Syracuse Football: How much could players earn from endorsements?

The NCAA is weighing a change to its name, image and likeness rules, and it’s intriguing to think about how much money Syracuse football players could make.

How much could a star Syracuse football player like Andre Cisco or Trill Williams generate in endorsement income if the NCAA finally gets with the program and allows student-athletes to profit off their own names, images and likenesses?

It’s not entirely clear, but based on a story from 247Sports, the potential is there for the best-known and marketable players in the sport – particularly those with large social media followings – to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

Of course, while the incompetent NCAA is seriously considering changes to its NIL rules, there’s no guarantee that it will happen at all, or even anytime soon. But progress in this debate has occurred, and even federal lawmakers are weighing in on the issue.

Per an article from 247Sports national college football writer Chris Hummer, two leading Heisman Trophy contenders for the upcoming term, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State QB Justin Fields, have earning potential that exceeds $1 million.

Hummer’s piece cites a study from Opendorse, an athlete marketing platform based in Lincoln, Neb. Blake Lawrence, a former Nebraska linebacker and CEO of Opendorse, told Hummer that “the average FBS player would be worth anywhere from $800 to $8,000 dollars a year.”

I have no doubt that guys like junior defensive back Williams, junior safety Cisco, redshirt junior quarterback Tommy DeVito and a few other Syracuse football players could possibly earn way more than $8,000 annually from endorsement avenues.

Cisco, for one, was an All-American in 2018 as a true freshman, and he’s getting a ton of pre-season accolades heading into the 2020 stanza, as well as first- or second-round buzz in the 2021 NFL Draft.

That being said, I can’t see Orange guys commanding anywhere close to what a Fields or a Trevor Lawrence could earn. For one, Clemson and Ohio State are much bigger football brands than Syracuse. Orange football players, by and large, also don’t have huge presences on social media.

If you begin to discuss NIL as it pertains to Syracuse basketball, well, the Orange has a much larger national brand in that sport than in football. The 247Sports article also said it’s important to consider whether a particular college or university has professional sports franchises in the vicinity.

In Syracuse’s instance, there are other sports besides those played by the Orange around, although the university does generate much of the attention in the greater ‘Cuse community.

A charismatic guy like Cisco, were he to seriously contend for national defensive player of the year honors and become an All-American again, could absolutely bring in some endorsement income. How much, though, will remain a mystery for now.

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