MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota native and Olympic Gold Medalist Gable Steveson is headed for the bright lights of professional wrestling, officially announcing Thursday he has signed a deal with WWE.
That doesn't mean he is done with college wrestling.
Steveson posted on Twitter, calling signing with WWE a "childhood dream accomplished."
"Thank you for the opportunity!! LETS WORK," he added.
Steveson's tweet was accompanied by one from WWE saying the Olympic medalist and college All-American had committed "his future" to the organization.
The present, however, is with the University of Minnesota. A press release from the Gophers says Steveson will return to defend his 2021 Division I heavyweight title. In his three years in the U of M program, Steveson is the winningest grappler in program history with a .971 winning percentage.
The agreement marks the WWE’s first so-called NIL deal, where college athletes can earn money for their name, image or likeness without violating NCAA rules.
ESPN is reporting that the 21-year-old gold medalist, a graduate of Apple Valley High School, signed a multi-year deal with WWE that allows him to wrestle his senior year with the Gophers. WWE will reportedly set up a remote training facility near campus where Steveson can learn the ins and outs of ring and rope work with WWE coaches.
He is expected to make television and media appearances with WWE while wrestling with the Gophers.
After he graduates in May or his eligibility is completed, ESPN says, Steveson will be a full time performing wrestler with WWE.