Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud followed up a Heisman finalist-caliber season by signing a Heisman-caliber NIL deal. Stroud will drive a leased Bentley Bentayga around campus after signing an endorsement contract with Sarchione Auto Gallery in Canton, Ohio, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
A new 2022 Bentley Bentayga starts at $160,000, but can easily clear $200,000 with additional features. Stroud will receive a lease in exchange for promoting Sarchione Auto Gallery on social media and making promotional appearances in the showroom. Stroud will be eligible to trade in his sweet ride for another luxury car in 45 days, if he chooses.
"When you talk to people, whether it's in the community or at the game, our brand awareness is what we're building," Sarchione general manager Ryan Burton told the Dispatch. "When you have the best-of-the-best promoting your brand, it only does good things.
Stroud completed 71.9% of his passes for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns during a breakout 2021 season, culminating in a Rose Bowl victory in which he threw for 573 yards and six touchdowns in a 48-45 win over Utah. Stroud is projected to go No. 1 in the 2023 NFL Draft by.
Stroud's deal comes a week after Ohio State coach Ryan Day told Columbus-based donors that he believed it would taketo keep the Buckeyes' roster together.
"One phone call and they're out the door," Day said. "We cannot let that happen at Ohio State. I'm not trying to sound the alarm, I'm just trying to be transparent about what we're dealing with."
The Buckeyes announced following a June 2 panel that more than 900 NIL contracts have been signed involving all 36 Ohio State sports. The university has tracked endorsement deals totaling more than $3.5 million, which it claims ranks No. 1 among all universities.
Sarchione Auto Gallery previously provided former Ohio State star Chris Olave with a BMW X7 in the lead-up to the NFL Draft. The gallery also has endorsement deals with several members of the Cleveland Browns. Burton said that the auto dealer plans to execute more deals with Ohio State players down the line.