Alabama redshirt freshman quarterback Bryce Young assumes the reins of the most important position on the field this season for the defending national champions, and his star power has a chance to be considerably lucrative for the former five-star prospect. Speaking at the Texas High School Coaches Association convention on Tuesday, Alabama coach Nick Saban revealed that one of his players has been offered a substantial name, image and likeness deal, though he did not specify the player by name.
“Our quarterback has already approached ungodly numbers, and he hasn’t even played yet,” Saban said, via 247Sports’ Chris Hummer. “If I told you what it is … it’s almost seven figures.”
Saban did not mention Young by name, but he is expected to be Alabama’s starter this season and is one of the Heisman frontrunners according to oddsmakers. Young played sparingly last season behind first-team All-American and Heisman finalist Mac Jones, but his talent was noticeable.
Former Alabama quarterback and SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy explained why he sees a bright future with Young at quarterback, despite him being a bit of an unknown.
“He’s a stud. And there’s no denying his pedigree, there’s no denying his physical attributes. The guy’s unbelievable,” McElroy said ahead of SEC Media Days on Monday. “Can run around, can create, is accurate, and does a pretty good job of going through his progressions. You talk to anybody that was on that staff last year, they’ll tell you he has a really good foundational understanding of how to have his feet where they need to be, when they need to be there. So, he’s already far ahead of where he needs to be. But, here’s the but, until the lights are bright and it’s your gig, it’s still a little bit of an unknown.
“Now, I’d love to have the starting point that he has with the physical attributes and all the other things I just talked about, but can he step into the shoes of a vacated first-round pick in Mac Jones — who had one of the best years we’ve ever seen at the quarterback spot — that’s to be determined. I’m still very optimistic about it, that’s for sure.”
The NCAA approved name, image and likeness deals on July 1 and since, dozens of players have publicly acknowledged relationships with sponsors.
At least 13 states have NIL laws in place, and no two are the same, but the gist is similar: players can be paid, but be careful not to wear team gear in advertisements or go against your school’s in-house rules. The NCAA’s interim policy, which covers all states, allows players everywhere to strike deals but they, too, just adhere to rules adopted by their university compliance department.
Brandon Marcello contributed to this story.