Jace Arnold will get the chance to find out if the old adage about New York City is true.
If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
For at least one day, the Marietta defensive back made it in downtown Manhattan. His photo, along with those of other signees from Wisconsin’s 2023 recruiting class, was broadcast on a digital billboard at the corner of 7th Avenue and West 41st Street, just a few blocks from the center of Times Square.
“Badgers taking over NYC! Check out my recruiting class on a billboard in Times Square,” Arnold tweeted. “Thanks for the support (The Varsity Collective). Can’t wait to get started and show the world what we’re made of.”
Nineteen players who transferred into the Wisconsin program or signed their national letters of intent during the December signing period had their image broadcast on the billboard during a 15-minute video block Wednesday. The time was purchased by The Varsity Collective — a name, image and likeness collective — on behalf of Wisconsin athletes.
It was the first endeavor designed to help the newly signed players make the most of potential NIL opportunities. The collective also said it is to help the players use their status as college athletes to bring about positive change in their community and the causes they deem meaningful.
“When you commit to Wisconsin, you don’t just become a Badger on the field — you join a family that will support you in the classroom, in the community and in your career,” Rob Master, executive chair of The Varsity Collective, said in a release. “These young men have promising futures ahead of them, and we look forward to continuing to help them make the most of their NIL opportunities during their time in a Badger uniform and beyond.”
Arnold picked Wisconsin over more than a dozen other Power Five programs. He finished his senior season with 39 tackles and two interceptions, earning all-county and all-Region 3AAAAAAA honors.
Wisconsin is part of the Big Ten Conference’s footprint, with fellow league member Rutgers located approximately 15 miles from Times Square in New Jersey. The collective will try to further increase its reach with a handful of billboards of some of the most prominent signees, and that will be the case with Arnold.
Next week, a billboard celebrating Arnold’s signing with Wisconsin will be put up at the corner of Cobb Parkway and North Marietta Parkway, and it is expected to be up for approximately a week. The billboard is part of a plan by the collective to show the success of Wisconsin’s recruiting success in such states as Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and others.
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