In an impressive expansion of talent, WWE has embraced the future of sports entertainment by signing fourteen collegiate athletes to Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) contracts. This noteworthy move marks the fourth class of recruits since the innovative Next In Line program was introduced by WWE in December 2021.
The recent influx of collegiate talents aligns with the program’s two-year anniversary, a testament to WWE’s commitment to fostering new Superstars from various athletic disciplines. Among the latest cohort, two standout wrestlers have been spotlighted: Lucas Davison from the University of Michigan, a two-time All-American, and Stephen Buchanan from the University of Oklahoma, a former Big 12 Champion. This class is further distinguished by its diversity of sports, including WWE’s inaugural acrobatics athlete Bayley Humphrey from Baylor University, the first baseball player Adam Berghorst from Indiana State, and the pioneering male cheerleader Slane Glover from Ohio State.
The growing program has drawn athletes from ten NCAA conferences and 14 different universities, highlighting WWE’s broadened search for talent. Since its inception, the Next In Line initiative has signed 60 college athletes, with seven transitioning to full-time developmental contracts. These athletes are now immersed in WWE’s intensive training program at the Orlando-based WWE Performance Center.
WWE’s strategy isn’t solely about in-ring prowess; the holistic developmental process champions brand building, media training, community relations, and a variety of other crucial skills. Athletes enrolled in the NIL program gain unparalleled access to the WWE Performance Center’s facilities and have the opportunity to learn from the best in the sports entertainment industry.
The latest class brings with them impressive athletic résumés, boasting a collective 18 NCAA Championships, 34 Conference Championships, and 55 All-American honors. Their potential extends beyond the mat and the field with significant social media influence, boasting over 12 million combined TikTok followers and nearly five million on Instagram, aligning with WWE’s own powerful presence online.
For wrestling fans eager to track the progress of the NIL program and its athletes, WWE invites you to visit wwerecruit.com. There, you’ll find the full roster of the program’s signees, including their athletic backgrounds and achievements. With this strategic investment in fresh talent, WWE continues to solidify its status as a leader in not just wrestling entertainment, but also in athlete development, ensuring that the future of WWE remains as dynamic and exciting as its past. Keep an eye out, as the stars of tomorrow are poised to emerge from today’s NIL program.