Since the new NIL rules have gone into place, which allows college athletes to profit from their own likenesses, the new starting quarterback for Alabama has already made a whole pile of money. Bryce Young, the sophomore former-five star recruit, has only 22 pass attempts in college football.
Head coach Nick Saban said that their “quarterback has already approached ungodly numbers” when he was asked today about the NIL rules at the Texas High School Coaches Association’s convention. “It’s almost seven figures.”
Saban continued: “Everything that we’ve done in college athletics in the past has always been equal. Everybody’s had equal scholarship, equal opportunity. Now that’s probably not going to be the case. Some positions, some players will have more opportunities than others.”
Good for Young. Capitalize on being the starting quarterback for Alabama. Take advantage.
I can see there being many thoughts surrounding which schools these young athletes could choose. The larger schools, like Alabama with their football program and Duke with their basketball program, can point to their brand as a selling point in the recruiting process and the opportunities that could present themselves based on being associated with those programs.
On the other side of things, top-tier talents could consider playing for a smaller school a benefit, if they believe they can dominate that market.
In fact, that just happened.
Jordan Hudson, the No. 12 recruit in the country, committed to SMU. He is the highest-ranked recruit in SMU history.
It definitely doesn’t hurt that SMU has recently produced professional wide receivers like Courtland Sutton, the starting outside receiver for the Denver Broncos, who was taken in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
With the opportunity to potentially get on the field right away instead of being buried in the perpetual logjam of Alabama wide receivers, and without having to contend with as many other top recruits for endorsement deals, if Hudson can perform early in his collegiate career, the new NIL landscape could help propel him to superstardom.
Hudson will be a fascinating case study in the unprecedented landscape that is currently evolving. Perhaps the NIL rules will help smaller schools land more big-name commitments, which could potentially lead to more parity in the college game. I hope that it will allow for stars who develop in smaller markets to build their brands and get more name recognition as they continue on their paths to their future goals, whether that’s the NFL or in some other avenue.
Maybe the new NIL rules are exactly what college football needed, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but to also give smaller programs a better shot at landing talented players. Hudson could be the first domino to fall in a wild 2022 recruiting cycle.