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Name, image, and likeness is revolutionizing college football. Finally, college athletes are (legally) able to make money for themselves rather than their hard work and sacrifice simply lining the pockets of the colleges that they so proudly represent. As NIL deals range from small change to sensational sums of cash, we take a look at the most valuable players and lucrative endorsements ahead of the 2022 college football season.
Top 10 NIL deals in 2022
Without a central regulatory body, NIL is currently something of a minefield. A large number of deals, even the biggest for the best athletes, carry undisclosed sums. As a result, ranking the top individual deals is a difficult business. Even the great Nick Saban couldn’t put an actual figure on the amount that Bryce Young had made in the opening months since his star quarterback had been allowed to profit from his name, image, and likeness.
High school quarterback and Miami Hurricanes commit Jaden Rashada is said to have signed the biggest NIL deal yet, with a $9.5 million deal. Again, details are sketchy. At Norfolk State, running back Rayquan Smith has at least 66 NIL deals. Smith calls himself the “King of NIL,” and while each individual deal is a drop in the ocean compared to the likes of Young and Rashada, his total value is reportedly close to six figures.
With a lack of deal-specific numbers, the list below details the most valuable college football players as per their NIL value according to On3.com. Where possible, we’ve included details of specific endorsements. As you can see, it pays to be an offensive skill player when it comes to making some money via NIL.
10) Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
One of the top receivers in the nation, Kayshon Boutte has snagged 1,244 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in his two-year LSU career. This while only playing six games last fall due to injury.
According to On3.com, Boutte is worth an estimated $1.4 million or $100,000 for each of his LSU touchdowns. The 2023 NFL Draft prospect has a deal with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys that includes an advert where he holds up a t-shirt with the logo “Get Your Lawyer” as the company gushes about Boutte getting it done on the field.
9) Jordan Addison, WR, USC
When Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison left Pittsburgh for USC via the transfer portal, many pointed the finger at NIL as one of the reasons for his departure.
The California university is well placed to maximize earning potential, and Addison is worth an estimated $1.4 million. He has NIL deals with Bowser Automotive and Tickets for Kids. Meanwhile, USC has a NIL collective and a third-party NIL body called “Student Body Right” which aims to pay USC players a base salary.
8) Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas
Graduating a year early from Southlake Carroll, the beautifully mulleted Quinn Ewers was the prize QB of the 2021 recruiting class. In many respects, he’s the poster boy for NIL success.
He never threw a ball in anger for Ohio State but pocketed $1.4 million from a deal with GTSM — a sports marketing company. Since transferring to Texas, he’s also penned deals with Austin Martin Dallas and Epic Games for undisclosed amounts. According to On3.com, Ewers’ current market value is $1.5 million and he’s still yet to play a down.
7) Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Considered one of the best players in college football who transcends the traditional value of his position, it’s no surprise to see Texas running back Bijan Robinson sitting upon the top 10 players in NIL valuation.
Worth an estimated $1.6 million, Robinson’s NIL deals range from media giant DAZN to Lamborghini Austin. His most recent deal, for an undisclosed amount, is with Rhoback — a clothing company that creates items designed to be worn during outdoor pastimes with the social media hashtag #craveactivity.
6) Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama
Rhoback is becoming a major player in the NIL game, and alongside Robinson, they boast Alabama’s dominant EDGE Will Anderson Jr. As part of an estimated NIL value of $1.6 million, Anderson also has a tie-in with BMW of Tuscaloosa.
According to On3.com, Anderson’s outstanding performance on the field enables him to earn $2,000 per advertisement post on social media. His total value equates to just under $100,000 for each of his ludicrous 17½ sacks during the 2021 college football season.
5) Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Ohio State has been an early key player in the NIL game. Their collective — “The Foundation” — has brokered massive deals as part of the Buckeyes’ goal to bring in $13 million to their student athletes.
Star wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba has been a major recipient, with his latest tie-in with Designer Shoe Warehouse as part of a $550,000 deal. With additional collaborations with Subway, Ricart Automotive, Onyx Authenticated — and several more — JSN has an estimated NIL value of $1.7 million.
4) Spencer Rattler, QB, South Carolina
Do you want South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler to wish you a happy birthday? Maybe you’d like him to announce the draft order of your CFB fantasy league? Thanks to his tie-in with Cameo, for as little as $100, you can!
The polarizing QB, who first entered our living rooms in the Netflix documentary “QB1,” has multiple personal NIL deals. Meanwhile, the South Carolina NIL collective — Garnet Trust — has engineered deals with Blackwood for Men and Jim Hudson Chevrolet. Rattler currently has an estimated NIL value of $2 million.
3) Caleb Williams, QB, USC
Not content with deposing Rattler at Oklahoma, Caleb Williams has risen above him in the NIL valuation rankings following his transfer to USC. An example of the controversy surrounding NIL, Williams was reportedly offered $1 million by one school upon entering the transfer portal. His value has already outstripped that offer since arriving in Southern California.
With deals including Beats by Dre, Hawkins Way Capital, and Fanatics, Williams is worth an estimated $2.4 million. He’s also a part owner of a men’s grooming company.
2) C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
As Young and C.J. Stroud get set to battle it out for QB1 honors in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Ohio State QB lags a little behind his opponent in NIL valuation. However, he probably doesn’t feel too bad about it sitting behind the wheel of his $150k Bentley received as part of his NIL deal with Sarchione Auto Gallery.
With two “The Foundation” engineered deals, plus several individual representations, Stroud has an estimated NIL value of $2.5 million. That’s just over $200k for each first-place vote in the 2021 Heisman Trophy race.
1) Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Before even setting foot on the field as the Alabama starter last fall, Young had already made over $800k thanks to NIL deals with Cash App, Onyx Authenticated, and multiple trading card companies. As he prepares for a quest to the CFB National Championship, Young has an estimated value of $3.2 million.
His gargantuan social media following and on-field success make him a marketing dream. To date, 12 companies have invested in Young with the Alabama QB adding NOBULL and Dollar Shave Club to his portfolio in August alone. We should expect some smooth and precise performances from the 2023 draft prospect this fall, leaving only his opponent irritated.
Oliver Hodgkinson is a College Football and NFL Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. Hodgkinson joined PFN full-time in January 2021, having previously contributed content across NFL, betting, and fantasy as a contractor since April 2019. Prior to joining PFN full-time, Hodgkinson left school at 18 to become a milkman. He also provided college football and NFL Draft content for Saturday Blitz plus The Touchdown and Ninety Nine Yards in the UK.
A credentialed media member for multiple NFL events, Hodgkinson also has interview experience with NFL and CFB players plus NFL Draft prospects — with the aim of highlighting the human side of the game of football.”
Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter: @ojhodgkinson.
High school quarterback and Miami Hurricanes commit Jaden Rashada is said to have signed the biggest NIL deal yet, with a $9.5 million deal.What does nil stand for in all American? ›
As college athletics continue to grapple with the implementation of a fair and balanced set of rules for student-athletes to monetize their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL), the question of just how much money they could generate has been the subject of much speculation.How much is the average nil deal? ›
The average monthly compensation from donors at the DI level is $1,012. Meanwhile, 91% of all women's NIL activities are brand-related on Opendorse's platform, but 62% of all brand compensation went to men's sports.How do college athletes get nil deals? ›
Using Marketplaces to Find NIL Deals
Student athletes make money with NIL from social media marketing, personal appearances, autographs, merchandise, NFTs, camps, clinics, lessons, creating their own products, making shout-out videos for fans, even playing video games.
A number of schools have three players on the NIL list: Oregon, Miami, South Carolina, LSU, Notre Dame, Auburn, Kansas State and, in bit of a surprise, Jackson State, in Jackson, Miss, the only non-Power Five Conference school to rank this high.How many Alabama players have nil deals? ›
Alabama Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban believes his players had a successful first year under the new Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) rules. Per Alabama beat reporter Mike Rodak, Saban said 25 Crimson Tide players last season earned a cumulative NIL revenue of $3 million and did it "the right way."What is the biggest nil deal? ›
His NIL deal with Miami booster John Ruiz is believed to be the largest NIL deal to date, per @On3NIL. Despite much of the controversy around his decision, Rashada's Miami NIL deal — said to be worth $9.5 million — is massive.Is there a way to track nil deals? ›
The On3 NIL Deal Tracker lists all NIL Deals across the NCAA for college and high school athletes being reported by players, collectives, agents and media. On3 does NOT disclose deal financial terms. Financial data is undisclosed and private to the athlete.How many NCAA athletes have nil deals? ›
Jeremiah Donati. Donati worked with the university's business school to come up with a program to guide its 525 student athletes on NIL deals. The policy change reshaped Donati's job overnight. He says he now spends almost half of every day managing NIL-related issues.How much money can a college player make with an nil? ›
How much money can college athletes make with a NIL deal? Broadly speaking, the average income from NIL deals for student-athletes ranges from $1,000 to $10,000, however we've seen cases where some athletes have earned a whole lot more than that.
Most of Brennan's NIL deals were signed prior to the start of the 2021 season, however he also teamed up with Walk-On's Sports Bistreau in February. According to On3, Brennan has an NIL valuation of $327,000, which ranks 112th among all college football players.How much are college football players getting paid nil? ›
The new NIL rules in college football have allowed players to finally put some money in their pockets, and now Texas Tech is getting involved in a big way. An NIL collective at the school is pledging to sign every scholarship player and a few walk-ons to a $25,000 name, image, and likeness contract.Do college athletes get paid 2022? ›
NCAA Athletes Are Getting Paid, But Conferences Still Get Paid More – Sportico.com.How do I get my money from nil? ›
- 7 Ways To Make Money With NIL.
- Social Media.
- Media Content.
- E-commerce Store.
- Subscription Service.
- Run Camps.
The most common way to make NIL money is through the creation of social media content. According to Opendorce, 47.8% of total NIL compensation is awarded for posts on social media.Who got an 8 million nil deal? ›
No one will acknowledge whether Iamaleava is the player who is the subject of the marketing deal that The Athletic's Stewart Mandel detailed last month. That deal will pay its subject as much as $8 million in exchange for the collective marketing revenue made off the player's NIL rights for the next four years.How much are players making with nil? ›
How much money can I expect to make from a NIL endorsement? In terms of licensing, the annual NIL value for a student-athlete could generally range from about $1,000 to $10,000, although there are exceptions where athletes could earn substantially more.Is there a cap on nil money? ›
The professional equivalent of NIL deals are pro athletes' off-field endeavors, from businesses to endorsements — and there's no limit to how much an athlete can make on those activities in any law or league rulebook.How much does Armando Bacot make in nil? ›
All-America men's basketball player Armando Bacot could earn more than $500,000 from NIL deals, his mother told Sports Illustrated previously.