Michael Longo/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Former NFL linebacker Scooby Wright III is looking to make a second career in professional wrestling.
Per TMZ Sports, Wright took part in a WWE tryout at IMG Academy after receiving an invite from the promotion.
TMZ noted Wright was one of more than 30 athletes who took part in the tryout event, with 17 of them being former college football players.
“Wright learned the fundamentals from on-site coaches, including how to absorb blows when hitting the mat,” TMZ wrote. “He even got some wisdom imparted to him from Matthew Jason Bloom, a veteran in the industry who wrestled under various monikers during different stints with the WWE.”
It’s unclear at this point if Wright received an offer from WWE following his tryout. The company has been aggressive in pursuing current college athletes as part of its Next in Line program that launched in 2021.
Two-time NCAA champion and 2020 Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson is the highest-profile college athlete WWE has signed. The University of Minnesota alum received the red-carpet treatment at WrestleMania 38 when he was introduced to the live crowd by Stephanie McMahon.
Wright doesn’t have any background as an amateur wrestler. He played linebacker and running back in high school before going to the University of Arizona in 2013.
The 28-year-old was a 2-star college recruit, but he turned in a stellar career as a linebacker for the Wildcats. He was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous All-American selection as a sophomore in 2014.
Wright was a seventh-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2016. He played two seasons for the Browns and spent time with the practice squads for the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots.
The Birmingham Stallions selected Wright in the 2022 USFL draft. He appeared in seven games for the team and had a crucial pick-six in the fourth quarter of the USFL Championship Game to help the Stallions beat the Philadelphia Stars, 33-30.