Texas-related student-athletes projected to be worth millions
A high-schooler slated to play quarterback at the University of Texas is already projected to be worth millions.
Driving the news: Newly released valuations based on performance, influence and exposure by On3 NIL, a firm that tracks athlete sponsorship, illuminate how much some students can capitalize on name, image and likeness.
- Though he has yet to announce a major NIL deal, Arch Manning, who is scheduled to attend UT next year, is at one end of this spectrum.
Zoom in: Athletes at the University of Texas are open for business, per an Axios Austin review of the university's current NIL Marketplace portal, which includes headshots of student athletes, stats about number of social media followers and information about major and hometown.
- You can pay UT softball center fielder Isabella Dayton $12 to record a short shoutout video.
- For $261, her teammate Lauren Burke will post something on social media for you.
- UT basketball player Sir Jabari Rice will attend your practice for $128.
Flashback: In December, UT donors announced the launch of a $10 million fund to bankroll NIL opportunities for student-athletes, to help draw them to Austin.
Context: Like Bronny James, the son of LeBron James, Manning has primo name recognition, as the nephew of famed quarterbacks Eli and Peyton.
- UT running back Bijan Robinson, who clocks in at ninth in On3's top 10 valuations, benefits from playing in a major college market and as a pre-season Heisman hopeful.
Between the lines: As NIL continues to evolve, the highest-earning athletes represent the myriad ways in which value can be measured and monetized.
The big picture: 15 months ago, college athletes could lose eligibility for accepting a couple hundred bucks' worth of free merch; now there's a booming industry tracking the legal deals they're making and projecting future value well into the millions of dollars.
- High school students in nearly 20 states can also monetize their NIL, and some have already inked lucrative deals.
- Yes, but: Not Texas, which is why UT quarterback Quinn Ewers skipped his senior year of high school to graduate early and play at Ohio State — before transferring to Austin.
The bottom line: There's no right way to earn money via NIL, and after decades spent fighting for this right, there's no wrong way either.
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