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Smart, Okung Top List of Highest-Paid Oklahoma State Pokes in the Pros

OSU only has two eight-figure-a-year guys.

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One of the primary unintended benefits of the Chamber — our six-month-old forum — is that folks often post half-baked or semi-baked ideas in there that turn into blog posts. That’s what this is. After one subscriber posted how much OSU players in the NFL are making, I decided to extend it across four of the major sports (essentially what I could track on Spotrac) to rank how much all professional Pokes are raking in.

Here are the results (as of March 23) for 2020 salary. (I used 2019 salary for golfers because their 2020 season is only halfway over). Please let me know if I left anybody out, and I’ll update (MLB, NFL, NBA, PGA Tour only).

Eight Figures

Marcus Smart — $13.4 million
Russell Okung — $13 million

The only Pokes over $10 million a year are certainly not the two biggest names of the bunch. Marcus Smart (Celtics) and Russell Okung (Panthers) top this list. And they nearly double the next closest player. Smart, by the way, is currently the only OSU player in the NBA (until about 15 months from now).

The Million-Dollar Club

Emmanuel Ogbah — $7.5 million
Blake Jarwin — $6.3 million
Dan Bailey — $4.3 million
Andrew Heaney — $4.3 million
Lane Taylor — $4.1 million
Rickie Fowler — $3.9 million
Charles Howell III — $3 million
Chris Carson — $2.1 million
Matthew Wolff — $1.4 million
Wyndham Clark — $1.3 million
Talor Gooch — $1.1 million

An eclectic group here, from Ogbah to Gooch. Heaney is the only baseball Poke I could find who’s currently signed to a MLB deal. Jordy Mercer signed a minor-league deal, and I couldn’t find any data on Tyler Lyons. Howell has been a member of this club for 20 straight years. Twenty straight!

The High Ks

Alex Noren — $913K
James Washington — $889K
Peter Uihlein — $843K
Mason Rudolph — $837K
Vincent Taylor — $825K

Another amazing group. Who knew Vincent Taylor and Alex Noren were in the same tax bracket!

Everybody Else

Lenzy Pipkins — $755K
Tre Flowers –$750K
Marcell Ateman — $750K
Viktor Hovland — $678K
Justice Hill — $675K
Chris Lacy — $675K
Jordan Brailford — $675K
Victor Salako — $614K
Tyron Johnson — $610K
Brad Lundblade — $610K
Hunter Mahan — $288K
Morgan Hoffmann — $92K
Kristoffer Ventura — $34K

When I picture it, I don’t picture Hovland and Justice Hill making the same amount of money. I don’t know why. Hovland will earn millions this season (if it ever resumes), but Hill’s salary is pretty much set. Ventura earned $34K on the PGA Tour, but a lot more on the Korn Ferry Tour.

All in all, this was a really fun exercise that made me realize how few NBA and MLB players OSU currently has. With the way both programs are currently recruiting, that will likely change in the years to come, but it stood out here.

Also, play golf kids. And go to OSU if you can. It’s a good path. Charles Howell has made $40 million in his career playing some of the most scenic turf in the world. And he won’t have to wonder if he has CTE when he turns 55.

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