On top of bragging rights, the Big Ten East Division crown is up for grabs. And Saturday will serve as a College Football Playoff elimination game.
Ryan Day and the Buckeyes are trying to snap a two-game losing streak to the Wolverines. Michigan is without head coach Jim Harbaugh, who is serving his final game of his three-game suspension. Interim head coach Sherrone Moore will be looking to guide the Wolverines to a Big Ten title game appearance.
The 1870 Society, the official NIL collective for Buckeyes football, dropped “Ohio Against The World” merchandise recently. And Valiant Management Group, the go-to sports marketing firm for Michigan athletes, partnered with “Detroit vs Everybody” to re-release “Michigan vs Everybody” T-shirts.
On3 is breaking down the top-five On3 NIL Valuations ahead of Saturday’s Michigan-Ohio State matchup:
1. J.J. McCarthy — $1.2 million
“It shows the character that he has, and how much love and trust that he has in the offensive linemen,” Barnhart said.
Over the last year and change, the quarterback secured an agreement with Dunkin’ at select metro Detroit locations, with his own item going up on menus. He’s worked closely with Valiant Management, securing opportunities with Eberg Capital, The M Den and Randy Wise Automotive Team. He’s since worked with Bose and Alo Yoga. He’s a member of the inaugural “Beats Elite” class, too.
The Brady Brand launched a Michigan collection with the M Den earlier this month. McCarthy signed a deal with the company. And McCarthy has his own foundation, called J.J. For the Kids, which aims to, “make a difference in the lives of kids in my communities, in the Chicagoland area and in Ann Arbor.” All donations are directed back towards the fund.
The Michigan quarterback has thrown for 2,335 yards with 18 touchdowns and four interceptions this season. His name has been tossed around in the Heisman conversation, too.
2. Marvin Harrison Jr. — $1.2 million
School: Ohio State
Position: Wide Receiver
Ohio State will have the best wide receiver in the country on its offense Saturday in Marvin Harrison Jr. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound wideout dominated the Big Ten a year ago. His stats have picked up again this year, entering the top-five matchup with 62 receptions for 1,093 yards and 13 touchdowns. A big game would only boost his Heisman stock. His ability to make high-level grabs has consistently awed scouts. He’ll be crucial Saturday, providing Kyle McCord with a reliable target all day.
The son of NFL Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison opted to not sign any NIL deals last season. That has changed. Harrison has publicly announced more than 10 endorsement contracts with brands and collectives since March, while also launching a memorabilia collection. His top NIL deals include a partnership with Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet of Columbus, joining the Zoa Energy Drink marketing campaign, a one-off agreement with Dr Teal’s and being featured on a bag of Grippo’s Chips. In recent weeks he’s added notable endorsement deals with 7-Eleven, Chipotle and Kane Footwear.
3. Blake Corum — $858,000
Position: Running Back
Blake Corum has emerged as one of the Big Ten’s NIL success stories, inking deals with Outback Steakhouse, The 33rd Team and Subway in the last two years. The former four-star recruit’s biggest success has come through flipping houses, a business venture he recently said he is hoping to turn into “an empire.” The Athletic reported earlier this year Corum could make over $1 million during his final year in Ann Arbor of NIL.
He’s also used his platform to give back. The running back handed out 200 turkeys and 200 gallons of milk at three locations throughout Ypsilanti this past weekend, using his NIL dollars to give back to the greater Ann Arbor community.
Records surfaced earlier this month of an LLC in Wyoming listing both Corum and former Michigan staff member Connor Stalions. Corum said he was unaware of the LLC until only before practice; he contacted his attorney to intervene. In recent weeks, Blake Corum has added NIL agreements with Wolverine Boots, The Detroit Garage and 7-Eleven.
Corum has rushed for 888 yards on 180 carries this season, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. His 20 rushing touchdowns lead the nation. A year after he carried the ball just twice against the Buckeyes due to injury, the Michigan running back will have another shot to take down Ohio State.
4. Kyle McCord — $857,000
School: Ohio State
Kyle McCord waited for two years for his chance at Ohio State, backing up CJ Stroud. The former five-star recruit wasn’t the surefire starter this offseason, either. He competed head-to-head with Devin Brown throughout spring and preseason. But now entering the regular season finale, there’s little doubt about who Ohio State’s starting quarterback is.
McCord has looked more comfortable and confident these last few weeks than at any point this season. Perfect timing, too. The quarterback will make his first start in The Game on Saturday, trying to help Ohio State snap its two-game losing streak to Michigan.
It’s a lot for a starting quarterback to shoulder in his first start in the rivalry. But Ohio State head coach Ryan Day emphasized earlier this week that McCord just needs to be routine, similar to his other 11 outings this year. The quarterback has thrown for 2,899 yards with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions this season.
Kyle McCord’s social media following has taken off this season, growing by over 30,000 since August and now sitting at 88,000. Multiple Columbus businesses have started to work with the quarterback, leveraging his name, image and likeness. Back in June, the junior signed with Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet. As part of the deal, he received the keys to a 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 53.
McCord signed a major partnership with Rhoback this summer, too, becoming a leading face for the brand. And he has a season-long agreement with Dr Pepper. He’s repped by Excel Sports and Vayner Sports.
5. Denzel Burke — $662K
School: Ohio State
Denzel Burke earned multiple second-team Midseason All-American honors this year. The junior will have a chance Saturday to prove why he’s worthy of first-team recognition. A former four-star prospect, Burke has developed into one of the nation’s top cornerbacks and will have another chance to show out Saturday against Michigan. So far this season he has nine pass breakups and an interception. With a solid social media following and a household name on the Ohio State defense, he’s signed some notable NIL deals, too. He’s worked with the Ohio State-focused collective The Foundation and held a camp this summer with Next Gen Camps and multiple teammates.
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.
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.