When name, image and likeness legislation was introduced into the world of college football, it was obvious that it would be a game-changer.
Just how much of a game-changer, however, nobody knew.
We got a glimpse of its importance with Texas A&M’s legendary 2022 recruiting class. But that was just the beginning. Many recruits in the class of 2023 initially listed NIL down the list of important factors in their respective recruitments.
But it appears that’s now changed.
Role Of NIL In College Football Recruiting Shows Rapid Growth
Chris Hummer of 247Sports dove farther into the topic recently, and the results were unmistakable.
The All-American Bowl presents an opportunity to survey some of the elite recruits in the country. 247Sports did so last year, polling recruits in the 2022 class on how much NIL factored into their decision-making process. Only 16 of the 87 players anonymously surveyed said NIL played a role in their recruitment.
247Sports anonymously surveyed 93 players at the 2023 All-American Bowl, asking them on a scale of 1-5 how much NIL factored into their recruitments with five meaning the most and one the least. The average answer was 2.1. A moderate factor, but a factor, nonetheless.
Just under 42% of players said NIL was at least a 3 on a 5-point scale in terms of importance while 34.4% players answered with a 1. Notably, 18 players said they already have agents. Of that group, they averaged a 2.7 on a 5-point scale in terms of NIL importance.
How much of a factor NIL plays in recruitment is still up for grabs. But it’s clear that it is definitely a factor that’s here to stay. And it’s reasonable to believe that many recruits downplay its importance. But when someone waves six, seven, or even eight figures in your face, it becomes difficult to ignore.
Hummer interviewed a number of recruits and all generally said some version of “the money is important, but it has to be a good fit as well.” Though it’s increasingly clear that the money can make the fit seem nicer that it would otherwise.
Welcome to the world of college sports in 2023.