For the first time in college football history, it actively pays to play at the most star-studded position on the field: quarterback. Just ask Alabama sophomore Bryce Young, the Tide’s presumptive starter for the 2021 college football season.
Young, the No. 2 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class per 247Sports’ Composite rankings — and the No. 1 overall quarterback, regardless of style — has already taken significant advantage of Name Image and Likeness deals, which the NCAA allowed to go into effect on July 1.
Alabama coach Nick Saban on Tuesday detailed just how lucrative those NIL deals have been for his quarterback. Saban, speaking at the Texas High School Coach Association’s annual convention, said Young is nearing $1 million in NIL money.
“Certain positions, probably, enhance opportunities to create value, like quarterback, and our quarterback already has approached ungodly numbers — I’m not going to say what they are — and he hasn’t even played yet,” Saban said (via The Athletic). “Hasn’t even started. … It’s almost seven figures. And it’s like, the guy hasn’t even played yet. But that’s because of our brand.”
Not bad for a quarterback who has only completed 13 of 22 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown.
The Crimson Tide’s brand undoubtedly helped create value for Young, who is repped by the Creative Artists Agency and signed an NIL deal with Cash App. But he entered Alabama as one of its most hyped prospects, not only under Saban, but also of the modern recruiting era. He’s tied for the 20th-ranked recruit all time under 247Sports’ database alongside former Crimson Tide offensive linemen Cyrus Kouandjio and Andre Smith. He also set several records at Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.).
It’s worth asking why Saban thought to mention Young as it pertains to NIL deals, but it’s possible the 15th-year Alabama coach used that nugget of information as a potential recruiting tool in Texas, where the Tide have poached several top-end prospects in previous cycles.
Saban will address media members at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., on Wednesday.