Sports

The Smartest Professional Athletes 

The Round Mound
Originally by
35.2k votes 4.8k voters 125.1k views 179 items

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
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added
age 58
2
Ryan Fitzpatrick is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 37
Harvard University
3
Ranker Video
zxray added
age 79

Ohio State University

4
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
qzsp added
age 42
University of Michigan
5
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 43
University of Tennessee
6
Jeremy Lin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 31
Harvard University
7
Annika Sörenstam is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added
age 49

University of Arizona

8
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added
age 40
Purdue University
9
Carolina Klüft is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added
age 36

Linnaeus University

10
Kajsa Bergqvist is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Kajsa Bergqvist
age 43

Southern Methodist University

11
Paula Radcliffe is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added
age 46

Loughborough University

12
Michelle Kwan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added
age 39

University of Denver

13
Jenny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added
age 46

Stanford University

14
Steve Nash is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 45
Santa Clara University
15
Nastia Liukin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added
age 30

Southern Methodist University 

16
Dana Vollmer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added
age 32

UC Berkeley; University of Florida

17
Max Schmeling is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
bfrank53 added
Dec. at 100 (1905-2005)
18
Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
zxray added
Dec. at 33 (1940-1973)

University of Washington

19
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 47
Duke University
20
Dan Fouts is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
DavidBrands added
age 68

University of Oregon 

21
Věra Čáslavsk&aac... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added
age 77
22
Tanja Frieden is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added
age 43
23
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
username001 added
age 54
24
Suzy Favor Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added
age 51

University of Wisconsin–Madison

25
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
RobLein added
age 58

 Brigham Young University