Highest Paid College Athletes 2023: Bronny James Tops The List Of Young Stars

Bronny James
Bronny James

For a second year in a row college athletes are able to earn money from playing sports and we have taken a closer look at who earns the most from NIL deals and which sports they play in.

10. Hansel Enmanuel, Northwestern State Demons: $1.4 million

Coming in at number 10 on our list of most valuable college players is Hansel Enmanuel who is worth $1.4 million according to ON3’s valuations.

Enmanuel boasts some of the best endorsements out of any athlete on our list, as the 19-year old already has a deal with Banreservas who are one of the largest financial institutions in his native Dominican Republic.

Another endorsement that Enmanuel has to be proud of is his partnership with Gatorade, who had the 19-year old star in a national commercial spot that aired in June last year.

With 2.7 million followers on TikTok, Enmanuel also holds one of the largest fanbases on this list with fans drawn to the content due to the players remarkable ability to be so good with just one arm.

9. Bo Nix, QB Oregon Ducks: $1.5 million

Bo Nix is the Oregon Ducks quarterback and after throwing for 3,593 yards with 29 touchdowns, the player has been valued by ON3 at $1.5 million.

There isn’t much of a social media following for Nix, however the 23-year old does have 152,000 followers on Instagram.

Nix holds one notable record for Oregon, as last season the quarterback became the first player at the university to post a completion percentage better than 70.0.

8. Drake Maye, QB North Carolina: $1.5 million

Drake Maye is valued at $1.5 million by ON3 and even though not much is known about the player, we certainly know he can throw ball.

Maye broke the high school record for single season passing yards in 2022, with his 4,321 passing yards breaking the record that was previously held by Mitch Trubisky – now Pittsburgh Steelers QB.

With just 62,000 followers on social media, there is little that we really know about the 20-year old who has the smallest following of any star on our list.

7. Shedur Sanders, QB, Colorado: $1.5 million

Sanders first came to the attention of football fans when he put pen to paper on his first deal in December 2021, which saw the quarterback sign for Tom Brady’s brand ‘Brady’ along with only nine other athletes.

As for social media, Sanders has a large Instagram following of 1.1 million that is only growing over time which is sure to have a big impact on his $1.5 million valuation from ON3.

The transformation the 3-star high school prospect has had is spectacular, as the 21-year old has already been discussed as a potential Heisman award winner next season.

Sanders has one of the top endorsement lists of any college athlete and with a Mercedes Benz deal being signed last year, the teen will be more than happy with where his career is heading.

6. Travis Hunter, CB, Collins Hill High School: $1.7 million

Travis Hunter has rocketed up through the rankings in recent months and the Collins Hill player is currently valued at $1.7 million according to the On3 NIL Valuation.

Hunter was the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2022 and he committed to Colorado at the end of last year.

Like most others on this list Hunter boasts a fairly large social media following and the 19-year old has 1.3 million supporters with the most of those (656k) coming on TikTok.

Most of what Hunter posts is edits of his plays, however he also posts a lot of videos promoting a YouTube channel he has which has 141,000 subscribers.

5. Caleb Williams, QB, USC: $2.6 million

Caleb Williams is no doubt the most popular player in college football and the quarterback’s value has soared in recent months after he put USC football back on the map at the end of last year.

Winning the Heisman trophy will certainly do no damage to any players NIL valuation and it was estimated that Williams’ value increased by $1.1 million in the weeks after he picked up the award.

Almost the entire value of Caleb Williams is based off the 21-year old’s talents, as he has next to no social media following compared to those higher on the list with just under 300,000 followers online.

4. Mikey Williams, Memphis commit, $3.3 million

Ranking at number four on the list of On3 NIL Valuations is Mikey Williams, who committed to the University of Memphis at the end of last year as a four star recruit.

Williams has a following of 6 million across his social media and the basketball star even received offers from various historically black college and universities (HBCU) basketball programs, after showing interest in playing for a HBCU on his social media.

As the 24th ranked best player in the country in his year, Williams clearly has a bright future ahead of him and his brand awareness shows that the 18-year old already has great knowledge of how to conduct himself.

Williams became the first high schooler in the U.S. to secure a multi-year sneaker deal with Puma back in October, with the 6-2 guard also signing endorsements with CashApp and LaceClips amongst other major brands.

3. Olivia Dunne, LSU gymnastics: $3.4 million

Olivia Dunne is the only female on our list and also the only gymnast, however the LSU Junior is ranked third by ON3 for valuation which still stands at a staggering $3.4 million.

Dunne’s valuation of over $3 million no doubt stems from the gymnast’s huge social media following, as the 20-year old has amassed a following of 7.3 million on TikTok alone, with other social media apps taking her total following to over 11 million.

“Livvy” as she is fondly known on TikTok, is the most followed college athlete on social media and she used her brand most recently to secure a partnership with Leaf Trading Cards.

The gymnast has multiple endorsements already, as Dunne is signed to Vuori, American Eagle and Forever 21 amongst a host of other major brands.

2. Arch Manning, QB, committed to Texas: $3.7 million

One of a few recognisable names on our list is Peyton and Eli Manning’s nephew Arch Manning, who is currently valued at $3.7 million by ON3.

Despite having not taken a single snap for the Longhorns yet, Manning is ranked at number two on the On3 ranking for net worth largely because of the name he carries.

Manning currently doesn’t have any endorsement deals and said last year that he wouldn’t sign any NIL pacts until he commits to a school because he “doesn’t want to tarnish the brand” and “doesn’t want it to look like he was induced.”

However Manning now has a school and still no endorsements so surely the No. 1 overall recruit in 247Sports’ composite rankings for 2023 will pick up some form of deal soon.

1. Bronny James, Sierra Canyon High School: $7.2 million

Rather unsurprisingly at the top of our list ranks Bronny James, who brings with him the illustrious title of LeBron James’ son making him the most sought after college player for any sponsorship.

Bronny is the oldest of LeBron’s three children and the young star has the world at his feet at just 19-years old, with a recent mock draft projecting Bronny James as a top 10 pick in the 2024 NBA draft.

Carrying the James name clearly means a lot in the basketball world, as Bronny was ranked just 40th of the 2023 class but makes nearly double what anyone else makes in the league from sponsorships.

Bronny has 12.4 million followers on his social media, with James charging around $46,000 per instagram post. His online following certainly doesn’t harm any sponsorship deals, of which Bronny already has several.

The Sierra Canyon High School star has already secured deals with Nike and Beats by Dre and will also have his own underwear line with PSD underwear. James will be sure to earn plenty more in the near future, considering he has now been fully cleared to return to the court.

Five months after suffering a cardiac arrest, the talented 19-year-old has now been medically cleared to play basketball again, which will be a delight to himself and the family as he continues to be one of the highest paid college athletes in the world.

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