When It Comes to Highest Paid NCAA Athletes, It Pays to Have Famous Relatives

When It Comes to Highest Paid NCAA Athletes, It Pays to Have Famous Relatives
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

With Student Athlete Day arriving on Thursday, April 6, EmpireStakes.com — home to the best New York sports betting coverage — decided to look at the predicted highest-paid student athletes for the 2023 year.

Using On3.com, here is a list of the Top 10 student athletes in NIL valuation for 2023.

Visit BetMGM.com for T&Cs. Must be 21+ and physically present in NY only. New Customer Offer. All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable bonus bets. Bonus bets expire in 7 days from issuance. Please gamble responsibly. Gambling Problem? Call (877-8-HOPENY) or text HOPENY (467369).

NCAA Athletes by NIL Valuation

Rank Player School NIL Valuation
1Bronny James (men’s basketball)Undecided$7.2 M
2Arch Manning (football)Texas$3.7 M
3Livvy Dunne (women’s gymnastics)LSU$3.4 M
4Mikey Williams (men’s basketball)Memphis$3.3 M
5Caleb Williams (football)USC$2.6 M
6Travis Hunter (football)Colorado$1.7 M
T7Shedeur Sanders (football)Colorado$1.5 M
T7Drake Maye (football)UNC$1.5 M
T7Bo Nix (football)Oregon$1.5 M
T10Hansel Emmanuel (men’s basketball)Undecided$1.4 M
T10Sunisa Lee (women’s gymnastics)Auburn$1.4 M


James Tops College NIL List

Bronny James, the eldest son of NBA future Hall of Famer and current Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is ranked No. 1 on the list, with a valuation of $7.2 million.

Currently a senior at Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, Calif., he was recently named a McDonald's All-American and netted 15 points, all on 3-pointers, in the McDonald's All-American Game last Tuesday.

He is a consensus four-star recruit and is undecided on a college to attend in the fall. James already has NIL deals with Beats by Dre, Nike, and PSD Underwear.

University of Texas freshman quarterback Arch Manning, son of Cooper Manning and nephew of Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, is second on the list — close to half of James' valuation at $3.7 million.

The No. 1, five-star recruit this season, Manning enrolled early in January at the Austin-based school and will undoubtedly see some playing time in 12 days when the annual Orange vs. White spring football game takes place April 15.

Manning has not announced any public NIL deals or agreements as of yet. Meanwhile, New York sports betting apps have Texas at +3000 to win the national championship this season.


Gymnasts Rank High On List

At No. 3 is Olivia “Livvy” Dunne, LSU women's gymnastics member at $3.4 million. She currently has NIL deals with Leaf Trading Cards, Vuori Clothing, American Eagle, Bartleby, Plant Fuel among others.

Mikey Williams, current Memphis basketball player, is No. 4 with a player valuation at $3.3 million. Williams was the first prep player ever to join a major representation agency after Excel Sports Management signed him back in July 2021. Williams has deals with PUMA, Cash App, I Got It Auction and LaceClips to name a few.

Caleb Williams, USC quarterback and last year's Heisman Trophy winner will be coming back to Southern Cal for his junior season and is expected to be the No. 1 NFL draft selection in 2024. (The No. 1 QB to be selected this year is Alabama's Bryce Young, -250 at DraftKings NY Sportsbook.)

Williams valuation is estimated at $2.6 million after throwing for 4,075 yards with a school record 47 touchdowns (37 passing, 10 rush) last season. Williams currently owns a stake in Faculty (men's grooming), Hall of GOATs (NFT marketplace) and FutureMood (mood-altering sunglasses company).

To be young again.



Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

Cited by leading media organizations, such as:

Scroll to top