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Sam Ehlinger's Name, Image and Likeness Worth Nearly $1M a Year?

A new Axios chart values the Texas Longhorns quarterback as one of the most valuable NIL properties in the country

 Axios and Opendorse released a sample of 12 name athletes' potential name, image and likeness values on Wednesday, putting Texas' Sam Ehlinger on top of the short sample list. 

The Texas quarterback is valued at $926,000 with 197,000 Twitter and Instagram followers and and "influencer" value of $3,296 per post. 

There were other factors in in the value of each athlete on the list as explained by Opendorse CEO Blake Lawerence: 

  • The estimates are "based on actual data from the last decade of providing the technology behind millions of dollars of transactions between brands and professional athletes," according to Lawrence, and they fluctuate based on factors like school, social presence, and athletic success/name recognition.
  • The success/name recognition factor explains why Texas' senior QB Sam Ehlinger and Clemson's incoming freshman QB D.J. Uiagalelei have such drastically different potential earnings despite the relative similarities in position, program prestige and social presence.
  • Lawrence acknowledges that his company's expertise in the area has its limits, saying, "As we get into year one, two, three of the NIL era, the data will shift from assumptions to reality."

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While the numbers are largely hypothetical at this point, there's no doubt that the recent NCAA ruling should be a boon to Texas athletics. Austin is currently the largest city in the United States without sports franchise from one of the four major leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL).

Add in the large in-state markets of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio and one could understand how an athlete could set him or herself up to make a good deal of money playing in Austin. 

We're already seeing the staff use this information on the recruiting trail. Texas' director of recruiting Bryan Carrington tweeted this list out shortly after it was released. The intended message was obvious. 

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