The Minnesota Gophers wrestling program has had its share of success over the years, but outside of its national titles, it is also known for creating a pipeline of wrestlers to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
After seeing Gopher alumni Brock Lesnar and Shelton Benjamin head to WWE and enjoy success, Minnesota might have another rising superstar in heavyweight Gable Steveson.
Steveson's wrestling career has taken off on the mat, becoming a four-time state champion at Apple Valley and continuing his dominance with the Gophers.
After a 15-0 record last season, Steveson was the Big Ten Heavyweight Champion and was poised to be the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While he'll have a couple more cracks at being a national champion, the sophomore also has his eyes set on representing the USA in the 2021 Olympics and a post-amateur career in the WWE.
"I will rule the WWE soon," Steveson tweeted May 17.
"I just feel like with my talking and my confidence level, that could play well in that area," Steveson told KSTP-TV's Darren Wolfson last month. "I got a few people that I know. With me, it's just continuing to win, build a resume and make myself the most marketable person I can."
One of those connections is Lesnar, who worked with Steveson back in January. As a five-time WWE champion, Lesnar is one of the biggest names in the history of the sport and carved a similar path by winning the 2000 NCAA heavyweight title.
In addition to his skills on the mic and on the mat, Steveson also has the athleticism to succeed as evidenced by his celebration after winning his fourth state title in 2018.
Whether Steveson is the next great wrestler to make the leap to WWE remains to be seen, but it at least appears extremely bright.