In his final year of eligibility, Tommy Brown made the decision to join Colorado football as a graduate transfer.

The former Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman was a big acquisition for the Buffs and has solidified their right guard position this season.

While the Buffs’ may not be winning often on the field, Brown is absolutely winning off of it.

In March, Brown made his modeling debut with Boulder-based underwear company Shinesty. That was only the start of their partnership.

On Friday, Shinesty announced that they have made Brown the first college football player to become a professional underwear supermodel.

In a press release about Brown’s NIL deal, Shinesty’s Creative Director Ben Lauderdale stated why Shinesty chose Brown.

“Why pick an offensive lineman instead of a flashier position like a QB or wide receiver?” Lauderdale said. “Simple. On the field, Tommy protects the quarterback from sacks. Off the field, Tommy protects his own sack with Shinesty’s Ball Hammock® Pouch Underwear.”

Brown’s compensation for the deal was not included in the press release but Shinesty called it a “big heapin’ pile,” of money with no further detail.

Brown and Shinesty’s deal is one of, if not the most notable NIL deal for a Buffs’ football player yet.

Colorado’s administration has been under pressure from fans over the last year with the football program struggling to keep up with the ever-changing college football landscape, NIL included.

DNVR spoke to Brown after practice on Wednesday about his partnership with Shinesty, how it came about and why he wanted to try out modeling.

“Shinesty cold DM’ed me on Instagram and I thought it was fake,” Brown said. “I like how they don’t take themselves too seriously and it’s a good time hanging out. There were a lot of people that told me I would never be an underwear model so I might as well prove them wrong.”

While many fans have blamed the university for the lack of NIL opportunities available to Buffs’ football players, Brown says it’s on the players.

“The NIL world is give and take,” Brown said. “As much as you put into it, you get some out of it. I think for those guys that aren’t making the deals, it’s their decision. They don’t want the distraction and I totally understand that. Really it’s up to the player and I don’t think that there’s any other reason.”

Details from the press release about Brown’s campaign say that the Buffs’ right guard will be featured in Shinesty’s, “new high fashion campaign recreating some of the industry’s most iconic print and video advertisements to date.”

Brown described the campaign as a Calvin Klein ad, but with a better-looking dude wearing underwear that’s actually comfortable.

“When you have a body this good, you deserve to be paid,” Brown said. “As a college football player, I’m already used to millions of people seeing me in pants that leave nothing to the imagination. Might as well make some money while I’m at it.”

When Brown told teammates about his deal with Shinesty, the graduate transfer said his teammates thought it was hilarious.

“For the first shoot some other guys got DM’s too and they just never responded,” Brown said. “Now they’re kicking themselves in the butt.”

Whether or not Brown intended the pun, he was chosen by Shinesty because of their effort to expand their underwear sizes. Making Colorado’s 6-foot-7, 330-pound right guard perfect for their ad campaign.

Keep an eye out for Shinesty’s ads featuring Brown on digital and social media starting today.


Jake Schwanitz was born in Harlingen, Texas and was raised in Albuquerque, NM. Jake attended the University of New Mexico earning a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2016. He gained experience in analytics and scouting while working as a Football Video Scout at Sports Info Solutions in 2017 and 2018. Jake became an intern at DNVR in 2020 and became the full-time CU Buffs beat reporter for DNVR starting with the 2022 football season.