The Smartest Professional Athletes People In Sports
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The Smartest Professional Athletes

List Criteria: Vote up the pro athletes you know (or believe) to be the smartest in the leagues

The smartest professional athletes include Rhodes Scholars, 1580 SAT scorers and Ivy League standouts whose book smarts and pure intelligence is equally as impressive as their athletic ability. Smart athletes come from all sports with members of the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB among those who could easily be doctors, lawyers and very successful businessmen.

While typically athletes are stereotyped as meatheads or big dumb animals, these athletes from football, basketball, hockey and baseball have nearly as many accomplishments off the field as they do on. These are not the athletes who skipped college or left early for the promise of big bucks playing professional sports. These are the athletes who made the tough decision to stay in school and earn a degree to carry them once their professional career ended.

Take NFL safety Myron Rolle for example. He didn't just graduate premed from Florida State University in 2 1/2 years but went on to earn a master's from Oxford. He's far from the only smarty pants in the NFL though. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't just the fifth quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards in his debut but also the 2004 Ivy League MVP while pursuing an economics degree at Harvard.

As if we didn't need another reason to hate be jealous of professional athletes with their fame, fortune and hot wives, these highly successful athletes are also way smarter than us. Some guys have all the luck!
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 4 ReRanks
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 251
    Down 100

    1972

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  2. 2
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    1976

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  3. 3
    Up 261
    Down 128

    1974

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  4. 4
    Up 272
    Down 127

    1988

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  5. 5
    Up 198
    Down 113

    1978

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  6. 6
    Up 167
    Down 130

    most listed & added by qzsp 1977

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  7. 7
    Up 99
    Down 53

    added by hookstyler 1979

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  8. 8
    Up 96
    Down 46

    added by hookstyler 1961

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  9. 9
    Up 73
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    added by hookstyler 1966

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  10. 10
    Up 136
    Down 107

    1982

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  11. 11
    Up 96
    Down 113

    1984

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  12. 12
    Up 71
    Down 98

    1986

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  13. 13
    Up 47
    Down 90

    1969

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  14. 14
    Up 58
    Down 67

    added by zxray 1949

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  15. 15
    Up 89
    Down 117

    1980

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  16. 16
    Up 58
    Down 105

    1978

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  17. 17
    Up 34
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    added by DavidBrands 1951 For his time there was no quarterback who could read defenses and surgically connect on passes ...

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  18. 18
    Up 43
    Down 83

    1980

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  19. 19
    Up 41
    Down 6

    ranked low on reranks & added by username001 1965 Widely considered one of the greatest centers in both college and NBA history. Robinson scored ...

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  20. 20
    Up 50
    Down 80

    1976

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  21. 21
    Up 13
    Down 21

    added by zxray 1927

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  22. 22
    Up 33
    Down 74

    1970

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  23. 23
    Up 12
    Down 22

    added by vijaymohanp 1960

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  24. 24
    Up 20
    Down 37

    added by Rat Calabrese 1943

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  25. 25
    Up 58
    Down 34

    ranked low on reranks & added by jc.osen96 Magic Johnson The most creative passer in the game of Basketball 

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  26. 26
    Up 37
    Down 12

    ranked low on reranks & added by zxray 1940

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  27. 27
    Up 27
    Down 79

    1979

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  28. 28
    Up 36
    Down 14

    added by charlieup2 1950

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  29. 29
    Up 18
    Down 43

    added by Rat Calabrese 1954

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  30. 30
    Up 33
    Down 78

    1979

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  31. 31
    Up 26
    Down 70

    1982

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  32. 32
    Up 25
    Down 64

    1988

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  33. 33
    Up 25
    Down 71

    1980

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  34. 34
    Up 16
    Down 3

    ranked low on reranks & added by BenjaminFarias 1976

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  35. 35
    Up 21
    Down 72

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1980

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  36. 36
    Up 19
    Down 65

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1977

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  37. 37
    Up 40
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    added by Rat Calabrese 1945

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  38. 38
    Up 18
    Down 11

    added by zxray 1952

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  39. 39
    Up 19
    Down 13

    added by charlieup2 1943

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  40. 40
    Up 17
    Down 12

    added by zxray 1940

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  41. 41
    Up 22
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    added by zxray 1939

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  42. 42
    Up 70
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    added by JimmyCooper Kobe Bryant

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  43. 43
    Up 15
    Down 65

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1981

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  44. 44
    Up 18
    Down 77

    1977

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  45. 45
    Up 10
    Down 6

    ranked low on reranks & added by vulovic Novak Đoković 06.08.1987

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  46. 46
    Up 16
    Down 73

    1988

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  47. 47
    Up 21
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    ranked low on reranks & added by zxray 1948

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  48. 48
    Up 7
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    No image

    added by bfrank53 1953 Only perfect Wanderlic score ever.

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  49. 49
    Up 7
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    added by bfrank53 1905 Became owner of Coca-Cola of Western Europe

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  50. 50
    Up 1
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    new! & added by Charlie FQ 1968 Aeronautical engineering grad in three years, 4.0 GPA, despite NOT speaking English when he ...

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  51. 53 +

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