8 Highest-Paid NCAA Alumni

8 Highest-Paid NCAA Alumni 8 Highest-Paid NCAA Alumni

The professional ranks are filled with incredible players who are NCAA alumni and were stars at the college level. Here are 8 of the most successful NCAA alumni in each sport, based on their current salaries:


1. Joe Burrow: LSU

Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback Joe Burrow makes a whopping $55 million per year. Burrow was a star quarterback at Louisiana State University from 2016 to 2020. The overall number-one pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was the 2019 Heisman Memorial Trophy winner, AP National Player of the Year, and a unanimous First-Team All-American. 


2. Stephen Curry: Davidson

Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry is the current highest-paid NBA player, making $51.9 million per year. Curry played for Davidson College from 2006 to 2009. He was the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and still holds the men’s single-season three-point record, making 162 in the 2007-08 season. He was also a Second-Team All-American, Wooden Award finalist, and the Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player.

3. Jackie Young: Notre Dame

Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young is the highest-paid WNBA player, making $252,450 per year. Young played for the University of Notre Dame from 2016 to 2019 and was the first overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft. With the Fighting Irish, Jackie Young was a Third-Team All-American, ACC Tournament MVP, and a Cheryl Miller Award Top Five Finalist. 


4. Justin Verlander: Old Dominion

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander is the highest-paid NCAA alum in the MLB, making $43.3 million per year. Verlander played for Old Dominion University from 2002 to 2004 before he was selected second overall in the 2004 MLB Draft. He was the 2002 CAA Rookie of the Year, ODU’s Alumni Association Male Athlete of the Year, a 2x All-CAA honoree, and totaled 427 strikeouts in 335.2 innings in his three seasons. 


5. Matt Turner: Fairfield

Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Matt Turner is the highest-paid NCAA alum in the men’s soccer world, earning $2.23 million per year. Turner played for Fairfield University from 2012 to 2015. The Premier League keeper wasn’t selected in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft but has gone on to have successful careers with teams such as the New England Revolution, Arsenal, and now Nottingham Forest. With the Stags, Turner recorded 21 shutouts and was a second-team All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference honoree. 

6. Alex Morgan: UC Berkeley

San Diego Wave and USWNT star Alex Morgan makes around $800,000 per year. Morgan played for the University of California, Berkeley from 2007 to 2010 before being selected as the number-one overall pick in the 2011 WPS Draft. With the Golden Bears, Morgan was an All-Pac-10 First-Team selection, a Herman Trophy and Honda Award finalist, and led the program in goals (14), points (30), and shots (64). 


7. Zach Werenski: Michigan

Columbus Blue Jackets defender Zach Werenski makes $9.6 million per year. Werenski played college hockey at the University of Michigan from 2014 to 2016 before being drafted eighth overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. With the Wolverines, Zach Werenski was an ACHA First-Team All-American, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and led the conference in defensive scoring. 

8. Daryl Watts: Boston College/Wisconsin

PWHL Ottawa forward Daryl Watts makes $150,000 per year. Watts played college hockey for Boston College from 2017 to 2019 before transferring to the University of Wisconsin from 2019 to 2021. At BC, Watts was the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner, First-Team All-American, and USCHO Player and Rookie of the Year. At Wisconsin, she won an NCAA National Championship, WCHA Player and Forward of the Year, First Team All-American, and was the only college player to average more than 2.00 points per game. 

Image Credit: LSU Sports / Davidson College Athletics / Cal Athletics / Notre Dame Athletics

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