Who is A.J. Ferrari who signed NIL deal with WWE?

On December 8, 2021, WWE officially announced that fifteen college athletes had agreed to participate in the newly formed NIL program. The NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) program provides a pathway for athletes to undergo training at the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center, which may eventually lead to a WWE contract.

WWE.com confirmed that “the 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.”

Recent WWE signing and Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson was the first athlete to sign such an agreement with the company. Vince McMahon’s promotion confirmed that their newest recruits were from 13 universities, seven NCAA conferences and four sports.

So who is A.J. Ferrari, who signed the NIL deal with WWE?

A.J. Ferrari is a 6-foot, 200-pound amateur wrestler from Oklahoma State University. He is currently the reigning, defending, undisputed 2021 197lbs NCAA D1 National and has the nickname “Mr. Fast Twitch”. He also showed an interest in becoming an MMA star in the future.

In an interview with Fast Company, WWE Executive Triple H spoke about the NIL program:

“We immediately saw it as an amazing recruiting tool for us because it allows us to show athletes a path to WWE, and engage with them in a way where they can learn more about it, we can learn more about them, all while working together, and finding out if it’s a good fit before they’re even finished college, and before they need to make any decisions about what they’re going to do in that next stage of their life. We’ve put a lot of effort into recruiting athletes and finding athletes to let them know WWE is a potentially lucrative opportunity for them if they’re interested and passionate about it.” (h/t F4WOnline)

Aside from A.J. Ferrari, who else will be participating in the WWE NIL program?

Here is a full list of the fifteen names recruited by WWE to take part in the inaugural class of the NIL program:

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