College QB Austin Reed got transfer portal offers comparable to late-round NFL draft picks

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Western Kentucky v South Alabama
Getty Images

The NFL saw fewer college players turn pro when they still had NCAA eligibility remaining this year than in past years, and the reason appears to be that college players can now earn significant money through their name, image and likeness rights.

Western Kentucky quarterback Austin Reed provided one example of how the NIL money is affecting players’ decisions. Reed, who threw for 4,744 yards, 40 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season and was MVP of the New Orleans Bowl, told Chris Vannini of TheAthletic.com that when he put his name in the transfer portal, other college teams were promising that if he transferred, he’d make NIL money comparable to what late-round draft picks make.

“When the money that was available was put on the table, it was really hard,” Reed said. “This is the kind of money a late draft pick is making.”

Reed ultimately decided to stay at Western Kentucky, in part because of an NIL deal with a local real estate company. He also believes that Western Kentucky is a place that can help him improve his own stock for the 2024 NFL draft. (Reed’s predecessor as Western Kentucky’s quarterback, Bailey Zappe, was a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 2022.)

“Is the money this year more important than the money that could be made down the road?” Reed thought. “If I go somewhere and I have an average year, I’m just on the edge of being drafted. Or if I have another great year [at Western Kentucky], I can find myself in the first three rounds.”

There was a time when the decision for a draft-eligible player was either take the money, or stay in school. Now college players have options: Make NIL money at their current school, seek more NIL money through the transfer portal, or go to the NFL. It’s a better situation for the players, and one that will result in some players deciding to wait another year before going to the NFL.

14 responses to “College QB Austin Reed got transfer portal offers comparable to late-round NFL draft picks

  1. It is going to help parity as well. Players won’t want to sit when they can play and earn.

  2. Somehow this will be bad though for the same people who pass block for billionaire owners. Consistency is not the friend of hypocrites.

  3. It won’t be long before some small school announces that they are no longer going to offer scholarships and the boosters will have to pony up enough money in NIL to cover the school’s tuition along with what the athlete gets to keep. Naturally, some small schools’ programs will fold and the opportunity for lower tier players will be reduced. As always, a program that benefits the top tier of players is probably going to end up reducing opportunities for the lower tiers.

  4. He might as well stay in school his 4 years, get his degree make all the money he could. Sorry but not many Western Kentucky Qbs’ do well in the NFL. Not even a Zappe. If you feel you are a good QB that can make a name for himself in the NFL then play for a school that plays tough competition week in and week out, or better yet declare for the draft and show what you could do

  5. This is exactly why the NIL decision was so important in efforts toward equity. Even a place like Western Kentucky, in a state so poor oligarchs were able to buy its elected officials to rape it of its natural resources for mere rubles on the dollar, can retain talent.

  6. People actually think NIL helps with “equity”? LOL! So the Western Kentucky QB gets NIL money, how many other players on the team have a NIL worth > $0? There is no equity here, the QBs, RBs, & WRs will get a windfall on all of the top teams & a few more elite players will do well, other than that, who really cares about the right guard? 90% of college fans couldn’t even name or point out the right guard on their own team.

  7. Greed ruins all things. I feel for the average kid that is just trying to get his overpriced university education paid for. The lucky few prosper while the average have to work harder to just make it.

  8. NIL is going to ruin this game. Seeing that Florida QB back out because his $13 million NIL deal fell through shows that this is no longer about being a student-athlete but being a professional one.

  9. I never understand why people thought scholarship athletes are getting screwed. Vast majority of them are not NIL marketable, but they are getting an education for free. The same people who complain about athletes not getting paid will also complain about student loan debt, which the scholarship athletes have none. This does nothing to help parity, in fact it will do the opposite. The big schools with the big money will buy all the good players and then dominate the same way they always have. The combination of NIL with the transfer portal is a disaster for college football fans. Kids no longer have to honor a commitment and they can just leverage schools for new money each year. Good for the kids, but now they’ve become professional athletes while supposedly playing college football. A $200k scholarship is pretty good compensation. Opens up a world of freedom to the kids when they graduate. They can save for house and retirement instead of paying off student loans. Lifetime of benefits if they actually get an education. If they’re simply leveraging schools for more money they’ll be broke before they fail to make the NFL and not have a degree to show for it.

  10. Seems some of you have learned your mediocre children can’t compete unless the playing field is tilted in their favor? Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.