WWE started holding tryouts on Wednesday for 40 current and former college athletes, including 15 football players, ahead of Saturday's SummerSlam at Ford Field in Detroit.
The group of 21 men and 19 women comes from 36 different universities, spanning every major conference. The collection of participants has an average age of 23 and includes 11 former college track and field athletes, six gymnasts and others from wrestling, basketball, volleyball, powerlifting, softball and cheer.
WWE has held similar tryouts at major events the past two years, and has identified current college athletes who could transition to pro wrestling through its name, image and likeness program, "Next In Line."
The group of former college football players includes Colin Schooler, a linebacker at Arizona and Texas Tech who ranks sixth in the FBS career tackles chart with 482, and Chance Lytle, an offensive lineman at Duke and Colorado who has a background in singing opera. Several football players had brief professional stints in the NFL and CFL.
Other notables include wrestler Kordell Norfleet, a four-time Pac-12 champion at Arizona State; gymnast Amara Cunningham, a first-team All-Pac-12 selection at Washington; Destinee Brown, an All-America sprinter at USC; Rojé Stona, an All-America thrower at Arkansas; and Sydne Watts, a basketball player at Navy and the granddaughter of WWE Hall of Famer Bill Watts.