Eagles first-round pick Quinyon Mitchell turned down big NIL money to stay at Toledo

In the new era of college football, it's easy for talented players at small schools to transfer to big programs and make significant NIL money. Quinyon Mitchell chose not to.

Mitchell, whom the Eagles drafted out of Toledo with the 22nd pick in the draft, would have been a hot prospect in the transfer portal a year ago, but he says he didn't want to go anywhere else because he loved his coaches and teammates at Toledo, where he played his entire four-year college career.

“Money and other opportunities, they’re just not bigger than relationships,” Mitchell told “The relationships I had at Toledo were so strong. That’s why I stayed. I love those guys, I love everybody in the organization. It’s just the relationships.”

Nick Saban — who cited the transfer portal and NIL as reasons he retired from Alabama this year — said on the draft broadcast that he wanted Mitchell to transfer to Alabama, but Mitchell had no interest.

"He was our No. 1 guy in the portal last year to try to get him to come out of the portal,” Saban said, “and he would never get in the portal.”

Mitchell showed that you can still get picked in the first round from outside the power conferences, and he'll make plenty of money in the NFL after turning money down last year.