The Wildcats were projected fifth in the preseason media poll, while the Horned Frogs were seventh. Yet, this is the only conference title game featuring both teams ranked in the top 10. The Wildcats are 10th in the CFP rankings with a 9-3 record, while TCU is third and a perfect 12-0.
Both teams have exceeded expectations this season, largely because of the performances of their star players. And as we’ve seen all over the country, through NIL, collectives and deals, those stars are getting handsomely rewarded.
Before kickoff, On3 is breaking down the top five On3 NIL Valuations in the Big 12 Championship.
No. 1 Max Duggan
On3 NIL Valuation: $374,000
Per Post Value: $474
On3 Impact 300 ranking: No. 75
Max Duggan is the underdog story of the college football season. Many have been drawn to Duggan during TCU’s record-breaking 2022 season. College football experts say Duggan represents what’s great about college football – especially since he had to overcome a rare abnormality in his heart that was diagnosed in 2020.
“Max Duggan is one of the reasons why I love college football,” Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt said. “He’s had to overcome so much adversity, and he’s come out on top.”
Duggan threw for 3,070 yards and 29 touchdowns with only three interceptions during the regular season. Many expect him to be in New York City for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, and the game against the Wildcats will be one last chance for him to sway voters.
While Duggan hasn’t been actively promoting a large number of NIL deals, with TCU having one of the best collectives in the Big 12, there’s little doubt he’s making the most out of his successful season.
No. 2 Kendre Miller
On3 NIL Valuation: $344,000
Position: Running back
Per Post Value: $297
On3 Impact 300 ranking: No. 55
Miller rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown to help TCU win 17-10 in Austin. At the time, it was his fifth straight 100-yard game in a row and the seventh of the season. He enters the Big 12 title game fourth in the league in all-purpose yards (1,375), fifth in scoring (96 points), second in scoring touchdowns and fourth in rushing (1,260). He was also a first-team all-league pick by the coaches.
“He’s a physical hard runner that doesn’t come down with arm tackles,” K-State coach Chris Klieman said. “He makes guys miss and runs through arm tackles and drags guys for another 3 yards.”
With his success this season, Miller has seen his On3 NIL Valuation climb 904% over the past 10 weeks. He also now has nearly 14,000 social media followers. That’s music to the ears of potential advertisers and his partnership with the Think NIL collective.
No. 3 Cooper Beebe
On3 NIL Valuation: $333,000
Position: Offensive line
Per Post Value: $185
On3 Impact 300 ranking: No. 74
Kansas State’s Cooper Beebe is one of the country’s top offensive linemen.
After starting in eight games in the 2020 season, he became a 13-game starter at left tackle for K-State in 2021. Beebe was a first-team All-Big 12 pick by both the league’s coaches and the Associated Press. He became the youngest offensive lineman to be named to the All-Big 12 team by either group. He did not allow a sack among his 367 pass-blocking snaps in 2021.
Things got even better in 2022 for Beebe. He was named Offensive Lineman of the Year by Big 12 coaches and paved the way for the Wildcats to have one of the most explosive offenses in the league.
Beebe doesn’t have a large social media following. But there’s little doubt with multiple successful collectives in the K-State market that he’s making the most out of his success.
No. 4 Deuce Vaughn
On3 NIL Valuation: $286,000
Position: Running back
Per Post Value: $594
On3 Impact 300 ranking: No. 141
Deuce Vaughn, a 2021 first-team All-American, has been an integral part of the Wildcats’ run to the Big 12 championship game. He’s third in the Big 12 rushing with 1,295 yards and second in all-purpose yards with 1,643 total yards. He’s a human highlight reel that is just as deadly running it, as he is catching the ball out of the backfield.
Vaughn ran for 147 yards and had two catches for 82 yards last week against Kansas for his league-record fifth career game with at least 70 yards rushing and 70 yards receiving. He is one of only three players in school history with multiple 1,000-yard seasons – joining Daniel Thomas and Darren Sproles, a similar-sized shifty back who went on to play 183 NFL games with three teams over 14 seasons.
“He’s a load trying to tackle him when they hand it do him, but they’ve done a really nice job getting him on linebackers and him running routes. They’ve been really creative in some of the things they’ve done as far as making him a receiver,” TCU coach Sonny Dykes said. “So that’s going to be challenging for us to try to not only stop him carrying the football, and also receiving the football.”
Vaughn has also been a NIL success story. He recently got a new Porsche as part of a NIL deal with Robbins Motor Company, and he also filmed a viral commercial promoting Cat Cans before the season started.
Many observers believe it’s NIL that could keep Vaughn from potentially entering the NFL draft after this season.
No. 5 Tre’vius Hodges-Tomlinson
On3 NIL Valuation: $247,000
Per Post Value: $371
On3 Impact 300 ranking: No. 122
Tre’vius Hodges-Tomlinson was just named first-team All-Big 12 and even received votes for Defensive Player of the Year. It’s the third straight year that Hodges-Tomlinson received All-Big 12 honors, despite teams consistently throwing away from him.
Hodges-Tomlinson arrived in Fort Worth with massive expectations because of his last name. His uncle, LaDainian Tomlinson, won the Doak Walker Award and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting as a Horned Frog back in 2000. He’s the program’s all-time leading rusher and a member of the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Hodges-Tomlinson hasn’t shied away from the expectations and has loved carrying on his uncle’s legacy.
“The Tomlinson name means a lot,” he recently said. “That name holds weight. He set the foundation and the standard for how to perform at this level. It isn’t pressure because I know that I have the ability and mentality to achieve things, as well.”
Hodges-Tomlinson has seen a 74% increase in his On3 NIL Valuation over the past 10 weeks, and a big win could put him in a position to do more deals.