The NFL has always been a league where the intellect of its players has come into question on occasion. The education of the players in the NFL is much better than most in the MLB, NBA, and NHL due to the fact that football players must be in school at least three years before they can declare for the NFL draft. There are a number of players that have gotten arrested or have failed a drug test administered by the NFL, and this gives the league a bad perception. There are a number of football players that also possess a great deal of intelligence on and off the football field.
There are a number of football players who have degrees, and have transitioned their smarts in the classroom onto the football field. The league has players from great academic schools such as Stanford, Harvard, and Penn State. Others have college degrees in difficult majors such as industrial management, architectural design, and many others. These articulate athletes have transitioned their hard work in their studies to the football field, and have used their brains to read offensive and defensive schemes as they unfold.
Here are 15 NFLers who had tough college majors:
15 Andrew Luck - Architectural Design
Andrew Luck has seen a lot of success early on in his NFL career, and he has come off as an extremely smart quarterback. This may be a result of him attending one of the best universities in the country in Stanford University. During his time at Stanford, Luck would go on to be named a 2011 Academic All American, and this feat was highly impressive due to his incredibly difficult major in architectural design.
14 Ryan Fitzpatrick - Mathematics
Ryan Fitzpatrick graduated from one of the most esteemed colleges in the world in Harvard University, and that alone is an incredible accomplishment in its own right. While at Harvard ,Fitzpatrick studied mathematics and few saw him making it to the NFL out of college after 2004. Math is certainly not the easiest of majors for a college undergraduate. The great amount of time he put into studying positively helped him transition into an NFL play caller, and on the Wonderlic test which all incoming rookies take he scored a 48 out of 50.
13 Matt Forte - Finance
Matt Forte came from a small school which hindered his draft stock a bit, but no one could deny that he was a great student while at Tulane University. He got his degree in finance, and earning a degree from a finance major is not as easy as some think. His major required constantly dealing with numbers. During his senior year Forte put up some monster numbers which helped him become a third team All American and a second round draft pick of the Chicago Bears.
12 Cameron Fleming - Aeronautics & Astronautics
Cameron Fleming is currently an offensive lineman for the New England Patriots, and got his college degree from Stanford University. Stanford is one of the best academic institutions in the world and graduating from such a great school is no easy feat. It is even more difficult when you have a complex major in aeronautics and astronautics, and Fleming possesses his degree in this study. Fleming was fascinated in building airplanes, and would love to get into a career in aerospace if football does not work out.
11 Sam Acho - Business Administration/Marketing
10 Arian Foster - Philosophy
9 Zak DeOssie - Public and Private Sector Organizations
8 Alex Smith - Economics
7 Desmond Bryant - Psychology
Desmond Bryant currently plays for the putrid Cleveland Browns, and even though many are dumbfounded by the teams play on the field, Bryant is an extremely bright man. He graduated from Harvard University and made it into the NFL as an undrafted free agent. During his time at Harvard he knew he wanted football to be his main profession, but still graduated with a degree in psychology on his terms. He used his classroom management skills to adapt well into professional football.
6 Russell Wilson - Masters (Educational Leadership)
Russell Wilson is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, and he is an excellent role model on and off the field. His performance in the classroom was exemplary throughout his time at North Carolina State and the University of Wisconsin. At North Carolina State Wilson received a degree in communications in only three years. He then moved onto the University of Wisconsin to better his chances of making it to the NFL, and he also earned a masters in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at Wisconsin.
5 NaVorro Bowman - Crime, Law & Justice
4 Robert Griffin III - Political Science
3 Jimmy Graham - Marketing & Management
2 Drew Brees - Industrial Management
Drew Brees has had an extremely successful career in the NFL after suffering a catastrophic shoulder injury while he played for the San Diego Chargers. He essentially revived his career with the New Orleans Saints, and has proven that he is one of the most intelligent decision makers at the quarterback position in the last decade. At Purdue University Brees was able to get a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the prestigious Krannert School of Management, and his degree in this subject manner was not the easiest of majors.
1 Colin Kaepernick - Business Management
Colin Keapernick is best known now for his protest that has ignited a nationwide conversation on his stance on social injustices against minorities throughout the country. Many people have become mad over his stance on the issues and have gone as far as saying he is not well educated, but whether you agree on his stance or not he was a pretty smart guy when he came into the NFL. Kaepernick scored 38 out of 50 on the wonderlic test which is an exceptional score. He graduated from the University of Nevada with a degree in Business Management, and also was a part of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity during his college days. His degree will help him in pursuit of a decent job post football.
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