Top ten players who missed NIL money: In late July, during the Big Ten’s football media days, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud spoke about how the opportunity for college athletes to earn money from Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) endorsements.
It is a positive development and how he wished that some earlier Ohio State football players could have benefited from it. Stroud made this comment in reference to the fact that the ability to make money from NIL endorsements is a good thing for college athletes.
“I feel bad for the older players who didn’t have a chance to get money from this, like Braxton Miller and Cardale Jones, Justin (Fields), just many dudes who came before me who should have made a killing,” Stroud said. “I feel bad for the younger players who didn’t have a chance to get money from this, like Braxton Miller and Cardale Jones.”
That prompted us to think about several things. Who are the top 10 Ohio State players from the past 50 years who, if given the opportunity, would have been able to make the most money playing for NIL if they had been given the chance?
1. Archie Griffin
Griffin is the only football player in Ohio State history to win the Heisman Trophy twice. As a result, he is one of the school’s most beloved athletes.
There is a good chance that there will never be a Buckeye who is more well-known than the native of Columbus. When he played for Ohio State University from 1972 to 1975, he would have had numerous offers, and sifting through them all would have been a full-time job.
2. Chris Spielman
When Spielman was still a student at Massillon High School and his picture appeared on the box of Wheaties cereal, he was ahead of his time. Unfortunately, he did not receive any compensation for the appearance of his picture.
Because of his success on the field and his undying love for the game of football, there would have been a long queue of people waiting to get his endorsement for their company or product.
During his tenure playing linebacker for Ohio State University from 1984 until 1987, he was named to the All-American team twice. However, he claims that football completely consumed his life while he was in college, thus it is unknown whether or not he would have made the effort to capitalise on each and every NIL opportunity.
3. Art Schlichter
Since his days as Ohio State’s quarterback from 1978-1981, Schlichter’s reputation has been in free fall for good reason. This is due to the fact that he has spent more time in prison than he did playing collegiate football and professional football combined.
During his four years as a Buckeye, though, he had a great deal of popularity due to the fact that he was the quarterback who was expected to bring Ohio State’s passing game into the 20th century. He had two different finishes that placed him in the top five of the Heisman Trophy vote.
And let’s be honest. Given how his life turned out after he graduated from OSU, it’s likely that he would have chased after every money he could get his hands on.
4. Ezekiel Elliott
Elliott’s combination of timing and talent would have made him a significant figure in the NIL world.
When Elliott was a sophomore in 2014, he rushed for 1,878 yards, which included 220 yards against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game, 230 yards against Alabama in a College Football Playoff semifinal, and 246 yards against Oregon in the national championship game. This performance propelled Elliott to become one of the most well-known players in college football.
Then, before entering the National Football League, he rushed for 1,821 yards as a junior. It is safe to say that his touchdown run versus Alabama that covered 85 yards is one of the most iconic moments in Ohio State athletics history.
5. Braxton Miller
Between the years 2011 and 2013, Miller was one of the most exciting athletes in Ohio State University’s history as a quarterback.
In 2011 and 2012, he was the driving force behind the whole offensive attack for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The opposing defenders were aware of what he was going to do, yet they were unable to stop him. They should count themselves quite fortunate to have captured him.
His career as a quarterback came to an end in 2014 after he suffered a shoulder injury during preseason training. He underwent a career change and came back to the team in 2015 playing wide receiver.
6. Orlando Pace
As I’ve mentioned in the past, the Pro Football Hall of Fame ought to have sculpted the bust of Pace, a legendary offensive tackle, at some point during his sophomore year at Ohio State and then stashed it away until he fulfilled the requirement of having been retired from the game for a period of five years in order to be inducted into the Hall.
During his senior year of college, in 1996, Oklahoma State University boosted his candidacy for the Heisman Trophy with a creative refrigerator magnet celebrating his “pancake bricks.” He did not receive any payment for it, but he most likely would have discovered a means to do so now.
Additionally, he was originally from Sandusky. Putting Pace, who weighs more than 300 pounds, in a roller coaster at Cedar Point to promote the park seems like it may have made for an interesting and memorable advertisement on television.
7. Eddie George
There are those who would place the recipient of the Heisman Trophy in 1995 higher on this list. But George did not achieve widespread fame until much later in his career, primarily as a result of the phenomenal 1995 season in which he carried for 1,927 yards.
After losing fumbles at the 1-yard line twice during a game against Illinois in 1992 as a freshman for Ohio State, fans of Ohio State and perhaps the coaches of Ohio State also buried George after the game.
As a junior, he established himself as Ohio State’s primary ball carrier and rushed for 1,442 yards. However, it wasn’t until he played his final year that the majority of the fans began to recognise and respect him. Therefore, it’s possible that he would have been a late bloomer in the world of NIL transactions if they had been around back then.
8. Troy Smith
Simply having a record of 3-0 against Michigan as a starting quarterback from 2004 to 2006 would have been enough to garner a significant number of endorsements for Smith. And those business opportunities would have grown exponentially in 2006, the year he won the Heisman Trophy and led Ohio State to the national championship game when he would have had one of the most successful seasons ever for an Ohio State quarterback.
Because he received what were considered to be “improper benefits,” he was given a suspension that prevented him from playing in the Alamo Bowl versus Oklahoma State in 2004 and the opening game of the 2005 season. That might have hindered him from earning certain sponsorship deals.
9. Joey Bosa
Bosa was most likely the only thing that would have stood in the way of significant NIL money if he had played his cards right. During the years 2013–2015, he was unquestionably one of the best defensive line players for Ohio State University. On the other hand, he was uncomfortable in the limelight and didn’t take much pleasure in being known off the field.
The shrug on its alone would have been enough to make him a sought-after product spokesman for television advertisements, however.
10. Justin Fields
If the NIL had been a part of college football, then whatever deals Stroud has signed with the NIL during his second season as Ohio State’s starting quarterback this year, Fields could have signed in 2020 during his second season as the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback if the NIL had been a part of college football.