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Monday, May 27, 2024

For Caleb Williams, NIL is Just a Bonus

  • USC quarterback Caleb Williams is among the top NIL earners in college sports.
  • However, the Heisman winner is focused on much bigger prizes.
Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams during Pac-12 Media Day at Resorts World Las Vegas.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC star quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams is already cashing in on his star power. 

Williams has deals with Fanatics, AT&T, Beats by Dre, and United Airlines, among others — and his NIL valuation of $2.6 million ranks fourth among all college athletes, according to On3.

However, that sum pales in comparison to what top NFL quarterbacks are earning. Three quarterbacks have set contract records in this offseason alone, with Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert signing respective deals worth $255 million, $260 million, and $262.5 million. That trio and the New York Jets’ Aaron Rodgers each boast an average salary over $50 million.

“I have some dreams and aspirations, and I wouldn’t say that [NIL] gives me a different sight on any of that,” Williams said on Front Office Sports Today.

Williams was quick to lay out what would be a hugely successful college season:

  • Reach 70% pass-completion rate this year
  • Win the Pac-12 championship
  • Win the national championship
  • Win a second Heisman Trophy
  • Go first overall in the NFL Draft

As for how he plans to get there, Williams looks toward the top quarterbacks of his lifetime, namely “Tom [Brady], with his mental aspect and being tough, Aaron [Rodgers] being able to do freakish things with his arm and contort his body and deliver from any situation, Patrick Mahomes just being able to be creative and elusive and go win games in big moments. I take a bunch of things from a lot of different QBs and try to add to my game.”

USC’s season begins on Aug. 26 against San Jose State. Listen to the full conversation above — plus an update on a legal matter that could have far-reaching implications for the Premier League.

For more on our daily podcast covering the influence of sports on business and culture, listen and subscribe on Apple, Google, and Spotify. Also, you can follow us on Twitter.

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