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Ohio State claims No. 1 ranking in NIL earnings

Buckeye athletes have claimed nearly $3 million in NIL earnings, which Ohio State says leads the country.

The NIL marketplace is still in its infancy, and so hard-and-fast numbers are hard to come by. 

We knew in August, for example, that the average NIL deal for a Division I athlete was $471, with a median of $35. A handful of big deals pushed the marketplace upward; the median deal at the FBS level was just $5 more than the median deal at the Division III level.

On Monday, Ohio State dropped this bomb:

 A total of 220 student-athletes have engaged in 608 reported NIL activities with a total compensation value of $2.98 million. All three figures rank No. 1 nationally, according to Opendorse, the cutting edge services company hired by Ohio State to help its student-athletes with education and resource opportunities to maximize their NIL earning potential.

Those figures equate to an average of $4,901 per deal and $13,545 per athlete. 

Keep in mind, Ohio State has one of the largest athletics departments in the country, with 36 teams and approximately one thousand athletes. So while 220 Buckeyes have reported deals, that's still a fraction of the athlete population. Choosing a nice, round number of 1,000 kids puts the average earnings at $2,980 per Buckeye.

And, of course, the numbers are pulled upward by high earners at the top. Quinn Ewers, now at Texas, was a millionaire before he even showed up to Columbus. There's no telling how much CJ Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Njigba will earn over the next 11 months. 

Speaking of Texas, Longhorn supporters launched the Clark Field Collective, a $10 million fund to pay 'Horn athletes. Offensive linemen will earn an additional $50,000 on top of the $100,000 the CFC is expected to generate. 

A Miami booster offered $6,000 to each Hurricane football player; BYU also has a similar deal in place.

We've reached out to Opendorse to see if they have a full set of rankings they can share and will update when we hear back.