All signs point to sophomore Bryce Young starting at quarterback for the University of Alabama this fall, and his bank account reflects that too.
According to Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban, Young has accumulated almost $1 million in endorsement deals following the NCAA decision to allow college athletes to make money off their name, image, and likeness.
Saban spoke about Young at the Texas High School Coaches Association convention on Tuesday. Courtesy of 247 Sports:
“Our quarterback (Bryce Young) already has approached ungodly numbers. I’m not going to say what they are. He hasn’t even played yet. He hasn’t been a starter,” Saban said. “If I told you what he’s … it’s almost 7-figures. And it’s like the guy hasn’t even played yet. That’s because of our program.
Numerous athletes at the collegiate level and across sports are partnering with well-known brands, including the following:
Widely assumed to be the No.1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, University of Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler trademarked his own logo and sold merchandise.
While serving as a college counselor at the Elite 11 Finals earlier this month, Rattler posted on behalf of Raising Canes, the fast-food restaurant chain:
Kudos to Rattler for recognizing he may be in Norman for only one more year, so it’s clear he’s moving with a sense of urgency to profit from his name, image, and likeness.
And even if Rattler chooses to return to Oklahoma in 2022 for his senior season, he’s not guaranteed to start QB.
Freshman Caleb Williams is a highly-regarded prospect who looks likely to redshirt this upcoming season and then compete for a starring role the following year.
He’s too talented to sit on the bench beyond next fall.
1.1 million users follow the LSU gymnast on Instagram, making her arguably the biggest star in women’s college sports.
It’s even more astonishing how popular Dunne is because she’s only a rising sophomore in Baton Rouge.
Imagine the potential earnings with three more seasons of college eligibility.
WME represents Dunne for NIL, the same agency that works with Tom Brady and Serena Williams off of the field/court on their own marketing deals.
Following her breakout freshman season, Bueckers won an ESPY earlier this year for Best Female College Athlete:
Her social media following is relatively modest in comparison to Dunne. Still, the 19-year-old hoops phenom took advantage of winning an award to send a powerful message with her airtime on ESPN.
Like Dunne and Rattler, Buecker’s Instagram account has many more followers than her Twitter page.
I learned a few weeks ago from Opendorse founder and CEO Blake Lawrence that athletes have the ability to negotiate a higher fee with brands depending on the nature of their Instagram posts.
Related: Opendorse Meets With 2021 Elite 11 Finalists To Discuss NIL
For example, Lawrence compared an Instagram story to a radio or television ad. But a grid post on Instagram is like a billboard. Therefore, it’s more valuable.
The University of Minnesota senior will wrestle for Team USA at the Olympics in Tokyo this summer, which is an opportune time to make money off his NIL.
As a niche sport, college wrestling rarely appears on national television. But because of the Olympics, Steveson has the opportunity to be in millions of American homes for the next few weeks.
He’s an NCAA champion with two career losses on his ledger, and with 245k followers on Instagram, that influence will only grow if he performs well overseas.
And at 245 lbs, watch him perform a backflip!
Haley & Hanna Cavinder
The Cavinder twins have 3.3 million followers on TikTok alone, which is the most among college athletes.
Haley and Hanna are the most popular college athletes across all social media platforms.
And a lot of that has to do with their viral posts on TikTok:
As members of the women’s basketball team at Fresno State, the twins also post vlogs to their YouTube channel:
Russell is a track athlete and rising senior at the University of Kentucky with the second-largest following on TikTok (388k) behind the Cavinder Twins.
Consider how amazing it is that Haley and Hanna are the most followed college athletes on TikTok by more than two million users.
Their influence has less to do with the program/school they’re affiliated with versus the content the twins produce.
But as a hurdler, it’s intriguing how Russell became a hit on TikTok.
Russell’s feed consists predominantly of dancing videos, as is the case with many other users on the platform.
It makes more sense that with football season around the corner, Rattler and Young appear the most active lately with leveraging their NIL on social media.
As each athlete approaches their respective sports season, expect more call to action and branded posts on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok from the likes of Dunne and the Cavinder Twins.