PPI’s Brandon Collier named to Sports Illustrated’s Top 20 Most Influential Black Figures in College Football 

Brandon Collier, owner and founder of Premier Players International (PPI) Recruits, has been named by Sports Illustrated as the fifth most influential Black figure in college football, just four spots away from Deion Sanders.

Collier had this to say about the announcement:

‘I mean, I was honestly shocked that I showed up that high on the list. But also, from a personal standpoint, I know what we’ve been doing at PPI. For the last decade I’ve been building connections and grinding. 

‘I haven’t taken a day off since I started this thing. I live my life right now to give these young kids a voice and a platform. I feel like if colleges don’t have an international kid on their roster nowadays, they’re behind on recruiting. And I feel like PPI has set the foundation of that.”

PPI Recruits operates as an international scouting agency that focuses on bringing global talent into Division 1 football. Collier does this by holding numerous camps across multiple continents as well as using his connections to find the next big international prospect. Collier then hand selects young athletes to take with him on a ‘Dreamchasers’ tour of the big colleges in the US and attend pro days. 

The announcement of Collier at 5 on the list comes in the midst of an explosion of international talent being brought over to Division 1 via PPI Recruits. Since PPI’s inception in 2017, Collier has helped land over 100 players from over 20 countries secure Division 1 scholarships. These include the likes of Hero Kanu (Ohio State), Kofi Taylor-Barrocks (Colorado), Seydou Traore (Colorado), Lucas Simmons (FSU), among many others.

Following a successful collegiate career as a linebacker at UMass (NCAA, DI), Collier was picked up by the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. He spent mini camp with the Eagles before being released and then signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL.

Collier spent 2012 with Blue Bombers before making his way over to Europe in 2013 and playing with the Swarco Raiders (Austria) and Frankfurt Universe (Germany), among others. Collier comments on how PPI Recruit started in those formative years:

‘When I came to Europe a lot my teammates and the kids I was seeing were asking if I could help get them to America. So, in the back of my mind I knew it was a niche that wasn’t really being tapped into. I saw these guys were talented, and through my connections I thought I could help them get over to the states.’

PPI Recruit has remained international in its practice since its inception. Long before NFL Africa was bringing kids over to the NFL’s International Pathway Program, Collier was in West Africa forging avenues to Division 1. Collier says that this idea was first given to him during an Ohio State (NCAA, DI) visit when one of the coaches expressed to him that he felt that that part of the world had a lot to offer. Not only has Collier had an impact in Africa, he also took his first trip to Australia in 2019 and has since secured 8/9 athletes Division 1 scholarships. 

Thanks to PPI Recruits and Collier, colleges are no longer overlooking the international market. Collier’s tireless work ethic and ability to seemingly be in several countries at once in deep contact with grass roots football has provided him with the contacts and a deep pipeline of elite athletes. 

As he continues to place internationals in Division 1 schools, Collier will undoubtedly soon find the tides turning and players will seek him out for opportunities – something that already seems to be in motion. For young men with dreams of Division 1 football, the future looks bright.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.