taimani was not allowed to capitalize on NIL, he had to work at Amazon and drive for DoorDash to make ends meet. He told 247 Sports' Matt Prehm that he used to work 18+ hours per week at Washington during the offseason.

That may not seem like a big deal, because many college students have to work, but playing football at a Division I, FBS, Pac-12 program is practically a full-time job in and of itself. Even during the offseason. That doesn't include going to class, studying for tests, and everything in-between.

Now, at Oregon with NIL, Taimani doesn't have to work at all. He said that the NIL opportunities have helped him and his teammates get through financial concerns.

While there are a lot of issues with NIL and how it plays a role in both the transfer portal and recruiting, it is also doing a lot of good for the student-athletes. Taimani is just one example!