Colorado's Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter see major On3 NIL Valuation growth

On3 imageby:Pete Nakos09/05/23


Jim Nagy on Deion Sanders and Colorado, TCU

Colorado captured the attention of the college football world in Week 1. After months of hearing about Deion Sanders arriving in Boulder and his blunt transfer portal tactics, the Buffaloes finally played a game.

And while Coach Prime’s pregame speech and postgame press conference were everywhere across social media, Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter were everywhere in the 45-42 win over No. 17 TCU in Fort Worth. Both transfers from Jackson State, Hunter played 129 snaps, while Sanders broke the Colorado record for passing yards in a game.

A wide receiver and cornerback, Hunter was constantly making plays. He finished with 11 catches for 119 yards, which doesn’t include the two first-half deep ball misses that only would’ve sent those numbers climbing. He picked off TCU quarterback Chandler Morris from inside the Colorado 5 on third down, disrupting what would have been a go-ahead touchdown.

After starring at Jackson State the last two seasons, the biggest question was how would Shedeur Sanders handle the jump to the Power Five. Deion Sanders’ son delivered, finishing 38 of 47 for 510 yards and four touchdowns.

“We’ve got a couple guys in here who should be front-runners for the Heisman – that’s how I feel,” Deion Sanders said after the game. “Who did what they did?”

The on-field performances resulted in major NIL returns. Shedeur Sanders saw his On3 NIL Valuation jump up $2.5 million to $3.5 million. It is now the highest-ranked valuation in college football, edging out Texas quarterback Arch Manning at $2.9 million. The quarterback has more than 1.5 million followers on social media.

College football has not seen a two-way player like Hunter in recent memory. His social media accounts took off with his breakout game, adding more than 75,000 followers this weekend. He now has 1.5 million followers and a $1.8 million On3 NIL Valuation, which is a $362,000 increase from last week. The valuation is No. 4 in college football.

Hunter and Sanders now sit in the top 10 of the On3 NIL 100, which is the first of its kind and defacto NIL ranking of the top 100 high school and college athletes ranked by their On3 NIL Valuation. The quarterback’s valuation is No. 2 in the NIL 100, trailing only Bronny James’ $6.1 million evaluation.

Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter already have big NIL brands

Brands put significant weight on an athlete’s platform. It can make all the difference in signing a deal or not. The NIL age is catered to the top college athletes who can excel on the field and be social media influencers.

The No. 2 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, Hunter has signed endorsement contracts with Celsius Energy Drink, the Michael Strahan BrandActively Black and SoHoodie. He’s tapped into his fishing hobby through NIL in deals with WaterLand Co.KastKing and Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. He also has a YouTube page with more than 170,000 subscribers.

Similar to Hunter, Shedeur Sanders has been cashing in on NIL since 2021. In the last year alone, he’s signed with Gatorade, launched his own barbecue sauce, been tabbed as the BRADY brand’s long-term ambassador and promoted Mercedes-Benz. Most recently, he was named to the “Beats Elite” class along with 14 other college football players. The athletes will be featured across various marketing campaigns and wear custom Beats products.

The Colorado duo will only see more NIL activities come their way if the Buffaloes continue to succeed in the national spotlight.

About the On3 NIL Valuation

The On3 NIL Valuation is the industry’s leading index that sets the standard market NIL value for high school and college athletes. A proprietary algorithm, the On3 NIL Valuation calculates an athlete’s NIL value using dynamic data points targeting three primary categories: performance, influence and exposure.

About On3 NIL Valuation, Brand Value, Roster Value

While the algorithm includes deal data, it does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals athletes have completed to date, nor does it set an athlete’s NIL valuation for their entire career.

The On3 NIL Valuation accounts for an athlete’s roster value and brand value. Roster value is the value an athlete has by being a member of his or her team at his or her school, which factors into the role of NIL collectives. Brand value factors in an athlete’s personal brand and the value it could bring to regional and national brands outside of the scope of NIL collectives.