Missouri Tigers Outnumber Razorbacks among Top 10 Arkansas Prep Athletes by Estimated NIL Value

Braylen Russell, Austyn Dendy, Charleston Collins, Arkansas football, Missouri football, NIL
photo credit: Facebook/Braylen Russell / Twitter/Austyn Dendy / Nick Wenger

Less than three years after it was legalized at the collegiate level, athletes at Arkansas and across the country are still learning how to best capitalize on their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).

It’s impossible to know exactly how much any particular player is making, though, because NIL deals are not public information. The best anyone can do is estimate. Most notably, On3 does this on a national scale.

For a more localized take on NIL, Best of Arkansas Sports has leaned on Byron Jenkins of Arkansas Athlete Connection, who produces a high school NIL valuation top-10 list.

Taking into account an athlete’s production, exposure, influence and relationships, he came up with an estimate of how much he or she could potentially make in NIL.

Their success — both in high school and on the travel ball/camp circuit — is part of that equation, but so are things like their social media following, recruiting rankings, national media coverage and support of their hometown.

Unlike Jenkins’ first list, which was published on this site in May, he has also added collegiate collectives to his estimate this time around. That is the biggest reason behind the increase in estimated values for some of the athletes listed below, as the collectives are handing out six-figure deals to some players as soon as they step on campus.

“This time I added what each athlete’s value is from a collective group,” Jenkins said. “Most of the time, they’re having to do some form of community service or tweeting out something about reading or something like that.”

Those amounts are based on information Jenkins gathered throughout the process of building the list. 

Arkansas High School NIL Valuation

(below figures in parentheses denote change in estimated value since May)

1. Courtney Crutchfield — $1 million (+$825k)
High School: Pine Bluff
Sport (position): Football (wide receiver)
Brand: 2 Easy

Ranked as high as No. 51 nationally by 247Sports, Courtney Crutchfield is a unanimous four-star prospect. He originally committed to Arkansas, but backed off his pledge last month and eventually signed with Missouri during the early signing period. It’s a big get for the Tigers, as Crutchfield is coming off a season in which he caught 42 passes for 930 yards and 13 touchdowns while earning a spot in the All-American Bowl.

His massive increase in value is the result of him shooting up in the national rankings, as well as what he’ll garner from Missouri’s NIL collective. The Mizzou football program reached a high point in the Eli Drinkwitz era on Friday night by knocking off Ohio State in Cowboy Stadium to win the Cotton Bowl 14-3.

2. Terrion Burgess — $950,000 (+$650k)
High School: Benton
Sport (position): Basketball (power forward)

Previously ranked No. 1 on this list, Terrion Burgess still saw his estimated value more than triple despite dropping to the second spot. He was once a borderline five-star recruit, but is now a consensus four-star recruit who’s ranked as high as No. 33 nationally in the Class of 2025. Arkansas, Auburn, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Texas A&M are among his many offers.

His high ranking and value is boosted by the 6’9” Burgess getting gear with his logo out in the Benton community.

“There’s some basketball players, younger basketball players who are ranked higher nationally than Terrion,” Jenkins said. “But Terrion has a full brand already out.”

3. Annor Boateng — $500,000 (+$250k)
High School: Little Rock Central
Sport (position): Basketball (wing)

Considered a top-30 overall recruit in the 2024 class by ESPN, On3 and Rivals, Annor Boateng has signed with Missouri after also receiving offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Indiana, LSU and several other high-major programs. He was the Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 15.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.4 blocks as a junior.

Interestingly, Boateng’s value might have been higher had he stuck with his original commitment to the Razorbacks.

“I think he probably would have been worth a little bit more if he would have gone to Arkansas because of his brand,” Jenkins said. “You’re talking about a kid who speaks several languages, he’s a smart kid, plays four or five different instruments in the band. I think they’ll love him in Missouri, as well, though.”

4. Charleston Collins — $450,000 (debut)
High School: Little Rock Mills
Sport (position): Football (defensive end)

On3 and Rivals tabbed Charleston Collins the top football recruit in the state for the 2024 class, with On3 and 247Sports both ranking him inside the top 100 overall. The likes of Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and several others came after him, but – despite some rumors of a potential flip – he stayed true to his commitment. 

Not long after he signed with Arkansas, Collins turned to Twitter to post a clapback for the ages.

Jenkins said he hasn’t always been a big social media guy, but has been working on that aspect and is trying to develop a brand and logo.

5. Walker White — $400,000 (+$200k)
High School: Little Rock Christian
Sport (position): Football (quarterback)

Arguably the best quarterback prospect to come through the state in about a decade, Walker White comes from a family of Razorbacks, but ultimately left Arkansas off his final list. He chose Auburn over Baylor and Clemson. As a senior, White threw for 2,660 yards and 29 touchdowns while leading Little Rock Christian to a Class 6A runner-up finish.

Jenkins added that White will benefit from being a quarterback, a position that typically demands more money in NIL.

6. Braylen Russell — $250,000 (+$140k)
High School: Benton
Sport (position): Football (running back)
Brand: Be the Difference

When Braylen Russell committed to Arkansas during his sophomore year, it was the earliest commitment the Razorbacks have received in at least two decades. However, he eventually backed off his pledge before re-committing this summer, turning down the likes of Tennessee, South Carolina and others. As a senior, he averaged 8.1 yards per carry and scored 20 rushing touchdowns.

Russell is already taking advantage of the Arkansas high school NIL law, which allows high school athletes to profit as soon as they’re accepted to an in-state college. Here’s an example of him repping Futrell Marine.

7. Austyn Dendy — $245,000 (debut)
High School: Pine Bluff
Sport (position): Football (athlete)
Website: austyndendy.godaddysites.com

A true “athlete” at Pine Bluff, Austyn Dendy did a little bit of everything for the Zebras and could play multiple spots at the next level, as well. He is expected to be a defensive back at Missouri, which he signed with during the early signing period, but he also played running back and wide receiver in high school, not to mention basketball and track.

Jenkins said he has heard Dendy is receiving about $200,000 from Missouri’s NIL collective.

8. Jacob Lanier — $225,000 (debut)
High School: Maumelle
Sport (position): Basketball (guard)

The 2026 class is still a ways off, but Jacob Lanier appears to be one of the top players in the state. He’s ranked No. 28 nationally by On3 and already has offers from Arkansas, Cal, Kansas State, Ole Miss, TCU and a few others. Lanier recently earned co-MVP honors at the Pangos All South Frosh/Soph Camp.

Jenkins said one thing working in Lanier’s favor is having an entrepreneur-minded father who has been around basketball for a while.

9. Isaiah Sealy — $200,000 (+$75k)
High School: Springdale
Sport (position): Basketball (wing)

As a sophomore, Isaiah Sealy played a critical role in Springdale reaching the Class 6A state championship game. He averaged 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in conference play last year. Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri and Virginia Tech are among the schools who’ve already offered the top-50 prospect in the 2025 class.

Sealy is not big on social media, but Jenkins said his incredible story of surviving a major car accident a few years ago could eventually lead to NIL opportunities.

10. JJ Andrews — $150,000 (no change)
High School: Little Rock Christian
Sport (position): Basketball (guard)

A quarter-century after his father, Shawn Andrews, was a heralded offensive lineman coming out of Camden Fairview, JJ Andrews is on the national scene as one of the top basketball players in the 2026 class. He already has a five-star designation in the 247Sports Composite and is ranked as high as No. 12 overall by On3.

“When you’ve got the last name Andrews, you’ve got some value,” Jenkins said.

Changes from Initial List

Two high school athletes included in Jenkins’ initial top-10 list have since graduated and aren’t eligible for the updated version below.

Former Ashdown tight end Shamar Easter (No. 3) is now at Arkansas and former Conway basketball star Chloe Clardy (No. 10) is playing at Stanford.

The only other player to drop off the list was Greenwood quarterback Kane Archer (No. 8), which Jenkins largely attributed to him being left off the initial top-100 rankings of the top 2026 prospects despite some early praise and national headlines.

“I just think Kane is young,” Jenkins said. “He’s going to be a phenomenal quarterback, but I can’t see him having more value than a nationally ranked JJ Andrews. … He’s young and he’s not nationally ranked.”

That opened the door for three players to debut in Jenkins’ updated high school NIL valuation top-10 list.

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