Triple H opens door for college athletes to join WWE

The Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy & Development of WWE speaks on the new opportunities for college athletes.

Roman Reigns stands tall to end WWE SmackDown. (Image: Twitter/@WWE)
By Samrat Chakraborty | Jan 4, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has widened the scope of participation with a new program. The lucratively designed event has previously featured Olympians like Kurt Angle and prolific wrestlers including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dave Bautista, John Cena, Andre the Giant, Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, and Kevin Nash who broke new grounds through their participation. But former WWE sensation Triple H, who had teamed up with Shawn Michaels in his days to form the D-Generation X, is working to further improve the platform. 

Triple H, the Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy & Development of WWE, announced the NIL (Next In Line) program towards the business end of 2020 and believes that it will make an avenue for aspiring wrestlers to earn money besides making a name for themselves. 

“To allow college students to sort of monetize and utilize their name, image, and likeness,” Triple H told NBC News. “It has opened up an avenue for us. This allows them to have that open door to earn money while in college.”

The inaugural edition of the NIL draft will feature 15 athletes from 13 universities. It should be noted that these youngsters will join Gable Steveson, who is also signed up for the NIL program, in the WWE draft. 

Stevenson, interestingly, won the gold medal in the men’s 125kg wrestling category at Tokyo 2020 while representing the United States. 

Who are the shortlisted college athletes for WWE?

Carlos Aviles, of Ventura, California, 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, 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, a 7-foot, 400-pound football player from Portland State University

Glen Logan of Kenner, 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, 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