Bullis Alumna Masai Russell Chosen to Participate in WWE’ NIL Program

by MCS Staff
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Bullis alumna Masai Russell is among 15 college athletes that will participate in the WWE’s NIL program, which allows college athletes to monetize their name, image, an likeness (NIL).

Masai graduated from Bullis in Potomac and currently attends the University of Kentucky as a student athlete who participated in women’s track & field.

While at Bullis, Masai accomplished the following as a student athlete:

  • Top-ranked 300m hurdler all four years in high school
  • Eight-time National Champion (sprint relays and shuttle hurdle)
  • Two-time National record holder (4×2, shuttle hurdle)
  • Bronze medalist at the 2018 Pan American Junior Games in 400m hurdles
  • Runner up at USATF Junior Championships in the 400m hurdles
  • Gatorade Athlete of the Year – Maryland 2018
  • Ocean breeze 400 meet record champion (sophomore and junior year)
  • Three-time All-Metropolitan Area from sophomore to senior seasons
  • All-Met Athlete of the Year (2018)
  • Maryland No. 1 and U.S. No. 2 in the 55H in 2018
  • Maryland No. 1 U.S. No. 7 in 60mH of 2018
  • Maryland No. 1 in the 300 and 500 oh sophomore year
  • U.Ss. No. 5 in 500m

WWE’s NIL program was announced last week following the NCAA’s historic new policy that took effect on July 1, 2021, which has ushered in the NIL era, allowing college athletes the ability to monetize their name, image and likeness. The comprehensive program serves to recruit and develop potential future Superstars and further enhances WWE’s talent development process through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds.

WWE unveiled 15 college athletes who will be among the first to participate in the company’s newly formed NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) program that provides a clear pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE.

The inaugural “Next In Line” class includes athletes from 13 universities, seven NCAA conferences and four sports. In addition to the United States, the class includes representation from myriad countries spanning from Canada and Nigeria. The following 14 athletes join MoCo’s Masai Russel and Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson in WWE’s first-of-its-kind NIL program:

  • Carlos Aviles, of Ventura, Calif., 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, Ariz., 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, Calif., a 7-foot, 400-pound football player from Portland State University
  • Glen Logan of Kenner, La., 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, Ind., a 6-foot-2, 275-pound wrestler from the University of Michigan
  • 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

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

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