The Student-Athlete Earning $1.5 Million

Huddle Up is a daily newsletter that breaks down the business and money behind sports.

If you would like to join more than 47,000 other professional athletes, business executives, and casual sports fans that receive it directly in their inbox each morning, subscribe now.

Hey Friends,

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.

Your feedback helps me improve Huddle Up. How did you like today’s post?

Loved | Great | Good | Meh | Bad

If you enjoyed today’s email, please share it with your friends!

At 47,000+ subscribers, Huddle Up is quickly becoming one of the largest sports business communities on the internet — every addition helps :)

Share Huddle Up

SoFi is the financial super app, where you can save, spend, earn, borrow, and invest.

If you’re looking for financial guidance, there’s a good chance SoFi can help. The investing platform is comprehensive, letting you buy whole stocks and fractional shares, trade crypto, and manage retirement accounts.

Plus, SoFi products are designed to work better together to give you additional cash rewards when you make smart money decisions like monitoring your credit or just logging into the app.

SoFi is transforming the industry and disrupting how the world sees personal finance. SoFi is the app you need to get your money right from investing to getting out of debt. I’m a SoFi member, and I love it.

Download the SoFi app to get started, and you’ll get $5 to $1000 just for signing up.

Sign Up For SoFi

*The probability of receiving $1000 is 0.028%