‘Take it. Ride her until she bucks.’

Are we about to enter an era when a college quarterback’s social media earnings will be followed as closely as QPR?

While college football tries to fight its way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of NIL has quietly progressed behind the scenes. By this time next year, it is almost assured the likes of Rattler will be leading a new wave of millionaires.

Only a portion of it will have to do with their on-field accomplishments.

That’s where Rattler’s self-awareness comes in. Before throwing that eighth career pass, he has already built up a social media following that would earn him more than $740,000 this year, according to an estimate by Opendorse, a technology-based social media firm from Lincoln, Nebraska.

“I don’t think, I know he is savvy about that value,” Zupke said. “That’s something he created. … I would tell these guys, ‘Take it. Ride her until she bucks.’ What a great opportunity.”

Rattler already developed his own apparel line in high school (NappyHeadz). He was the subject of a Netflix documentary, “QB1.” He is a YouTube regular. Rattler was the Elite 11 MVP in 2018. SportsLine has him among the top five Heisman Trophy candidates before starting a game.

The $740,000 estimate on Rattler would place him third nationally among college football players in social media earnings. That is, when the NCAA allows it. It won’t until next year. Still, you should get used to this new culture.

“Spencer Rattler gets it, and he hasn’t even played a down yet,” said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence, exaggerating just a little. “He just gets it.”

It should be no surprise Rattler was the least experienced of 18 top college players whose potential social media earnings were calculated for CBS Sports by Opendorse.

But, sure, let’s worry about Joe’s Tire Mart throwing a few thousand some kid’s way to entice him to play for dear old Whattsamatta U.



Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

20 responses to “‘Take it. Ride her until she bucks.’

  1. chopdawg

    Why does he even want to go to college, if he can make that kind of money?


    • Helps his brand. 😉

      Seriously, if he wants to play ball, why does it matter what he can make on social media?


      • chopdawg

        If he wants Okie to help his brand, shouldn’t Okie be entitled to some of the extra $$$ he’ll make?


        • I didn’t say Oklahoma helps his brand. I said playing football helps his brand.

          Besides, why should the Sooners benefit now when they weren’t sharing before with players who were helping build their brand?


          • Remember the Quincy

            Ah, so just playing college FB helps his brand, not playing at Oklahoma? I guess he could make the same bank playing at Murray State then?


            • Did you read the article? His social media earnings project to three-quarters of a million dollars annually. He could go to any big time program and prosper financially, as long as it wouldn’t affect his eligibility.

              Hell, he could prosper now if it didn’t affect his eligibility.


              • chopdawg

                (sorry Senator, had an 8:30 tee time, but I’m back now!…)

                This is a great example of that free market thingy you’ve heard tell about. Since Opendorse is never wrong, Rattler can either go earn his $740,000 this season (he CAN prosper now!), or he can decide to go play football at Oklahoma (of course, assuming Covid doesn’t knock Okie out of playing football). His choice. I bet he thinks playing football at Okie this year will work out better financially for him, in the long run; but he’s at a point in his life where he can do what he wants. If it were me, I’d take my $740K and just work out on my own, till I was eligible for the NFL draft, but the decision is totally up to him.


                • Rattler can either go earn his $740,000 this season (he CAN prosper now!), or he can decide to go play football at Oklahoma (of course, assuming Covid doesn’t knock Okie out of playing football). His choice.

                  Ah, but it’s not! His choice would be to do both, but due to the actions of an illegal cartel, he is prevented from doing so.


  2. sniffer

    My wife worked at Southern Living mag for 28 years. The last 7-8, she began collecting followers and now has around 15,000. That’s nothing, really, except it opens doors you never knew were there. Her side hustle, now S Corp, benefits from the exposure. And that’s with little to no media grooming. All organic. If estimates says these kids can make bank, believe it.


  3. Derek

    How much would Rattler be worth if he went to Arizona Western? If he really wanted to brand why not choose the Florida A&M Rattlers?

    Does the name “Oklahoma Sooners” add, subtract or is a neutral factor?

    This seems to suggest the school has at least some modest value:



    • Why does this matter?

      It’s not that he wants to brand, either. He already has branded, as evidenced by his projected social media value.


      • Derek

        It matters because a great deal of the perceived “unfairness” is due to being a small remora to a very large shark.

        You tell me what that kid is worth on his own, THEN I’ll consider whether and to what degree he is being deprived.

        Also, if he’s worth say 50k as a non-football playing student and he decided against that option, hasn’t the market spoken?

        You can’t only point to half of the equation here. The value of being the Sooners QB without NIL rights is far more valuable than any other choice he had available.


        • JFC. I know you’re not that obtuse. The article projects his worth now.

          And if you’re gonna cross your arms with that “you tell me what that kid is worth”, you don’t get a pass on that last sentence. You have no way of knowing what his worth is at OU versus any other P5 program.

          And you still haven’t said why that matters. I presume you’re reluctant for some reason to come straight out with, “because he owes the school a piece of the action.” Why so coy?


          • Russ

            Well, apparently he was worth enough to have his own clothing line in high school and an international media network following him before he ever sniffed OU. So yeah, he’s made his brand. OU is happy to have it.


            • What is most hilarious about these comments suggesting the schools are entitled to some of that sweet social media branding money is that the schools didn’t have the first clue about that value six months ago.


            • Derek

              Why not sit two years, make that cash and then declare in 2022?

              Or you know that they’ll let him play in Saskatchewan and pay him, right?

              If he’s good enough.

              Liked by 2 people

          • Derek

            He was part of the 2019 recruiting class so I don’t know that you can separate the two. Since his commitment there would be value from Oklahoma coming his way.

            Picking Oklahoma, Alabama, OSU and a few others are going to be different than picking Kansas or Indiana or Oregon State. P5’s are not equal.

            It matters because every kid at one if those marquee programs have value, but the vast majority of that value they are getting from association. Because of that, the unfairness that I’m supposed to revolt against is grossly overstated.

            I wish there was an option available to the ones who want/need to get paid and don’t want a college degree. But the colleges are under no obligation to provide it.

            If 18 to 20 year old football players had value, somebody would be signing them up to play professionally. I want that to happen.

            But it doesn’t.

            So what we’re going to do is let this value flow to these kids and then we’ll have parents like Cecil Newton literally selling their 16 and 17 year old kids to the highest bidder.

            I just don’t think that’s optimal, but its what will happen. I don’t think kids should be commoditized. Once NIL is unregulated things will end up somewhere between gross and appalling.


            • There are other ways to create value than play on the field. As the article notes, Rattler is the least experienced player appearing on that top ten list.

              The rest of your comment is just a bunch of unfounded assumptions. More power to you.


  4. chopdawg

    This entire topic is Theater of the Absurd.