Soccer player

Nike’s first college signee is a UCLA football player without a massive social media following — but she’s a superstar in Los Angeles

  • Nike signed UCLA women’s football‘s Reilyn Turner as the brand’s first college athlete.
  • unlike most NONE signers, the Bruins’ second-year forward doesn’t have a huge following on social media.

Nike has signed its very first NCAA athlete – and she’s not what most people expected from the huge sports clothing brand would choose for its inaugural foray into the college game.

With big-name college football quarterbacks, future NBA stars and athletes with massive social media followings ready to be chosen, Nike tapped UCLA women’s football player Reilyn instead. Turner.

Turner.Nike

Although the sophomore forward has become a constant threat for the Bruins, she is not yet considered one of the stars of women’s varsity soccer; she wasn’t even one of the 59 players named to watch list for the 2021 MAC Hermann Trophy – NCAA football’s highest individual honor. And just before she and Nike announced their partnership, the 19-year-old had just over 3,000 followers on Instagram and another 157 on Twitter.

So why Turner?

“His skills on the pitch are matched only by his passion for giving back off the pitch,” Nike said in output. “Turner recognizes the doors football has opened for her, and she wants to give those same opportunities to local girls and boys, helping them get active, pursue their dreams and reach their highest potential.”

Nike's first college signee is a UCLA football player without a massive social media following — but she's a superstar in Los Angeles
Turner.Nike

“That’s also Nike’s mission,” the brand continued. “As part of Turner’s sponsorship, Nike and Turner will team up to work with community partners based in Los Angeles.”

A native of Southern California, Turner has been a fixture on the Los Angeles football scene since she was able to kick a ball for the first time. She became one of the best players in the state while playing for the Orange County So Cal Blues youth club. She later made her way to the list of highest-ranked recruits in the nation as the recipient of All-America and All-California Interscholastic Federation honors at Laguna Beach High School.

Nike's first college signee is a UCLA football player without a massive social media following — but she's a superstar in Los Angeles
Turner (right) was a star at Laguna Beach High School.Leonard Ortiz/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Turner knew she wanted to bring her talents to UCLA since she was 8, when she attended a Bruins football camp and fell in love with the Westwood campus. Now that she’s here – and she’s a budding star – Turner is a natural fit to help Nike expand its reach in the City of Angels.

“As a black and Mexican American woman, I think of those who paved the way for me and how they used their platforms to create so much change, even beyond sports,” Turner said via the Nike press release. “I hope to be a role model for those around me and those after me.”

“I’m so excited to be a part of what Nike brings to the future of women’s sport.”