WWE reveals first NIL class

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE issued the following press release on Thursday to announce its first NIL class.

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE (NYSE: WWE) today 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.

WWE® UNVEILS INAUGURAL NIL CLASS (Photo: Business Wire)WWE® UNVEILS INAUGURAL NIL CLASS (Photo: Business Wire)

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:

Name

School

Sport

Height/Weight

Hometown

Carlos Aviles

Ohio State

Track & Field

6’ 6”, 305 lbs.

Ventura, Calif.

Haley Cavinder

Fresno State

Basketball

5’ 6”

Gilbert, Ariz.

Hanna Cavinder

Fresno State

Basketball

5’ 6”

Gilbert, Ariz.

A.J. Ferrari

Oklahoma State

Wrestling

6’, 200 lbs.

Dallas, Texas

Lexi Gordon

Duke

Basketball

6’

Fort Worth, Texas

Aleeya Hutchins

Wake Forest

Track & Field

5’ 5”

Toronto, Canada

John Krahn

Portland State

Football

7’, 400 lbs.

Riverside, Calif.

Glen Logan

LSU

Football

6’ 5”, 305 lbs.

Kennar, La.

Isaac Odugbesan

Alabama

Track & Field

6’ 4”, 275 lbs.

Lagos, Nigeria

Mason Parris

Michigan

Wrestling

6’ 2”, 275 lbs.

Lawrenceburg, Ind.

Masai Russell

Kentucky

Track & Field

5’ 5”

Potomac, Md.

Jon Seaton

Elon

Football

6’ 1”, 285 lbs.

Hillsborough, N.J.

Joe Spivak

Northwestern

Football

6’, 300 lbs.

Lombard, Ill.

Dalton Wagner

Arkansas

Football

6’ 9”, 330 lbs.

Spring Grove, Ill.

Riley White

Alabama

Track & Field

5’ 6”

Hoover, Ala.

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.

Powell’s POV: I believe this is the first time that the company has touted the height and weight of an entire class. It’s not a surprise that the male athletes are all big men given the new recruiting edicts at the WWE Performance Center.


Readers Comments (2)

  1. “NIL” is Latin, the English translation meaning is “nothing”. The word is used all the time in technical circles .

    WWE using this word has to be one of McMahon’s sick jokes, or WWE is worse off that anyone has guessed.

  2. There is something that seems a little sexist about listing the weight for men and not for women. Equal means equal. Not just equal in things you like. Either they shouldn’t list weight for men or list weight for both sexes.

    I have no doubt that some people will take this comment the wrong way, but it’s the way I feel.

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