Dieunerst Collin was only 9 years old when he became a Vine sensation and timeless internet meme while standing in a line at Popeyes. Dubbed the ‘Popeyes meme kid,’ the fried chicken fast food joint has now offered him a NIL brand endorsement deal almost 10 years later.
In his viral video, a man films Collin while urging him to “Terrio, say ooh,” noting his similar appearance to a different Vine star, Lil Terrio. Collin’s legendary side-eye response to the man has made him a star of the now-defunct short video-sharing app.
We've come a long, long way.— Front Office Sports (@FOS) January 11, 2023
Dieunerst Collin now has an endorsement deal with Popeyes. pic.twitter.com/y5U0efmTTj
Since then, Collin discovered a love for football and earned himself a spot as an offensive lineman at Lake Erie College, a D-II school. In his last year of high school, he helped bring home a state championship. Recognizing his accomplishments, Sports Center decided to make an Instagram post to honor the ‘Popeyes kid.’ Seeing it as an opportunity, Collin capitalized.
BREAKING: Popeyes has signed Dieunerst Collin — "The Popeyes meme kid" — to an NIL deal.— Front Office Sports (@FOS) January 11, 2023
Collin is now a freshman offensive lineman at D-II Lake Erie College. pic.twitter.com/xC7UmuJLvY
"I thought this is probably the opportunity I can get with Popeyes to at least reach out. I went on Instagram and decided to post asking everyone to repost and tag Popeyes.” Soon Collin was viral once again, and this time Popeyes took note, tweeting out, “Let’s get this bread(ing).
Let’s get this bread(ing) https://t.co/rnQaxBNAiz— Popeyes (@Popeyes) January 11, 2023
Collin says that it took him until the 7th grade to embrace being a meme, but now he appreciates the notoriety it brings. "My teammates were excited for me because they believed I should be doing what I'm doing now with it.”
NIL deals are a relatively new and long overdue way for notable college athletes to earn money through their name, image, and likeness. Collin says that while he has yet to actually sign a deal with Popeyes, he has been in talks with them, and is not allowed to disclose more information. "Only thing I can say is that I will be promoting that business like crazy. I actually love Popeyes myself." He has also apparently been contacted by other companies for deals.
The ‘Popeyes meme kid’ has come a long way, and through football and the NIL we’ll get to see him become a ‘Popeyes meme man.”