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
1,164 701
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 Superhero Toy Lines

2
891 456
Jeremy Lin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Jeremy Lin age 27 - Harvard University

3
664 341
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added Wayne Gretzky age 56

4
640 345
Ryan Fitzpatrick is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Ryan Fitzpatrick age 33 - Harvard University

5
1,061 685
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
qzsp added Tom Brady age 40 - University of Michigan

6
315 157
Ranker Video
zxray added Jack Nicklaus age 77

7
470 182
Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added Drew Brees age 38 - Purdue University

8
642 252
Steve Nash is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Steve Nash age 43 - Santa Clara University

9
279 118
Annika Sörenstam is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Annika Sörenstam age 47

10
279 156
Carolina Klüft is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Carolina Klüft age 34

11
228 131
Michelle Kwan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Michelle Kwan age 37

12
566 290
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Grant Hill age 43 - Duke University

13
250 128
Paula Radcliffe is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Paula Radcliffe age 44

14
231 105
Kajsa Bergqvist is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Kajsa Bergqvist age 41

15
222 87
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
129 78
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
195 83
Jenny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Jenny Thompson age 44

18
224 136
Greg Maddux is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
hookstyler added Greg Maddux age 51

19
143 124
Dan Fouts is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
DavidBrands added Dan Fouts age 64 - 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 ...

20
294 223
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Pau Gasol age 37

21
186 89
Věra Čáslavská is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Věra Čáslavská age 75

22
151 131
Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Rat Calabrese added Mike Marshall age 72

23
396 317
Shane Battier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Shane Battier age 37 - Duke University

24
110 52
Dana Vollmer is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Dana Vollmer age 30

25
178 82
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 25 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.

26
175 50
Ranker Video
zxray added Bruce Lee Died at 33 (1940-1973)

27
127 87
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
charlieup2 added Julius Erving age 67

28
177 166
Matt Birk is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Matt Birk age 39

29
166 82
Tanja Frieden is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Tanja Frieden age 41

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30
100 42
Suzy Favor Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Suzy Favor Hamilton age 47

31
103 48
Missy Franklin is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Missy Franklin age 22

32
100 33
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
RobLein added Steve Young age 56

33
88 47
Julianne McNamara is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Julianne McNamara age 50

34
77 38
Ellen van Dijk is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Ellen van Dijk age 28

35
96 36
Natalie Coughlin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Natalie Coughlin age 35

36
86 41
Maggie Vessey is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Maggie Vessey age 34

37
180 204
Alex Smith is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Alex Smith age 33 - University of Utah

38
135 82
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
BenjaminFarias added Tim Duncan age 41

39
63 33
Bill Bradley is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
ryanmcw added Bill Bradley age 72

40
72 39
Inbee Park is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Inbee Park age 27

41
25 15
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Gianni Grimaldi added John McEnroe age 58

42
37 18
Bjørn Dæhlie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Pixie81 added Bjørn Dæhlie age 50

43
111 142
Ranker Video
zxray added George Foreman age 68

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44
71 34
Amy Acuff is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Amy Acuff age 42

45
77 120
Ross Ohlendorf is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

46
39 17
Christine Theiss is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Christine Theiss

47
76 34
Meredith Kessler is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Argos66 added Meredith Kessler

48
38 12
Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
julian-matthias added Dirk Nowitzki age 39

49
107 128
Alan Page is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Rat Calabrese added Alan Page age 72

50
107 129
Matt Bonner is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes
Matt Bonner age 35