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When new rules regarding the ability for student-athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL) went into effect last month, Texas became just one of three states to implement a law prohibiting high school athletes from profiting.
The result: Quinn Ewers, the No. 1 high school prospect in the 2022 class, decided to skip his senior year, reclassify to the 2021 class and enroll early at Ohio State.
People were shocked, to say the least.
Not only do legendary QBs like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Phillip Rivers frequently say that High School memories are some of the best in their Hall of Fame careers, but we already had a month’s worth of data showing that the average NIL deal was worth less than $1,000.
Still, just two weeks after choosing to enroll early at Ohio State, it looks like the 18-year-old quarterback from Texas made the right decision, financially at least.
Ewers has signed three deals worth about $1.5 million so far, which would instantly make him the highest-paid faculty member at Ohio State outside of athletics.
Before leaving Texas for Ohio State, Quinn Ewers had already signed a NIL deal with a local beverage company and followed that up with a sponsorship deal with an Ohio car dealership when he arrived on campus.
The best part? That deal landed him a $75,000 custom 2020 Ford F250 Super Duty truck, and the dealership plans to donate $1 to charity for every mile he drives.
But the big deal came yesterday, with Quinn Ewers reportedly signing a name, image, and likeness deal with GT Sports Marketing for $1.4 million.
The agreement covers three years in total, requires Ewers to sign autographs for the company, and all but solidifies that the 18-year-old made the right decision leaving High School a year early to pursue NIL opportunities at Ohio State.
Ewers’ agents at Sportstars and Rubicon negotiated the deal.
So, to recap, Ewers is an 18-year-old freshman that has been on campus for 2 weeks and is currently listed as Ohio State’s 4th string QB, yet he has signed three NIL deals that will pay him more than $1.5 million over the next three years.
That’s wild, but it’s also the reality we now live in. Incentives run the world, and college football will be no different.
The schools that are able to offer top recruits a promising path to professional football will always win out, of course, but the ability to present evidence of seven-figure earners will ultimately become a necessity also.
For example, do you think Nick Saban hinted that Alabama QB Bryce Young had signed “close to seven-figures” of NIL deals without starting a single game for any reason other than to signal to potential recruits the power of the Alabama brand?
I love that student-athletes can now profit off their name, image, and likeness. It should have been this way from the start.
Still, similar to any other free market that has never experienced price transparency before — think crypto, NFTs, and more — it’s going to take some time to determine the true economic value of a top-tier college student-athlete.
In the meantime, it’ll be interesting to watch how NIL continues to shape locker rooms, universities, conferences, and the entire ecosystem of college football.
I hope each of you has a great day, and I’ll talk to everyone tomorrow.
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