There is the well-documented case at Florida, where quarterback Jaden Rashada was offered $13.85 million to play for the Gators. The four-star recruit never made it to Gainesville, asking to be released from his National Letter of Intent after the Gator Collective sent a letter terminating his contract in early December.
Through other conversations, however, Marshall has learned about more unfulfilled promises. Some deals are not as attractive as they actually sound. Chatting on Sunday in Columbus after the Under Armour Next+ Series Camp, the four-star running back made clear NIL and short-term money were not the driving force in his commitment to Michigan.
The 2024 prospect from Cincinnati’s Archbishop Moeller decided to head north as opposed to staying in-state and joining Ohio State. Picking Ann Arbor was about the right fit. The Wolverines also sold him on building a name for himself that will resonate across college football.
Wearing the Jordan Brand on his jersey does not hurt either.
“I would say more about the things I can accomplish in college and then also just making a name for myself,” he said after receiving an invite to the UA All-America Game in Orlando next January. “I think with the Jordan Brand, that can also help me even more and put my name out there, so that’s just pretty cool.”
For a number of elite high school prospects, NIL has become a priority when making a college decision. This past summer, On3 surveyed 85 of the players ranked in the top 200 of the nation. Among the questions was the impact of NIL on their college decision. On a scale from 1 to 10 – with 10 being the highest – 22.9% of the prospects said NIL ranked right in the middle, at 5. All in all, 57% of the recruits said NIL ranked as a 5 or higher in their decision.
Those results still appear to be accurate. But prospects are still putting a high priority on the same things that have always been a factor. Relationships with the coaching staff, personnel fit, NFL development and winning a national title continue to make a difference.
Marshall picked Michigan over offers from Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee and Wisconsin. As the No. 91 overall prospect in the 2024 class according to the On3 Industry Ranking, he had a wide range of options.
Playing for a national championship was something he highly prioritized. Michigan has won two consecutive Big Ten titles with trips to the College Football Playoff semifinals. The Ohio Division I co-state player Offensive Player of the Year wants to be part of helping the Wolverines over the hump.
“I would say bottom last,” Marshall said when asked where NIL ranked in his decision. “People were first, program second, winning, and then the school really. I mean, those are all big parts of my process.”
Value of NIL not lost on Jordan Marshall
Now that his recruitment has been shut down, the Michigan commit is trying to start putting the pieces together to build out his brand. As a high school athlete in the state of Ohio, Marshall is prohibited from entering into an NIL agreement.
Trying to figure out how to start marketing himself is fully allowed, though. He is well aware of the platform he will be given when he arrives at Michigan. Starting running back Blake Corum has found plenty of success strictly from endorsement deals, aligning with brands like Wolverine Boots, the 33rd Team and Outback Steakhouse.
Those same opportunities will be ones Marshall could be in position for two or three years down the road. For most athletes, they are most marketable during their college careers. Running out of the Michigan Stadium tunnel on Saturdays comes with some perks.
Marshall is already thinking of ways he would like to use his NIL. For starters, saving some cash for his post-college life, whether he reaches the NFL or not, is a must. Helping his mother out is another goal.
“It would be more just saving it and helping my mom out,” he said. “That’s what’s important to me right now. Letting her be stable and getting her some more things. Letting her be able to travel the world.”
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