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Alabama QB Bryce Young already has nearly $1 million in likeness deals

July 21, 2021, 4:07 PM UTC

Bryce Young is a 19-year-old college sophomore and the presumed starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide this coming season. He’s also a millionaire, thanks to eager sponsors and new rules from the NCAA.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, speaking at the Texas High School Coaches Association’s annual convention this week, said Young has already amassed name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals worth nearly $1 million after playing just 7 games and throwing 22 passes last year.

“Certain positions, probably, enhance opportunities to create value, like quarterback, and [Young] already has approached ungodly numbers — I’m not going to say what they are — and he hasn’t even played yet. Hasn’t even started,” Saban said. “It’s almost seven figures. And it’s like, the guy hasn’t even played yet. But that’s because of our brand.”

The largess comes following a July 1 rule change by the NCAA that allowed college athletes to be paid for their name or likeness. The change came after a Supreme Court ruling found existing rules violated federal antitrust laws.

It’s a boon for players at big schools like Alabama, but some worry the ruling and subsequent rule changes could put smaller NCAA Division I schools at a disadvantage. Nevertheless, agents have been swooping into the college athletics space. Young is represented by Creative Artists Agency, which also represents stars like Jennifer Aniston, Tom Hanks, and Derek Jeter.

And Young is hardly alone in cashing in. Jackson State defensive end Antwan Owens has signed a deal with hair product business 3 Kings Grooming, while basketball stars Hanna and Haley Cavinder of Fresno State inked one with Boost Mobile. Auburn quarterback Bo Nix is talking up a sponsored iced tea on his Instagram, and Ole Miss QB Matt Corral (also a sophomore) is charging $10,000 an hour speaker fees.

In most cases, the dollar amounts for those sponsorships are being kept confidential. And in the case of Young, at least, they’re surprising even to other NCAA coaches.

“I’m still blown away on this Bryce Young,” Ole Miss head coach (and former Alabama offensive coordinator) Lane Kiffin said at a news conference at that same convention. “This guy’s made a million dollars already? That’s good, man. He don’t need to play next year against us, then. I mean, that’s mind-blowing.”

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