athletes The Smartest Professional Athletes  

Originally by
22k votes 3.1k voters 110k views 144 items Follow Embed

List Rules 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!

1
+ - 1,071 606
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Peyton Manning age 41 - University of Tennessee

America's Most Attractive Female Athletes The Best Dramedy TV Series

2
+ - 603 280
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Wayne Gretzky age 56

3
+ - 787 383
Jeremy Lin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Jeremy Lin age 29 - Harvard University

4
+ - 950 609
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Tom Brady age 40 - University of Michigan

5
+ - 576 289
Ryan Fitzpatrick is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Ryan Fitzpatrick age 35 - Harvard University

6
+ - 277 127
Ranker Video v
Jack Nicklaus age 77

7
+ - 262 90
Annika Sörenstam is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

8
+ - 274 121
Carolina Klüft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

9
+ - 213 104
Michelle Kwan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Michelle Kwan age 37

10
+ - 581 231
Steve Nash is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Steve Nash age 43 - Santa Clara University

11
+ - 402 160
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Drew Brees age 38 - Purdue University

12
+ - 242 107
Paula Radcliffe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

13
+ - 225 86
Kajsa Bergqvist is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

14
+ - 211 72
Nastia Liukin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Nastia Liukin age 28

15
+ - 528 278
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Grant Hill age 43 - Duke University

The Dumbest Professional Athletes 37 Celebrities Who Played High School Basketball

16
+ - 185 69
Jenny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

17
+ - 108 67
Max Schmeling is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Max Schmeling Died at 100 (1905-2005) - Became owner of Coca-Cola of Western Europe

18
+ - 181 74
Věra Čáslavská is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

19
+ - 126 112
Dan Fouts is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Dan Fouts age 66 - For his time there was no quarterback who could read defenses and surgically connect on passes than Dan Fouts. His brains/arm and Don Coryell's offensive genius made for some of the most exciting football in NFL history. Maybe it was ...

20
+ - 276 212
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Pau Gasol age 37

21
+ - 141 121
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Mike Marshall age 72

22
+ - 193 126
Greg Maddux is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Greg Maddux age 51

23
+ - 102 43
Dana Vollmer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Dana Vollmer age 30

24
+ - 172 153
Matt Birk is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Matt Birk age 39

25
+ - 163 70
Tanja Frieden is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Tanja Frieden age 39

26
+ - 95 34
Suzy Favor Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

27
+ - 376 307
Shane Battier is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Shane Battier age 37 - Duke University

28
+ - 95 39
Missy Franklin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

29
+ - 140 78
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
David Robinson age 52 - Widely considered one of the greatest centers in both college and NBA history. Robinson scored a 1320 on the SAT, and chose to go to the United States Naval Academy, where he majored in mathematics.

The 29 Hottest Pictures of Anna Kournikova 39 Ways to Repel a Potential Girlfriend

30
+ - 85 36
Julianne McNamara is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

31
+ - 144 48
Ranker Video v
Bruce Lee Died at 33 (1940-1973)

32
+ - 70 30
Ellen van Dijk is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

33
+ - 83 31
Maggie Vessey is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Maggie Vessey age 36

34
+ - 77 26
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Steve Young age 56

35
+ - 171 194
Alex Smith is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Alex Smith age 33 - University of Utah

36
+ - 89 31
Natalie Coughlin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

37
+ - 69 33
Inbee Park is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Inbee Park age 27

38
+ - 75 113
Ross Ohlendorf is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

39
+ - 34 13
Bjørn Dæhlie is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

40
+ - 49 28
Bill Bradley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Bill Bradley age 74

41
+ - 67 30
Amy Acuff is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Amy Acuff age 42

42
+ - 109 78
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Tim Duncan age 41

43
+ - 99 139
Ranker Video v

The Greatest Baseball Players of All Time The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role

44
+ - 35 13
Christine Theiss is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Christine Theiss

45
+ - 73 29
Meredith Kessler is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Meredith Kessler

46
+ - 97 121
Alan Page is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Alan Page age 72

47
+ - 102 124
Matt Bonner is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Matt Bonner age 35

48
+ - 26 6
Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Dirk Nowitzki age 39

49
+ - 112 82
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Julius Erving age 67

50
+ - 67 63
Ranker Video v
Mike Ditka age 78