Athletes The Smartest Professional Athletes  

The Round Mound
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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
805 451
Ryan Fitzpatrick is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 36 - Harvard University

2
1,150 637
Jeremy Lin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 30 - Harvard University

3
1,356 870
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 42 - University of Tennessee

4
1,378 909
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
qzsp added age 41 - University of Michigan

5
791 446
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added age 57

6
616 248
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added age 39 - Purdue University

7
769 305
Steve Nash is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 44 - Santa Clara University

8
377 236
Ranker Video
zxray added age 78 -

Ohio State University

9
650 343
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 46 - Duke University

10
312 172
Annika Sörenstam is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 48 -

University of Arizona

11
267 181
Michelle Kwan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 38 -

University of Denver

12
300 209
Carolina Klüft is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 35 -

Linnaeus University

13
271 174
Paula Radcliffe is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 45 -

Loughborough University

14
251 148
Kajsa Bergqvist is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 42 -

Southern Methodist University

15
250 127
Nastia Liukin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 29 -

Southern Methodist University 

16
264 76
Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
zxray added Died at 33 (1940-1973) -

University of Washington

17
236 102
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
username001 added age 53 -

United States Naval Academy

 

18
350 262
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 38 -

University of Barcelona

19
271 174
Greg Maddux is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added age 52

20
155 120
Max Schmeling is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
bfrank53 added Died at 100 (1905-2005)

21
229 121
Jenny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 45 -

Stanford University

22
163 51
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
RobLein added age 57 -

 Brigham Young University

23
160 155
Dan Fouts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
DavidBrands added age 67 -

University of Oregon 

24
154 119
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
charlieup2 added age 68 -

University of Massachusetts

25
136 69
Dana Vollmer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 31 -

UC Berkeley; University of Florida

26
424 344
Shane Battier is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 40 - Duke University

27
201 115
Věra Čáslavská is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 76

28
157 157
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Rat Calabrese added age 75 -

Michigan State University

29
198 189
Matt Birk is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 42 -

Harvard University

30
117 58
Suzy Favor Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 50 -

University of Wisconsin–Madison

31
179 99
Tanja Frieden is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 42

32
120 62
Missy Franklin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 23 -

UC Berkeley; University of Georgia

33
182 91
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
BenjaminFarias added age 42 -

Wake Forest 

34
105 57
Julianne McNamara is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 53

35
115 44
Natalie Coughlin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 36 -

UC Berkeley

36
92 49
Ellen van Dijk is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 31 -

Minkema College, Woerden; rije Universiteit Amsterdam

37
102 51
Maggie Vessey is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 37 -

Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo

38
42 30
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Gianni Grimaldi added age 59 -

Stanford University

39
92 45
Bill Bradley is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
ryanmcw added age 75 -

Princeton; Oxford

40
198 221
Alex Smith is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 34 - University of Utah

41
87 48
Inbee Park is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 30 -

Kwangwoon University

42
52 28
Bjørn Dæhlie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Pixie81 added age 51

43
88 41
Amy Acuff is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 43

44
55 24
Christine Theiss is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Christine Theiss

Ludwig-Maximilians University

45
88 42
Meredith Kessler is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Meredith Kessler

Syracuse University

46
84 130
Ross Ohlendorf is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 36 -

Princeton University

47
120 160
Ranker Video
zxray added age 69

48
65 25
Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 40

49
125 142
Alan Page is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Rat Calabrese added age 73 -

Notre Dame; University of Minnesota

50
63 58
Novak Djokovic is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
vulovic added age 31