Ranking the Top 10 Highest-Paid College Football Players in 2024 – Exploring NIL Deals


In 2024 college football experienced a transformation, with the introduction of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals. These deals revolutionized the aspects of the game by allowing student-athletes to benefit from their fame and skills.

Today we explore the world of economics in sports and take a journey to rank the Top 10 College Football Players of 2024 who have earned the highest pay. Along this journey, we shed light on how these groundbreaking NIL deals have redefined the balance between academics and athletics, in college sports.

What is NIL?

NIL, which stands for name, image, and likeness pertains to the opportunity for college athletes to capitalize on their fame and popularity. Prior, to July 1, 2021, the NCAA had enforced a prohibition on college athletes from receiving any form of compensation for the use of their NIL.

However, in June 2021 the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the NCAA could not prohibit athletes from profiting from their NIL. NIL deals involve agreements between college athletes and businesses or organizations that permit the athlete to utilize their NIL in promoting the products or services of said business or organization.

In return for utilizing their NIL in this manner, athletes receive compensation as well as goods or services. The earnings potential through NIL deals can vary significantly among college football players based on factors such as popularity, sport type, and the nature of the deals they secure. Nevertheless, some of the regarded college football players, across the nation have garnered millions of dollars through these arrangements.

Top 10 Highest-Paid College Football Players in 2024

Highest-Paid College Football Players

Arch Manning

Arch Manning is widely regarded as one of the quarterback prospects we’ve seen in recent years. What sets him apart is his football lineage being the grandson of NFL quarterbacks Archie and Peyton Manning as well as the son of Cooper Manning.

It’s exciting to know that he has already committed to playing at Texas in 2023. Additionally, he has secured an endorsement deal of $2 million with the NIL collective known as Horns With Heart.

Bryce Young

Bryce Young is widely regarded as one of the sought-after college athletes, in the United States. He has successfully capitalized on the implementation of NIL regulations.

Young has inked NIL agreements, including a noteworthy $1 million deal with CashApp, a partnership with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and an association with Built Bar.

It is estimated that Young’s cumulative earnings from NIL endorsements amount to $3.5 million.

Coleridge Bernard Stroud

Coleridge Bernard Stroud aka C.J. Stroud the quarterback of Houston Texans isn’t any behind in terms of NIL deals. In 2022 Stroud signed a deal with Nike worth $1 million.

Other than Nike he has other endorsements that make him one of the highest-paid NIL players. His overall NIL deals are worth $2.9 million.

Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams, the star quarterback, for the USC Trojans at the University of Southern California has become a sought-after college athlete in the United States.

Taking advantage of the opportunities provided by NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) regulations he has successfully signed contracts with prominent brands.

These endorsements include a million-dollar partnership with Beats by Dre collaborations with United Airlines and sponsorship, from Neutrogena. It is estimated that Williams has earned $2.6 million from these NIL agreements.

Bijan Robinson

Bijan Robinson is widely recognized as one of college football’s running backs. In 2022 he showcased a performance accumulating over 1,100 rushing yards and scoring 11 touchdowns.

Robinson has also established NIL partnerships including an association, with Horns and his NIL deals are worth $1.8 million.

Shedeur Sanders

Shedeur Sanders, the quarterback, at Colorado, happens to be the son of Deion Sanders, an NFL cornerback. With his skill and potential, he is widely anticipated to emerge as a sought-after prospect, in the NFL Draft.

Even though he doesn’t have an NFL contract yet Sanders still earns up to $1.6 million from his NIL agreements.

Marvin Harrison Jr

Marvin Harrison Jr. Happens to be the son of the NFL receiver Marvin Harrison. He has gained recognition as one of the notch receivers, in college football and is anticipated to become a highly sought-after pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. His NIL contracts make him a millionaire as he earns $1.6 million from it 

Drake Maye

Drake Maye Over at North Carolina Drake Maye holds the position of starting quarterback and is widely regarded as one of the quarterback prospects for the 2024 NFL Draft. Drake has several NIL deals and in sum total, they are worth $1.5 million.

Will Anderson Jr

Will Anderson Jr. without a doubt stands out as one of the college football players. The upcoming 2023 NFL Draft is expected to see him being chosen as a pick. His NIL deals are estimated to be $1.4 million.

Jordan Addison

Jordan Addison, who currently holds the Biletnikoff Award title has established himself as one of college football’s premier receivers. It comes as no surprise that he is projected to be among the picks, in the 2023 NFL Draft. Jordan Addison has secured NIL deals worth $1.2 million.

How These Players Earned Their NIL Deals

The college football players who made it to the list of the 10 paid athletes in 2024 have secured their NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) deals through a combination of factors;

1. Performance: These players have consistently demonstrated skills on the field. They are considered among the finest, in their positions. Have significantly contributed to their team’s triumphs.

2. Popularity: Alongside their prowess, these players enjoy popularity among fans and followers on social media platforms. Their large and engaged audience makes them targets, for businesses and organizations aiming to expand their reach.

3. Marketability: These players possess a blend of talent, popularity, and positive reputation that makes them highly marketable. Businesses and organizations seek to align themselves with these players as it enables them to effectively advertise their products and services while cultivating an impression, among consumers.

What Other Athletes Can Learn from This?

Performing well on the field is crucial, for securing NIL deals. Businesses and organizations are more likely to collaborate with athletes who consistently excel and make contributions, to their teams’ success. Developing a brand is essential, for athletes as it allows them to showcase their personality and values.

By doing they can establish a connection with their fans. Increase their attractiveness to potential sponsors and organizations. It’s important for athletes to actively interact with their fans, on social media platforms in order to expand their fan base and improve their marketability.

The Future of NIL in College Football

The future of name, image, and likeness (NIL), in college football, appears promising. NIL has paved the way for college athletes to monetize their names, images, and likenesses for the time resulting in a significant impact on the sport. One of the consequences brought about by NIL is intensified competition among colleges for sought-after recruits.

Institutions backed by supporters now have the ability to offer NIL agreements to recruits granting them an edge over institutions with less financially endowed supporters. Consequently, this has sparked a rivalry, for recruits and subsequently elevated the expenses associated with college football.

To Conclude, NIL not only helps players get more money, but it also increases their popularity and market value. NIL has proven to be beneficial for the players and will keep on bringing more opportunities for the new players.

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Kshitij Singh
Kshitij Singh
🏈🏀 Meet Kshitij Singh, a seasoned sports writer with 3+ years' experience! 🌟 Known for his insightful NFL and NBA content, he hones his skills at SportzHive, offering in-depth analysis and captivating narratives.


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