The stereotype of the dumb jock continues to be prevalent in today’s society. Athletes are unquestionably amazing physical specimens. They put in a lot of hard work and train themselves into the ground, but their physicality and ability to sculpt their bodies into essentially well oiled machines is still nothing short of miraculous. However, if you were to assume that all professional athletes spent their time solely in the gym and shunning the library, you’d be wrong.
There are many athletes who, whether consciously or unconsciously, strive to break the stereotype of the dumb jock. There are several measurable statistics that indicate an athlete who is as sharp during a test as he is during a game, and many of the brainiacs on this list achieved either high SAT scores or high GPAs during their time as student athletes – or, in most cases, both. While they certainly study game tape and have a thorough knowledge of their respective sports, many of the athletes on this list also have diverse interests from aeronautics to agriculture.
Every athlete has developed his actual muscles through years of training, but the athletes on this list spent a significant amount of time developing their mental muscles as well. If you were to get into a conversation with the men on this list, you may be a bit surprised at these double threat brainiac athletes. They’re capable of schooling you in more ways than one.
15 15. Alex Smith – QB, Kansas City Chiefs
14 14. Grant Hill – SF, retired
13 13. Greg McElroy – QB, retired
12 12. Jody Gerut – CF, retired
11 11. Jeremy Lin – PG, Los Angeles Lakers
10 10. Steve Nash – PG, Los Angeles Lakers
9 9. Matt Bonner – PF/C, San Antonio Spurs
8 8. Shane Battier – F/SG, retired
7 7. Pau Gasol – PF/C, Chicago Bulls
6 6. Matt Birk – C, retired
5 5. Ross Ohlendorf – SP, Washington Nationals
4 4. Chris Young – SP, Seattle Mariners
3 3. Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB, Houston Texans
2 2. Craig Breslow – RP, Boston Red Sox
1 1. Myron Rolle – S, retired
Though Rolle’s SAT score of 1340 may be lower than some other athletes on this list, he’s been very impressive academically for the past few years. Having decided to attend Florida State University for his bachelor’s degree, he powered through and obtained his degree in exercise science in a mere two and a half years. In this time, he made sure to complete any pre-med requirements in case football didn’t pan out – something that showed a lot of foresight, given his recent decision. After graduating, he postponed entering the draft in order to obtain his M.A., as he won a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University. Rolle earned an M.S. in medical anthropology and finally entered the NFL. After a very short time, he decided that book smarts trumped sports smarts in his life, and retired from the NFL in order to enter medical school. Rolle is currently enrolled at Florida State University College of Medicine with a projected graduation date of 2017.
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