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N.C. State's Mario Williams is the Highest Paid Athlete with ACC Ties

And there is not one Tarheel on the list, either, so the choice should be abundantly clear for any undecided recruits out there that do not want to cast their future hopes on the Powerball odds.

All this Powerball talk--the lottery has reached $475 million, the third highest total ever--got me to pondering about professional sports salaries. Said pondering caused me to stumble upon Sports Illustrated's Fortunate 50, a ranking of the 50 highest paid American athletes (or foreign-born athletes competing in U.S.-based leagues). Six of the top 50 have ACC ties, and a former N.C. State standout and NFL #1 overall pick, Mario Williams, is the highest paid of them all.

Georgia Tech boasts three of the six which goes to show you that you have higher earning power from matriculating at an engineering school compared to one of those sissy liberal arts colleges. But the Rambling Wreck's glory days of producing millionaire athletes are a thing of the past. Paul Johnson's oldfangled offense has driven away top talent. Tech didn't have a single football player drafted this year and despite Brian Gregory's fancy duds, the hoops program is in a bit of a shambles.

Comparatively, the Pack are annually stocking NFL rosters; you know Russell Wilson is going to be on the Fortunate 50 list soon enough. The Pack are about to put at least two and possibly four players in the NBA, and the Pack also swept the Bugs in baseball. Tech has a solid nine but field no one like Carlos Rodon or Trea Turner in terms of MLB-level talent.

So, the choice is clear. Come to N.C. State, four and five star athletes, and you too can have mad money like Mario.

And if that recruiting pitch is not enough to convince you, check this out: You = baller.

The top-50 earning ACC alums are listed below. See the complete list here.

(18) Mario Williams (football, N.C. State, $25,150,000)

(27) Matt Schaub (football, Virginia, $22,780,000)

(28) Mark Teixeira (baseball, Georgia Tech, $22,725,000)

(29) Calvin Johnson (football, Georgia Tech, $22,600,000)

(33) Chris Paul (ball puncher, Wake Forest, $21,580,000)

(47) Chris Bosh (basketball, Georgia Tech, $18,545,000)