6 Exclusive: Nebraska’s Trey Palmer turns down NIL deals to focus on football

The wide receiver is the university’s most valued On3 NIL player
A valuable Huskers player doesn't receive any money for his name, image, or likeness
Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 5:25 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - The world of NIL, or name, image, and likeness, has grown quickly since getting NCAA approval last summer.

But the allure of NIL hasn’t taken hold of one of the biggest names coming out of Husker Football this year, Trey Palmer.

“I really wasn’t focused on NIL like that,” said wide receiver Trey Palmer. “I was just focused on football and trying to have a good season so I can go to the draft and the league.”

According to On3, a college sports publication and database, Palmer’s NIL valuation is the highest among Nebraska’s current athletes. His valuation sits at about $420,000 a year. The average Power Five college football player has an NIL valuation of about $50,000 a year, according to Pete Nakos, the website’s college sports business reporter.

“The NIL valuation is the amount of money that you command in the NIL marketplace,” said Nakos. “From the roster value and the brand value, that comes together to form the NIL valuation.”

The player’s performance, influence, and exposure get factored in too.

Palmer’s manager said that they’ve turned down over 20 possible NIL partnerships, from food and drink businesses to sports gear companies.

And the NIL market is expected to grow: “It’s 2022 right now, and we see this growing to about a $1 billion market in 2023, with room to grow to roughly $4 billion by 2025,” said Nakos.

Although, Palmer’s focus is on a bigger picture: a future with the NFL.

“I’m just not taking the little money right now for the bigger bucks really. I want to get to the NFL, National Football League, and do what I do and take care of my family with that money. Instead of taking short money for long-term money,” said Palmer.

The Husker transferred to Nebraska after three seasons at LSU. This past year, he played in every game, caught 71 passes for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns. His receiving yards set a Nebraska record.

“Nebraska has only helped Trey build his brand. As much as Trey has put work in on the field, playing for such a recognizable brand like Nebraska has only helped Trey too,” said Nakos.

Now Palmer is taking his performance, influence, and exposure to another level, declaring for the 2023 NFL draft.

“I know what I came to Nebraska for. [It] was to have a great season, which I did. And focus on football, in which I did.”