College sports experienced a seismic change in the summer of 2021, as student-athletes were granted the right to profit off their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).
It’s still a relatively new concept, which was previously barred by the NCAA, and everyone is still working through the kinks. That includes individual states, who are considering legislation at both the collegiate and high school levels.
According to Business of College Sports, there are 28 states — plus Washington, D.C. — that allow high school student-athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness.
Arkansas is not one of those states. There are proposals that could change that, but as of May 21, 2023, high school athletes aren’t allowed to make NIL deals until they sign with a college — and even that wasn’t legal until March.
If that were to change, numerous athletes across the Natural State would stand to benefit from NIL, just as they have at the college level.
But which ones would benefit the most? That’s a question Byron Jenkins of Arkansas Athlete Connection set out to answer with his 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 while still in high school.
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.
Without further ado, here is the top-10 list…
1. Terrion Burgess, Benton (basketball) — $300k
A 6-foot-10 power forward originally from east Arkansas, Terrion Burgess moved to Benton for his sophomore year. Not only is he the top in-state player in the 2025 class, he is a consensus top-30 player in the country and ranked as high as No. 17 by 247Sports. Burgess was recently invited to participate in the 2023 adidas Eurocamp in Italy this summer and already has offers from the likes of Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and others.
2. Annor Boateng, Little Rock Central (basketball) — $250k
Another part of the pipeline of heralded in-state basketball recruits, Annor Boateng is the top player in the Natural State for 2024 and ranked No. 13 nationally by On3 and No. 16 by Rivals — the latter of which also gives him a five-star rating. Listed at 6-foot-5, he is a small forward at Little Rock Central and has offers from the likes of Arkansas, Auburn, Houston, Oklahoma State, Ohio State and several others.
3. Shamar Easter, Ashdown (football) — $225k
One of only three in-state signees for Arkansas football in the 2023 class, making it one of the smallest crops of homegrown talent in school history, Shamar Easter is a unanimous four-star recruit and considered one of the top tight ends in the country. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Ashdown product was pursued by several top programs, including Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee and others, but ultimately chose to stay home and sign with the Razorbacks.
4. Walker White, Little Rock Christian (football) — $200k
Checking in at No. 108 in the 247Sports Composite ranking for the 2024 class, Walker White is the most heralded quarterback from the Natural State since Shiloh Christian’s Kiehl Frazier in 2011. New offensive coordinator Dan Enos made a late push for the Razorback legacy, but he ultimately left Arkansas out of his final three and chose Auburn over Baylor and Clemson.
5. Courtney Crutchfield, Pine Bluff (football) — $175k
Heavily recruited by numerous SEC programs, Courtney Crutchfield chose to stay home and commit to the Razorbacks in the 2024 class. Although he was coveted for his skills as a wide receiver, Crutchfield is also a talented basketball player. He was offered by UAPB last summer, before blowing up as a football recruit, and was named the MVP of the Class 5A state title game.
6. JJ Andrews, Little Rock Christian (basketball) — $150k
The son of legendary Arkansas offensive lineman Shawn Andrews, JJ Andrews is already starting to make a name for himself in a different sport. Listed at 6-foot-4, he is one of the top players in the country in the 2026 class. In fact, ESPN recently tabbed him No. 8 overall. As a freshman, he led Little Rock Christian to a 4A state championship while averaging 16 points per game. Despite being so young, Andrews already has offers from Arkansas, Missouri and Ole Miss.
7. Isaiah Sealy, Springdale (basketball) — $125k
Another young star coming up through the ranks in the Natural State, Isaiah Sealy led Springdale to a runner-up finish in the Class 6A state tournament as a sophomore. He checks in right behind Burgess in the ESPN 60 rankings for the 2025 class, landing at No. 28 overall. The Razorbacks recently entered the race for his services, joining schools like Texas and Ole Miss.
8. Kane Archer, Greenwood (football) — $120k
The second member of the 2026 class on this list, Kane Archer drew national headlines when he picked up offers from Michigan and Missouri in the summer of 2021 — when he was just 13 years old. Now a rising sophomore, Archer flashed his potential during his freshman campaign at football powerhouse Greenwood, coming off the bench in some big moments and even throwing a Hail Mary to beat a rival. His offer sheet now includes Arkansas, Florida State, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M and others.
9. Braylen Russell, Benton (football) — $110k
Originally from Hot Springs Lakeside, Braylen Russell transferred to Benton this past summer and has evolved into one of the top recruits in the 2024 class not only in the state, but on a national scale. A unanimous four-star prospect, Russell actually committed to Arkansas during his sophomore year, but backed off that pledge last October and will announce his new decision on July 14. He’ll be choosing between Arkansas, Baylor, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
10. Chloe Clardy, Conway (basketball) — $100k
The only female athlete on the list, Chloe Clardy enjoyed a fantastic career at Conway the last four years and capped her time with the Wampus Cats by winning her first state title in March. A two-time Gatorade Player of the Year, she is the No. 39 overall player in the Class of 2023, according to ESPN, and was recruited by many schools, ultimately signing with Stanford.
Read more about the No. 1 athlete on this list, Terrion Burgess, and the NIL offers he’s already received here: