WWE is continuing to reach out to the world of college sports to find its next crop of superstars. The company launched the “Next In Line” initiative late last year with an eye on finding young, athletic recruits to mold into WrestleMania main eventers. Today, they announced their second group of NIL signees.
The program became possible when the NCAA began to allow companies to pay collegiate athletes for the use of their name, image, and likeness. WWE capitalized on the opportunity to offer to pay student-athletes while they’re still in school with the idea of developing them as pro wrestlers. The latest class includes some names from very prestigious athletic and academic institutions.
In a press release, WWE touted its national recruiting effort. It was noted that athletes from 14 universities are a part of the class. The group also includes the first athletes from the world of cheer and dance.
“WWE (NYSE: WWE) today unveiled 15 college athletes who will join the company’s NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) program – “Next In Line™” – that provides a clear pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE.
The second “Next In Line” class includes athletes from 14 universities, seven NCAA conferences and seven sports, including the program’s first athletes from cheer & dance, gymnastics, volleyball, men’s basketball and representation from an HBCU program.”
The new class features four division 1 football stars from the Pac 12, Big Ten, and Big South conferences. The diverse group includes two wrestlers, two volleyball players, and even a dual-sport star in Michigan State’s Maliq Carr. Time will tell what the future holds for these potential WWE stars, but they’ve all got an excellent opportunity before them.
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