The world of college recruiting changed dramatically on July 1, 2021, when the NCAA enacted a rule to allow college athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses.
Overnight, student-athletes who previously had been restricted to receiving stipends and scholarships suddenly could sign endorsement deals. And the floodgates opened, with athletes of all stripes signing quickly.
Although plenty of college players have signed smaller endorsement contracts with local businesses, some have cashed in with eye-popping deals. GOBankingRates breaks down 10 of the largest endorsement deals.
NIL deal: $136,000 … plus tuitions
This is an example of a university’s athletic program thinking outside the box. In a deal with Built Bar, all 136 Brigham Young football players — that’s scholarship players AND walk-ons — can earn up to $1,000 as brand ambassadors.
Oh, and the deal also pays for the tuition for all walk-ons.
McKenzie Milton, Florida State football, and D’Eriq King, Miami football
NIL deal: $20,000, plus signing bonus
The two quarterbacks have joined Dreamfield as co-founders — it’s an NIL-based platform focusing on booking live events for student athletes. The two QBs could charge $2,000 per hour for events.
Texas offensive linemen
NIL deal: $800,000
A non-profit entity will give $50,000 to each of 16 Texas offensive linemen on scholarship, with the twist being that the players must use the funds to support charitable causes.
University of Miami football
NIL deal: $540,000
In an unusual deal, a line of fitness centers in South Florida is offering every University of Miami football player $500 per month to endorse the gym.
Shedeur Sanders, Jackson State football
NIL deal: No details available
The son of Jackson State coach (and NFL legend) Deion Sanders became the first player from a Historically Black College or University to sign with Gatorade. Sanders also has deals with Beats by Dre and Tom Brady’s apparel company.
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Bryce Young, Alabama football
NIL deal: $800,000 (or more)
The Crimson Tide quarterback signed with Cash App and also did deals with trading card companies Leaf, Wild Card and Onyx — before he ever started a game for Alabama.
The risk to those companies certainly paid off when Young went on to win the Heisman Trophy and take Alabama to the national championship game.
Caleb Williams, USC football
NIL deal: No details available
The transfer quarterback from Oklahoma has signed a plethora of deals, including with Beats by Dre and Fanatics. But the capper might be a “long-term agreement” with Hawkins Way Capital, a real estate private equity firm that manages $2 billion in assets. He also will be a part-owner of a men’s grooming company.
Olivia Dunne, LSU gymnastics
NIL deal: More than $1 million
The NCAA gymnast signed with activewear brand Vuori. She will bring her huge social media presence (more than 5.7 million followers) and make appearances on behalf of the clothing company.
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Quinn Ewers, Ohio State football
NIL deal: $1.4 million
Ewers jumped at the chance to profit from NIL deals, leaving high school a year early to enroll at Ohio State and sign a huge deal with GT Sports Marketing to provide autographs.
Unnamed college football recruit from Class of 2023
NIL deal: $8 million
Yes, you read that right. An unnamed high school college football player has signed a deal that could pay him up to $8 million, The Athletic reported March 12. The contract reportedly will pay $350,000 right away, with escalating payments that will total $2 million per year.
The deal is the largest NIL deal ever signed by a non-professional athlete, The Athletic reported, citing two unnamed experts.
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