Penn State Center Nick Dawkins and Wrestler Greg Kerkvliet Sign NIL Deal with WWE
Penn State center Nick Dawkins and wrestler Greg Kerkvliet have signed on as part of the WWE’s third class of the Next In Line initiative, the entertainment company announced on Thursday morning. The program is designed to identify and develop potential WWE future talent.
“The WWE NIL program has the potential to be transformational to our business,” Paul Levesque, WWE executive vice president of global talent strategy and development, said in 2021 when the program launched. “By creating partnerships with elite athletes at all levels across a wide variety of college sports, we will dramatically expand our pool of talent and create a system that readies NCAA competitors for WWE once their collegiate careers come to a close.”
Next In Line does not impact a player’s NCAA eligibility and allows for student-athletes to return to their current team while also working with the WWE’s developmental program. The WWE visited Penn State this past winter as part of a “Campus Rush” tour which targeted recruitment of student-athletes on eight different college campuses.
Kerkvliet is a two-time All-America wrestler at Penn State and is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation at heavyweight this season while Dawkins just completed his third season at Penn State. Dawkins is the son of the late NBA star Darryl Dawkins.