As sophomore Alabama QB Bryce Young takes the reins from his predecessor, Patriots draftee and Heisman Trophy finalist Mac Jones, he’ll have something Jones never had: loads of endorsement cash.
On July 1, the NCAA approved of an interim policy on name, image and likeness (NIL) rights, allowing athletes to profit from deals with third-party companies. The policy came about to limit confusion on the NCAA eligibility status of athletes in the nearly 40 states that did not have NIL laws taking effect on July 1.
Like thousands of other athletes, Young is now eligible to make money from commercials, product endorsements, autograph signings and more without violating NCAA rules. And according to his coach, Nick Saban, the 19-year-old California native is doing quite well. “Our QB has already approached ungodly numbers, and he hasn’t even played yet,” Saban said at the Texas High School Coaches Association convention, according to 247 Sports. “If I told you what it is … it’s almost seven figures.”
It’s still not in a league with Saban’s earnings. Coming off another national championship victory—his sixth at Tuscaloosa—the 69-year-old Saban agreed to an extension earlier this year that will pay him a base salary of $8.4 million per season. The three-year extension will have him coaching the Crimson Tide through 2029. Saban ranks as the nation’s second-highest-paid college football coach, trailing only Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.
Bob Dorfman, creative director of Baker Street Advertising, told AL.com last year that another former Alabama quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa could have made “three to five million, easy.”
Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, who has already unveiled a personal logo, has wasted no time cashing in. On July 31, at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, Rattler will charge $150 per autograph, $60 per inscription and $150 to take a photo with him. Rattler, expected to be one of the premier prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft, is represented by Steinberg Sports and Chris Cabott for marketing, the same group that represents Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Tagovailoa.
Young signed with CAA Football and is represented by agent Ed Berry. The extent of Young’s NIL deals have not yet been revealed. But college sports have already seen a wide variety of deals, including for apparel, Instagram advertisements, live event bookings and even NFTs.