Famous stars who played college football

Or basketball. Or baseball. Whatever.

I got the idea for this thread after reading in my Rock vs. Arnold thread that Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a The Rock, had played college football for the Miami Hurricanes.

IIRC, Dean Cain (Louis and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Ripley’s Believe it or Not) played defensive back at Stanford.

Mr. T was another collegiate football player if I am not mistaken.

There are many others that I fail to remember at this moment. Would you help me naming them?

I know that Mark Harmon was a pretty good quarterback for UCLA. Took 'em to the Rose Bowl, I think.

Burt Reynolds was a Seminole or a Gator, I forget which.

Stone Phillips. Yale, Quarterback two years. There are more (Robin Roberts, the female, and Linda Cohen) on Sports Jeopardy.

Are you sure about that? Wasn’t he the Bruins placekicker?

IIRC, Cain was also drafted by the Bills but broke his ankle in training camp.

Howie Long was a Raider. Question is whether or not he’s a famous star. Same goes, I guess, for OJ.

Rolf Benerschke was a place-kicker for the San Diego Chargers (presumably with a college career) before he was catapaulted to fame as Pat Sayjack’s temporary replacement on Wheel of Fortune.

Wasn’t James Arness a wishbone back from Wisconsin? He certainly put the hurt on a lot of people in the original The Thing.

Jack Kemp was the best thing that ever happened to Occidental College, as quarterback, and then went on to professional and political fame. Never got to the Big One, ever.

Let’s not forget the Boz, whose acting career lasted about as long as his ACL did in the pros. Shame, since his pal Rowdy Roddy Piper snagged such a good script…

Just recalled that Carl Weathers (yes, him of Apollo Creed fame) not only played college football, but joined the professional ranks with the Raiders.

IIRC, John Wayne and Ward Bond played for UCLA in the 1920s.

I know Mike “Tarzn/Jr.” Henry played pro ball for the old Rams, so I assume he may have played college ball.


Dean Cain did not play at Stanford, but at Princeton.

As for the two Mark Harmons, one was a quarterback at UCLA and another was a placekicker for Stanford.

You forgot Bill Cosby, who played football for Temple University.

Also, Ronald Reagan played college football, IIRC, didn’t he? And don’t tell me I’m thinking of his role as George Gipp. I’m being serious.

Aside from Dwyane Johnson, there is also Ron Simmons (Farrouq) who played for a college in Florida (cannot remember which one) and was one of 3 people to have his jersey retired.

A lot of wrestlers were football stars.

Gerald Ford was a lineman for Michigan. Which explains the famous insult about him playing too much football without a helmet.
**Tom **Harmon was the quarterback.

I think that Ronnie was 4-F and wasn’t permitted to play football, but I’m foggy on that. I know he did put in some time as an announcer for football games.

Did someone already mention Rams Hall-of-Famer Merlin Olsen? He was a monster at Utah State, and later went on to be eternally ridiculed as Father Murphy.

Johnny Mack Brown was a big movie star in the 30s, I believe, and he played football at Alabama.

Burt Reynolds played for Florida State.

And, of course, there’s Forrest Gump.

Damn. The memory is the first thing to go. Next you’ll be telling me that Phil Montana wasn’t the guy that lead the 49ers to four Suber Bowls.

And then you’ll tell me that “Super” isn’t spelled with a “b.” One of these days I’ll remember to preview…

Aarrgghh! You made me doubt myself, Odieman!

From the bio of Mark Harmon:

Incidently, I had no idea that Tom Harmon was his father.

You don’t recall correctly. John Wayne (actually Marion Morrison) played college ball at USC NOT UCLA.

Well, IIRC George HW Bush played ball for Oklahoma.

Bill Goldberg, WCW wrestler was a DT for the Atlanta Hawks, and definately played college football, I think for Georgia. Of course it’d be great if I researched all this stuff, you know. I imagine the list of ex-football players turned wrestler past and present is very very long, so maybe its easiest to ignore them.

Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore might have both played at Harvard. I’m struggling to remember that silly video from the DNC.

These all played pro football, so I assume played college ball somewhere:

Ed Marinaro - Hill Street Blues
Alex Karras - Webster
Bubba Smith - Police Academy Movies and Blue Thunder TV
Dick Butkus - Blue Thunder TV