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Top 5 Highest Paid NCAA Athletes

Published 09/08/2023, 10:26 AM EDT

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Ever since college athletes have become eligible to sign NIL deals, the entire landscape of collegiate sports has changed for good. To those who are unfamiliar with the term NIL, the word stands as an acronym for Name, Image and Likeness. The aforementioned terms are mostly what endorsers acquire when they sign an athlete for their company with athletes being paid handsomely in return. This business model has been used in professional sports for a long time and since 2021 has been applicable to all NCAA athletes.

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Many college stars since the inception of this policy have signed multi-million dollar deals with conglomerates who have made them millions. With the deals only set to become larger year by year here are the top 5 highest paid NCAA athletes of all time.

Top 5 highest paid NCAA athletes


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1. Angel Reese – $1.6 million

LSU star Angel Reese is one of the most recognizable collegiate athletes in the country today. The power forward who led the Lady Tigers to their first ever NCAA championship last term has become quite famous amongst fans making her an ideal partner for many companies.


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Currently sponsored by McDonalds, Bose and Sonic to name a few, Angel Reese’s stock continues to grow day by day. With all of her endorsements having made her quite wealthy, Resse boasts an estimated valuation of $1.6 million, a figure that is only bound to grow further.

2. Caleb Williams – $2.6 million

Junior quarterback for the University of Southern California Caleb Williams has become one of the richest NCAA athletes ever as the football star recently signed multiple brand deals that include the likes of Topps and Leaf trading card.

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These multiple deals have propelled him to a NIL valuation of $2.6 million making him the second richest NCAA football athlete.

3. Arch Manning – $2.8 million

The nephew of legendary quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning, Arch Manning is one of the most sought-after players in his class.

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With a NIL valuation of $2.8 million Manning sits third on the list despite him not having signed any endorsements yet. Having stalled offers reportedly until he was enrolled in college the youngster may soon sign his first deal, now that he has committed to the Texas Longhorns recently.

4. Livvy Dunne – $3.4 million

With 11.2 million followers across all social media platforms LSU gymnast Livvy Dunne is not your typical gymnast.

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An online sensation Livvy has a host of endorsements with her, the most notable ones being her deals with Forever 21, ESPN and Grubhub. While Dunne is maybe the most followed college athlete, she sits second in the highest earner list with a valuation of $3.4 million.


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5. Bronny James – $6.4 million

Despite having not played a single game of NCAA basketball yet Bronny James, the son of NBA star LeBron, is set to earn a whopping $6.4 million when he suits up for USC this coming year.

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Having already signed endorsements with Nike, beats by Dre and PSD underwear, Bronny already has many offers lined up. With him yet to make his debut after his recent health scare young Bron’s value is bound to grow the longer he plays in college.


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Written by:

Arian Kashyap


One take at a time

Arian Kashyap is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. He has college degrees in Physical Education and Sport Sciences and has been writing since 2019. He actively follows the NBA, and though he is a Miami Heat fan, Arian likes to provide all NBA lovers with captivating content that also helps educate his readers.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor