Editorial

How Much Money Could Elite College Athletes Potentially Earn?

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David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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How much money will elite college athletes make once they’re allowed to profit?

This was a question I found myself debating with a close friend Monday night as the NCAA nears a decision that allows players to profit off their name, image and likeness. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)

If players are allowed to sign advertising deals, I think you’re going to see some numbers that will blow your mind.

Don’t believe me? Allow me to break it down for you. Let’s take Johnny Manziel. During one year of his time at Texas A&M, the Aggies raised a record $740 million.

Yes, you read that number correctly. How much money would Johnny Manziel have made if he could have signed endorsement contracts during his Heisman year?

I would be willing to bet that he could have left College Station with more than $50 million in endorsement cash. Between a deal with Nike, a headphones company, a cell phone company and probably a beverage company, getting Johnny Football to $50 million wouldn’t have taken much.

Now, he’s an exception to the rule. We might never see a more marketable college athlete in the next 30 years. He had everything going for him. He was flashy, the all-American kid and there was just this aura about him that couldn’t be matched.

So, if we dial it back and look at someone like Tua Tagovailoa, the numbers would still be huge. It was reported earlier in the year that he could make more money than 90% of NFL quarterbacks as the starting quarterback of Alabama.

Again, he’s not your normal athlete, but we’re not talking about your average college football player. We’re talking about Heisman caliber stars.

When it comes to the top one percent of the top one percent of FBS stars, I think you’re going to see some numbers that rival NFL salaries, especially for quarterbacks.

Even a guy like Shea Patterson at Michigan could have probably pulled in $100,000 for product endorsements in the Michigan area.

Trust me, folks. The numbers are going to be huge!