Ranking Top 20 College Athletes Who are Favorites to Capitalize on Name, Image & Likeness
Come July 1, college athletes can capitalize on their name, image and likeness. Most won’t make tens of thousands of dollars, but there’s a select few who can really make some bank.
Here’s our Top-20 college athletes with the most to gain on their name, image and likeness.
1. Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma Football
Redshirt sophomore quarterback who led Sooners to a 9-2 record last year is the Heisman favorite. His Instagram numbers are boosted from being featured on Netflix’s QB1 when he was in high school.
Instagram: 377K followers, Twitter: 62.7K followers.
2. Olivia Dunne, LSU Gymnastics
LSU gymnast who became a social media phenomenon. She’s the only current NCAA athlete with more than one million followers on TikTok and Instagram.
Tiktok: 3.9M followers, Instagram: 1.1 million followers, Twitter: 7,372 followers.
3. Shareef O’Neal, LSU Basketball
Shaquille’s son who transferred from UCLA to LSU has taken the boost from his pops, who was one of the very first athletes on social media.
Instagram: 2.7 million followers, Twitter: 322,000 followers.
4. Haley Cavinder & Hanna Cavinder, Fresno State Basketball
The Cavinder twins, Haley and Hanna, have 3.3 million followers on TikTok, thanks in part to their viral basketball videos. The two play for Fresno State.
Haley — Instagram: 255K followers, Twitter: 4,577 followers.
Hanna — Instagram: 251K followers, Twitter: 4,553 followers.
5. Bryce Young, Alabama Football
Plug in the next Alabama quarterback who has the second-best odds of winning this year’s Heisman behind Rattler. He doesn’t have the social following he needs to be up high, but he’s the QB at Alabama, which will make him a fast riser.
Instagram: 82.3K followers, Twitter: 16K followers.
6. Paige Bueckers, Connecticut Basketball
UConn sophomore guard who won every award imaginable as a freshman. She’s on the perfect team and her Instagram following is tremendous.
Instagram: 829K followers, Twitter: 51.1K followers.
7. Chris Olave, Ohio State Football
Best receiver in the country at a high-profile place like Ohio State is a valuable combination, providing the replacement for Justin Fields works out.
Instagram: 111K followers, Twitter: 47.2K followers.
8. Haley Van Lith, Louisville Basketball
Rose to prominence as she was taken on by Kobe Bryant and played with his late daughter, Gianna. Now at Louisville.
Instagram: 721K followers, Twitter: 21.4K followers.
9. Brendan Radley-Hiles, Washington Football
Washington defensive back with a huge Instagram following after transferring from Oklahoma, a team that will likely be in contention for No. 1 in the country. He was a 5-star recruit out of IMG Academy.
Instagram: 172K followers, Twitter: 65.7K followers.
10. Alana Walker, Northwestern Volleyball
Northwestern volleyball player who graduated and has transferred to Virginia for a final season. She is also Antoine Walker’s daughter.
TikTok: 208,800 followers, Instagram: 163,000 followers, Twitter: 12.6K followers
11. Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga Basketball
The 7-footer was the No. 1 college basketball recruit in the country. Being at small Gonzaga doesn’t matter. As we saw last year, size of school and location has nothing to do with getting air time. We love his TikTok name: @ThatTallMFChet.
Instagram: 278K followers, TikTok: 37.2K followers, Twitter: 24K followers
12. Masai Russell, Kentucky Track & Field
Hurdler following the footsteps of Sydney McLaughlin as a high-profile collegiate track star and second-largest TikTok following among collegiate athletes.
TikTok: 375.8K followers, Instagram: 150K followers, Twitter: 5,341 followers
13. Gable Steveson, Minnesota Wrestling
The larger-than-life Minnesota senior wrestler who is headed to Tokyo with Team USA. Career college record? 67-2!
Instagram: 245K followers, Twitter: 29.2K followers
14. Derek Stingley Jr., LSU Football
Shutdown LSU corner and the grandson of Darryl Stingley, who famously was rendered a quadriplegic by Jack Tatum in an NFL game in 1978.
Instagram: 135K followers, Twitter: 45.2K followers.
15. Drew Timme, Gonzaga Basketball
Gonzaga’s run to the championship game helped bring out the best in Timme, including his personality and mustache. He’s back for another year and is now a household name.
Instagram: 72K followers Twitter: 7,214 followers.
16. Lexi Sun, Nebraska Volleyball
A second-team All-American who will return to play the sport for her fifth collegiate season.
Instagram: 75.4K followers, Twitter: 13.2K followers.
17. Sam Howell, North Carolina Football
Junior UNC QB who has been in the spotlight since he was a freshman. With all five offensive linemen back, North Carolina should be a Top-10 team in the country.
Instagram: 55.7K, Twitter 19K followers, TikTok 10.1K followers.
18. Collin Gillespie, Villanova Basketball
The Villanova guard is back because he got hurt, but if he returns to form, he’s the best player in the Big East. Social numbers aren’t anything to write home about, but Villanova fan base is rabid.
Instagram: 44.5K followers, Twitter: 7,876 followers.
19. Spencer Lee, Iowa Wrestling
Iowa wrestler has won three national titles at the 125-pound weight class and the Hodge, wrestling’s version of the Heisman Trophy.
Instagram: 111,000 Followers, Twitter: 37.6K followers.
20. Mitchell Pehlke, Ohio State Lacrosse
Ohio State lacrosse player has done a nice job with a YouTube page on living college life that is up to almost 15,000 subscribers.
Instagram: 16,000 followers, Twitter: 1,055 followers.
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