athletes The Smartest Professional Athletes  

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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!
list ordered by

1
1,115 661
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 Most Popular Cars for Women

2
846 423
Jeremy Lin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Jeremy Lin age 29 - Harvard University

3
636 318
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added Wayne Gretzky age 56

4
609 322
Ryan Fitzpatrick is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Ryan Fitzpatrick age 35 - Harvard University

5
1,002 650
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
qzsp added Tom Brady age 40 - University of Michigan

6
301 147
Ranker Video
zxray added Jack Nicklaus age 77

7
620 245
Steve Nash is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Steve Nash age 43 - Santa Clara University

8
434 173
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added Drew Brees age 38 - Purdue University

9
272 113
Annika Sörenstam is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Annika Sörenstam age 47

10
276 151
Carolina Klüft is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Carolina Klüft age 34

11
220 127
Michelle Kwan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Michelle Kwan age 37

12
555 286
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Grant Hill age 43 - Duke University

13
248 123
Paula Radcliffe is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Paula Radcliffe age 44

14
228 100
Kajsa Bergqvist is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Kajsa Bergqvist age 41

15
219 83
Nastia Liukin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Nastia Liukin age 28

The Dumbest Professional Athletes The Creepiest Sports Mascots

16
123 74
Max Schmeling is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
bfrank53 added Max Schmeling Died at 100 (1905-2005) - Became owner of Coca-Cola of Western Europe

17
190 77
Jenny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Jenny Thompson age 44

18
135 118
Dan Fouts is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
DavidBrands added 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 ...

19
184 83
Věra Čáslavská is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Věra Čáslavská age 75

20
289 219
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Pau Gasol age 37

21
207 132
Greg Maddux is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added Greg Maddux age 51

22
145 127
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Rat Calabrese added Mike Marshall age 72

23
390 311
Shane Battier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Shane Battier age 37 - Duke University

24
107 48
Dana Vollmer is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Dana Vollmer age 30

25
175 160
Matt Birk is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Matt Birk age 39

26
164 77
Tanja Frieden is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Tanja Frieden age 39

27
161 79
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
username001 added 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.

28
160 48
Ranker Video
zxray added Bruce Lee Died at 33 (1940-1973)

29
97 39
Suzy Favor Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Suzy Favor Hamilton age 49

The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time 39 Ways to Repel a Potential Girlfriend

30
98 44
Missy Franklin is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Missy Franklin age 22

31
89 31
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
RobLein added Steve Young age 56

32
86 42
Julianne McNamara is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Julianne McNamara age 52

33
73 35
Ellen van Dijk is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Ellen van Dijk age 30

34
83 37
Maggie Vessey is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Maggie Vessey age 36

35
92 33
Natalie Coughlin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Natalie Coughlin age 35

36
173 199
Alex Smith is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Alex Smith age 33 - University of Utah

37
120 84
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
charlieup2 added Julius Erving age 67

38
70 36
Inbee Park is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Inbee Park age 27

39
122 80
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
BenjaminFarias added Tim Duncan age 41

40
56 30
Bill Bradley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
ryanmcw added Bill Bradley age 74

41
35 15
Bjørn Dæhlie is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Pixie81 added Bjørn Dæhlie age 50

42
76 116
Ross Ohlendorf is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

43
69 31
Amy Acuff is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Amy Acuff age 42

Undeserving Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Political Issues That Matter the Most Right Now

44
105 139
Ranker Video
zxray added George Foreman age 68

45
74 31
Meredith Kessler is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Meredith Kessler

46
36 15
Christine Theiss is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Christine Theiss

47
105 124
Alan Page is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Rat Calabrese added Alan Page age 72

48
33 9
Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
julian-matthias added Dirk Nowitzki age 39

49
104 126
Matt Bonner is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Matt Bonner age 35

50
69 64
Ranker Video
zxray added Mike Ditka age 78