Top G5 College Football QB Reveals Staggering Amount Of Money He Was Offered To Transfer

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Western Kentucky football is coming off of its second-straight nine-win season and quarterback Austin Reed was a huge factor in the Hilltoppers’ success. As a result of Reed’s strong season, there was a lot of interest among Power Five programs and he received big-money NIL offers to transfer.

Austin Reed was in high demand. (Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

Who is Austin Reed?

Reed, who began his career at Southern Illinois in 2018 as an unranked prospect, transferred to the D-II level after one year in Carbondale. He packed up and went south to play for West Florida.

While with the Argonauts, Reed made quite the name for himself. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound dual-threat gunslinger led West Florida to the D-II national championship in 2019 and totaled 4,084 passing yards with 40 touchdowns that season.

Reed can spin it. Following a second strong year at West Florida in 2021, he decided to seek another new opportunity with a bigger program and transferred to Western Kentucky.

The Hilltoppers, led by head coach Tyson Helton, throw the ball— a lot. Bailey Zappe, who transferred to WKU from Houston Baptist while Reed was playing in the Sunshine State, set the FBS records for most passing yards and most passing touchdowns in a single season in 2021. Zappe left for the NFL, which created a void at the position.

Reed stepped in and took over in 2022. His first-year numbers were nearly as large as his predecessor.

The Hilltoppers went 8-5 in 13 regular season games (if a school travels to Hawaii, they are granted the right to an extra game) and earned a New Orleans Bowl berth. In that time, as the starter, Reed completed 64.5% of his passes for 4,247 yards and 36 touchdowns with 10 picks. He added 199 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.

Reed finished second in the FBS in passing yards and fourth in passing touchdowns. He has come a long way.

It was a career year for Reed and it led to questions about his future.

NIL and the transfer portal go hand-in-hand.

Reed hit the transfer portal on Dec. 5, 2022. Although there were a lot of details to be worked out, Reed was trending toward a move to Louisville. He was going to be Jeff Brohm’s first big get with the Cardinals after Malik Cunningham announced his plans to turn pro.

However, eight days later, the 22-year-old gunslinger announced that he will be back in Bowling Green next year for his final season of college football. Reed had signed a new NIL deal with a local real estate firm.

For Western Kentucky to be able to keep its quarterback in the modern era was surprising and impressive. Especially considering the amount of money that Reed was offered to play elsewhere.

The Athletic’s Chris Vannini recently broke down how the Hilltoppers were able to find success in both keeping their players with the program and obtaining top talent through the transfer portal. It’s really fascinating.

In the process, Vannini spoke to Austin Reed about money.

During their conversation, Reed revealed that he was offered “the kind of money a late draft pick is making” to transfer. He did not name which schools presented him with that NIL package but said that his decision to stay at WKU did not revolve around financials.

If I go somewhere and I have an average year, I’m just on the edge of being drafted. Or if I have another great year [at Western Kentucky], I can find myself in the first three rounds.

— Austin Reed, via Chris Vannini / The Athletic

Had Reed decided to transfer for the money, he could have made hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The first pick of the fourth round typically signs a deal worth around $4 million over four years. Fifth round picks typically sign in the $3.65 million range, sixth round picks at about $3.5 million, and seven round picks in the ballpark of $3 million.

Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant in 2022, is set to lead the 49ers in the NFC Championship on Sunday. As the last pick of the draft this past April, he is making $782,008 this season.

Reed said that the money he was offered mirrored a “late draft pick.” Purdy was literally the latest draft pick. Connect the dots, and Reed could have made upwards of $700,000+ to play elsewhere next year.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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