Former wrestlers competing in the Super Bowl: 2022 edition
by Joe Wedra, USA Wrestling
Photo of Brian Allen by the Los Angeles Rams
Each year, USA Wrestling publishes a list of former wrestlers who are on Super Bowl teams, making a difference at the NFL level. Below, you can find a list of known wrestlers who are on the Bengals and Rams.
If you know of any other players who have wrestling ties, you can add them to our list here.
Daniels, a veteran defensive tackle, was a standout in the trenches at the University of Iowa before he made his presence known on the NFL scene. Before his football days with the Hawkeyes, he attended Highland Regional High School in Blackwood, N.J. He was a three-year letter winner in wrestling and a four-year letter winner in track.
Hubert is a rookie defensive end for the Bengals who played football in college at Kansas State. Before his time there, he was on the wrestling team at Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, Kansas, which is outside of Topeka.
The website “The Draft Network” posted a Q&A which covered why Hubert feels wrestling helped him to become a successful defensive lineman.
Reiff’s wrestling background has been extensively covered, as he is one of the NFL’s most successful high school wrestlers. Reiff won three South Dakota state titles and compiled a 121-1 record out of Parkston High School. He’s in his 10th season in the NFL, known as a consistent, veteran offensive lineman.
Smith is a rookie offensive lineman for the Bengals who went to East Carolina University. He attended Grovetown High School in Georgia, where he participated in wrestling.
Fans can read a feature story on Smith on the Bengals website, where his wrestling experience is highlighted.
Wilson, originally from Casper, Wyoming, did not wrestle in high school, but was actively involved in the sport in middle school. Wilson attended Natrona County High School, where he played basketball and football. He was a third-round pick by Cincinnati in 2020.
Los Angeles Rams
Allen, an offensive lineman, placed four times at the Illinois State 3A Championships, winning the 2013 3A state wrestling championship at heavyweight for Hinsdale Central.
Fans can read a great wrestling-based feature on Allen on the LA Rams official website.
Brown, a rookie defensive lineman for the Rams, wrestled at Arlington Lamar High School in Texas. Brown, a highly-touted prospect out of Texas A&M, was a fourth-round selection for the Rams in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Copeland, who plays defensive line for the Rams, was a football and wrestling star for Bedford High School in Ohio. Copeland was a state qualifier at 220 pounds as a junior for Bedford, but decided to skip his senior year to focus on football and building strength and weight. He played in college for Cincinnati, was signed by the Rams as an undrafted rookie free agent and intercepted a pass against Arizona in the NFL Wild Card Game this year.
Donald, who has become known as one of the NFL's most dominant defenders, attended Penn Hills High School in Pennsylvania, where he competed in wrestling while he excelled on the gridiron. He is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and is an eight-time Pro Bowler.