WWE Signs 14 Athletes To NIL Program

WWE has signed several athletes to the NIL program.

In a press release on December 6, WWE announced that they signed 14 athletes to the NIL program. The fourth class includes two of the country's top-ranked wrestlers, two-time All-American Lucas Davison from the University of Michigan and former Big 12 Champion Stephen Buchanan from the University of Oklahoma.

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From WWE:

WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings (NYSE: TKO), today announced the signing of 14 college athletes to its award-winning NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) program – “Next In Line” – that provides a clear pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE.

On the two-year anniversary of the inception of WWE’s NIL program, the fourth class of athletes is highlighted by two of the nation’s top-ranked wrestlers, two-time All-American Lucas Davison from the University of Michigan and former Big 12 Champion Stephen Buchanan from the University of Oklahoma. The class also includes WWE’s first acrobatics athlete, Bayley Humphrey from Baylor University, first baseball player, Adam Berghorst from Indiana State, and first male cheerleader, Slane Glover from Ohio State.

The fourth “Next In Line” class includes athletes from 14 different universities and ten NCAA conferences.

  • Adam Berghorst (Indiana State, Baseball)
  • Bayley Humphrey (Baylor, Acrobatics)
  • Darci Khan (Howard, Track & Field)
  • Desmond Coleman (Liberty, Track & Field)
  • Grace Stephens (Monmouth, Track & Field)
  • Jeremy Cody (Miami (Florida), Track & Field)
  • Josh Pearcy (Rice, Football)
  • Kali Terza (Kennesaw State, Track & Field)
  • Lucas Davison (Michigan, Wrestling)
  • Momen Zahid (William & Mary, Football)
  • Sirena Linton (Arkansas, Gymnastics)
  • Skyla Schulte (Michigan State, Gymnastics)
  • Slane Glover (Ohio State, Cheerleading)
  • Stephen Buchanan (Oklahoma, Wrestling)

WWE’s “Next In Line” program has signed 60 college athletes since its inception in December 2021. Seven athletes have signed full-time developmental contracts with WWE and train year-round at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.

The program serves to recruit and develop potential future Superstars and continues to enhance WWE’s talent development process through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds. WWE has signed athletes from 15 different sports including 42 members of Power-Five conferences. The program’s members have earned 18 NCAA Championships, 34 Conference Championships and 55 All-American honors.

All athlete partnerships 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, live event promotion, creative writing and community relations. Upon completion of the NIL program, athletes may earn an exclusive opportunity to be offered a WWE contract.

The program’s athletes boast impressive social media followings with more than 12 million combined followers on TikTok and nearly five million combined followers on Instagram. WWE currently has one of the largest fanbases on TikTok with more than 25 million followers and more than 30 million Instagram followers.

Fightful will provide more information as it becomes available.

WWE recently confirmed that the "Superstars of Tomorrow" series, which will follow NIL participants, is in development. More information is available here.

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