Graphic and release courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment.
WWE has unveiled 15 college athletes who will be among the first to participate in the company’s newly formed NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) program that provides a clear pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE.
The inaugural “Next In Line” class includes athletes from 13 universities, seven NCAA conferences and four sports. In addition to the United States, the class includes representation from myriad countries spanning from Canada and Nigeria. The following 15 athletes join Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson in WWE’s first-of-its-kind NIL program:
- Carlos Aviles, of Ventura, Calif., a 6-foot-6, 305-pound track & field athlete from Ohio State University
- Haley Cavinder, of Gilbert, Ariz., a 5-foot-6 basketball player from Fresno State University
- Hanna Cavinder, of Gilbert, Ariz., a 5-foot-6 basketball player from Fresno State University
- A.J. Ferrari of Dallas, Texas, a 6-foot, 200-pound wrestler from Oklahoma State University
- Lexi Gordon of Fort Worth, Texas, a 6-foot basketball player from Duke University
- Aleeya Hutchins of Toronto, Canada, a 5-foot-5 track & field athlete from Wake Forest University
- John Krahn of Riverside, Calif., a 7-foot, 400-pound football player from Portland State University
- Glen Logan of Kenner, La., a 6-foot-5, 305-pound football player from LSU
- Isaac Odugbesan of Lagos, Nigeria, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound football player from the University of Alabama
- Mason Parris of Lawrenceburg, Ind., a 6-foot-2, 275-pound wrestler from the University of Michigan
- Masai Russel of Potomac, Md., a 5-foot-5 track & field athlete from the University of Kentucky
- Jon Seaton of Hillsborough, N.J., a 6-foot-1, 285-pound football player from Elon University
- Joe Spivak of Lombard, Ill., a 6-foot, 300-pound football player from Northwestern University
- Dalton Wagner of Spring Grove, Ill., a 6-foot-9, 330-pound football player from the University of Arkansas
- Riley White of Hoover, Ala., a 5-foot-6 track & field athlete from the University of Alabama
WWE’s NIL program was announced last week following the NCAA’s historic new policy that took effect on July 1, 2021, which has ushered in the NIL era, allowing college athletes the ability to monetize their name, image and likeness. The comprehensive program serves to recruit and develop potential future Superstars and further enhances WWE’s talent development process through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds.
All athlete partnerships will feature access to the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., in addition to resources across the organization, including brand building, media training, communications, live event promotion, creative writing and community relations. Upon completion of the NIL program, select athletes may earn an exclusive opportunity to be offered a WWE contract.
Learn more about the “Next In Line” program at wwe.com/nil.