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
827 459
Ryan Fitzpatrick is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 36 - Harvard University

2
1,167 645
Jeremy Lin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 30 - Harvard University

3
1,369 880
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 42 - University of Tennessee

4
1,390 920
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
qzsp added age 41 - University of Michigan

5
808 451
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added age 57

6
627 253
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added age 39 - Purdue University

7
775 311
Steve Nash is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 44 - Santa Clara University

8
389 240
Ranker Video
zxray added age 78 -

Ohio State University

9
322 177
Annika Sörenstam is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 48 -

University of Arizona

10
653 353
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 46 - Duke University

11
273 185
Michelle Kwan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 38 -

University of Denver

12
310 213
Carolina Klüft is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 35 -

Linnaeus University

13
279 177
Paula Radcliffe is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 45 -

Loughborough University

14
261 150
Kajsa Bergqvist is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 42 -

Southern Methodist University

15
259 130
Nastia Liukin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 29 -

Southern Methodist University 

16
276 77
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
355 264
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 38 -

University of Barcelona

18
237 104
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
username001 added age 53 -

United States Naval Academy

 

19
273 178
Greg Maddux is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added age 52

20
159 122
Max Schmeling is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
bfrank53 added Died at 100 (1905-2005)

21
236 124
Jenny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 45 -

Stanford University

22
165 53
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
RobLein added age 57 -

 Brigham Young University

23
142 73
Dana Vollmer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 31 -

UC Berkeley; University of Florida

24
160 158
Dan Fouts is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
DavidBrands added age 67 -

University of Oregon 

25
154 122
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
charlieup2 added age 68 -

University of Massachusetts

26
426 346
Shane Battier is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 40 - Duke University

27
207 117
Věra Čáslavská is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 76

28
203 191
Matt Birk is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 42 -

Harvard University

29
159 159
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Rat Calabrese added age 75 -

Michigan State University

30
124 60
Suzy Favor Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 50 -

University of Wisconsin–Madison

31
184 101
Tanja Frieden is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 42

32
123 65
Missy Franklin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 23 -

UC Berkeley; University of Georgia

33
186 93
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
BenjaminFarias added age 42 -

Wake Forest 

34
110 58
Julianne McNamara is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 53

35
97 50
Ellen van Dijk is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 31 -

Minkema College, Woerden; rije Universiteit Amsterdam

36
120 45
Natalie Coughlin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 36 -

UC Berkeley

37
107 53
Maggie Vessey is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 37 -

Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo

38
44 32
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Gianni Grimaldi added age 59 -

Stanford University

39
93 46
Bill Bradley is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
ryanmcw added age 75 -

Princeton; Oxford

40
201 223
Alex Smith is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 34 - University of Utah

41
92 49
Inbee Park is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 30 -

Kwangwoon University

42
57 29
Bjørn Dæhlie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Pixie81 added age 51

43
93 43
Amy Acuff is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added age 43

44
60 26
Christine Theiss is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Christine Theiss

Ludwig-Maximilians University

45
93 45
Meredith Kessler is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Meredith Kessler

Syracuse University

46
124 161
Ranker Video
zxray added age 69

47
87 132
Ross Ohlendorf is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 36 -

Princeton University

48
72 26
Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
age 40

49
125 143
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
46 10
Michael Schumacher is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes