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Former CM star Brennan Williams signs with WWE

AP Photo/John Raoux

Less than a year after making his debut in the squared circle, Former Catholic Memorial football star and Houston Texans draft pick Brennan Williams is heading to the bright lights.

World Wrestling Entertainment today announced the signing of Williams to a contract. From their official release on WWE.com:

Six-foot-seven, 300-pound former NFL offensive tackle Brennan Williams is joining the ranks of the WWE Performance Center. He reports to Orlando today to begin his training.

A third-round draft pick of the Houston Texans in 2013, Williams played college ball at the University of North Carolina prior to joining the NFL. He was also part of the practice squads for the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots during his NFL tenure.

Williams, a lifelong fan of sports-entertainment, began training under WWE Hall of Famer Booker T in October 2015 after his NFL career ended. He made his in-ring debut for Booker’s Houston-based Reality of Wrestling earlier this year, competing under the alias Marcellus Black.

In addition to his experience on the gridiron and in the ring, Williams holds a black belt in taekwondo.

Williams, an Easton native, had a legendary career at Catholic Memorial, where he was named a U.S. Army All-American in 2008. His number was retired by CM in 2014, just the third Knights athlete in any sport to get such an honor.

Following his decorated career at CM, Williams went on to play at the University of North Carolina, where he was an Honorable Mention All-ACC in 2012. Williams was selected in the third round (89th overall) by the Houston Texans in 2013, but missed all of his rookie season with a knee injury. He joined the Jacksonville Jaguars for one offseason, and made one practice with the New England Patriots last August, before calling it a career.

Williams had long expressed a desire to try pro wrestling when his football career ends. During his time with the Texans he befriended one of his wrestling heroes, WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, who runs the promotion Reality of Wrestling in his native Houston. Training under Booker, Williams made his in-ring debut last January under the moniker Marcellus Black, a self-styled, Wu-Tang Clan-influenced "street samurai" gimmick.

"I've never seen anyone run with that gimmick, and I think it has legs. We'll see," Williams told ESPNBoston.com in a profile last January.

Williams' father Brent, played eight seasons with the Patriots (1986-93) and is the franchise's fifth all-time leader in sacks. His younger brother Cam, an ESPNBoston All-State selection in 2011 at CM, joined the Patriots this offseason as a scouting assistant.