One of The Rock's college teammates reckons he'd have been a first-round NFL Draft pick if he went to school somewhere else.
The wrestler and actor shot to stardom in the ring, but his story goes much deeper than that, as he'd set out to be a footballer despite being the son of pro wrestler Rocky Johnson.
He would never make it to the NFL but did sign on with the Calgary Stampeders in the CLF before injuries curtailed his career.
Prior to his stint with the Stampeders, the Rampage star played his college football at the University of Miami, which, according to past teammates, is the toughest place to ply one's trade as a college player.
Speaking in an interview with Bleacher Report's Macklin Stern, two of Dwayne Johnson's former colleagues opened up on the wrestler's college career.
Warren Sapp and Leon Searcy, who both enjoyed storied careers in the NFL—the former a Super Bowl winner with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—have suggested that Johnson, whom they refer to as "Dewey," really was good enough to make it to the NFL.
"As a football player, on a scale of 1 to 10, Dewey was a 6," Sapp, also an NFL Hall of Famer declared.
"I can understand the 6 out of 10 rating, because the standards at the University of Miami were so high," Searcy, now a coach, agreed. "You have to remember Sapp was unblockable his senior year. So Rock had some amazing talent around him that he had to live up to.
"Dewey was relentless. You couldn't slow him down. Every damn practice, he went fast—100 mph, which the coaches loved. I thought he was crazy. But he was an amazing talent.
"Nobody on our offensive line could block him. He was that strong."
Searcy did manage to put The Rock on his backside after carefully studying his tactics, however. And several years later, he says the 2000 Royal Rumble winner could have been drafted by an NFL team had he played at another college.
"I think if The Rock had gone to any other university other than the University of Miami at that particular time, he'd probably be a first-round pick [in the NFL draft]," he insisted.
While Johnson did not live out his dreams on the football pitch, his disappointment played a huge role in him becoming the star he is today. According to Jim Ross, who recruited the stricken football player, his locker-room days in Miami made him the trash-talking ring promo man that saw him hit the heights as a wrestler.
"Him playing at The U, during that era, I'm convinced it allowed him to become a polished trash-talker," Ross told Macklin. "He could come up with dialogue off of the top of his head—and resonate the point he was making. That's perfect for a promo guy."