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Andy Hodges

Manning could be first $10 million a year player as a freshman

Get ready because a current high school junior could raise the NIL bar … and raise it through the roof.



Get ready because a current high school junior could raise the bar on this whole name, image and likeness arms race in a couple of years … and raise it through the roof.

How much? Try $10 million a year before he ever takes a snap in a college game. Every player should be hoping he gets that because it will raise money for everybody.

That’s the number Darren Rovell of The Action Network threw out there on The Dan Patrick Show last week and don’t think for a minute it can’t happen.

It may be an obscene number to some. Completely ridiculous to others. None of that really matters because everybody wanted college athletes to be paid, but the schools aren’t going to do it out of their budgets which throws it into the free market place.

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Sure, he’s got the marketability. A pair of uncles who won a Super Bowl, a grandfather that was legendary in college football before he was 20 years old over 50 years ago and a marketing support system around him in a close-knit family that knows how to capitalize on it.

Throw in the fact he may be the most polished high school quarterback in the last few decades (maybe ever) and all of a sudden, $10 million a year might be on the low side.

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You may not like or think it’s fair but if you thought this whole deal was going to be fair and equitable for everyone you obviously don’t know how the business world of sports works.

The guess here is nothing can be done to hold down this genie that has gotten out of the bottle and nobody is going to be able to get it back into that bottle. Forget about it. That’s not going to happen and it won’t be regulated very well.

“When you say, ‘Who’s the guy who’s gonna come in and blow this thing up?’” Rovell said on the show. “That’s the guy who I think of. But he’s got two years to go.”

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Don’t expect this to be the norm for players coming into college. Probably over 99% of high school players don’t have the support system or the name to pull off anything like that.

Few players project as well in terms of his skill set as Manning. He’s got to show it on the field, but one guarantee in all this is he’s told that by his grandparents and entire family because they know.

It’s the rest of us that are looking at how high he’s going to raise the bar on the NIL rules.


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