After making a name for himself by breaking and setting several records, Divine Oduduru is set to earn as much as N180 million yearly by becoming a professional athlete.
The 22-year-old Nigerian track star, who became the second fastest African athlete on June 7, 2019, made the announcement via social media.
His caption read, "Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be." Job 8:7 NIV. Thank you @TexasTechTF, these last few years have been filled with opportunity & memories. Now I've decided to pursue my career at the professional level."
As a professional athlete, Oduduru will have to drop out of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) scholarship, which got him into Texas Tech in the first place.
Getting out of his old contract, which stopped him from earning money through commercial deals, means he can now get huge sponsorship deals.
According to his coach, Wes Kittley, the former student-athlete could earn as much as $500,000 (N180 million) yearly by signing a pro contract.
Speaking with a Texas sports website called Lubbock Online, he said, "He's a sprinter, so he has an opportunity to get some of that bigger money. I asked agents this weekend - they're all over the place - what's he going to be worth? They started giving me that range. Well, let's let them bid on him … if he can get $500,000 (a year) instead of $300,000. We'll see. I know everybody wants him. He's the hot item right now."
By becoming a professional sprinter, he has more earning potential with shoe contracts than other Tech student-athletes.
"Contracts are awful for high jumpers," Kittley said. "They just don't pay for high jumpers. The 100 and the 200, they pay. So he's got to do that. He just does.
"I'm going to encourage him to. He can tweak his hamstring next year and get nothing. How are you going to turn down $350,000 for five years or $400,000 for five years or $500,000 for five years - two and a half million dollars?"
Oduduru becomes the second-fastest athlete in Africa
The Texas-based athlete achieved this incredible feat by winning the 100 metres race in 9.86 seconds at the NCAA championships.
Apart from being his personal best, this brought him close to Olusoji Fasuba's record of 9.85 seconds, which he set 13 years ago in Doha. This makes Oduduru the second fastest across the continent.
IAAF reports that the 22-year-old went on a championships record by finishing the 200 metres race in 19.73 seconds - 0.14 seconds faster than the former record of 19.87. He currently holds the second-fastest all-time by a collegian.
Since joining Texas Tech on scholarship, he has won four NCAA championships individually: the 200 at 2018 outdoor, 2019 indoor and 2019 outdoor, and the 100 at 2019 outdoor. He also holds the third-fastest time ever recorded indoors.
Earlier this year, Oduduru had the world lead in 200 metres this year for over a month after he ran a 19.76 at the 2019 Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas.
He has also been named the 'Men’s Track Athlete of the Year' by the US Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). This is the highest award for a student-athlete in the US.
His next major competition is the IAAF World Championships scheduled Sept. 27 through Oct. 6 at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
"I'm just going to go train, do the right things to get myself ready for the World Championships and when I get there, I know great things are going to happen," he said.
He is also booked for the upcoming 2020 Olympics.