Top 20 Celebrities Who Actually Played College Football
- Channing Tatum
If Tatum looked like a natural playing college football on screen in 22 Jump Street, it’s because he is. Tatum is an Alabama fan, but attended Glenville State College in West Virginia on a football scholarship during his college years. He has since played a few other sports roles and been in mega movie roles and become one of the biggest stars in the world. Interesting how life plays out for some people.
- Tom Harmon
The son of former Michigan star halfback and 1940 Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon, the future “NCIS” star’s career at UCLA had its fair share of memorable moments. Most notably was his first game with the Bruins, during which he engineered a 20-17 upset of top-ranked and two-time defending national champion Nebraska.
- Laurence Tureaud
Never heard of this dude? That’s because you know him as “Mr. T.” Before he became famous as a member of “The A-Team,” Tureaud starred at Chicago’s Dunbar Vocational High School and won a football scholarship to Prairie View A&M in Texas. But Mr. T’s gridiron dreams didn’t last long, as he was expelled from school after one year and joined the U.S. Army. Afterward, he tried out for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers but didn’t make the team.
- Phil Robertson
The “Duck Dynasty” patriarch starting ahead of another QB you may have heard of, Terry Bradshaw. But after starting for the Bulldogs during the 1966 and ‘67 seasons, Robertson decided not to play in 1968 because he was more interested in hunting. After creating a duck hunting empire and starring in a wildly popular TV show, Robertson’s done alright for himself since.
- Terry Crews
Crews’ comedic chops as Sgt. Terry Jeffords on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” seem so effortless, it’s hard to think he was born for anything else. Then of course you take one look at his frame and understand his past in football completely. Crews led WMU to a MAC championship in 1988 and spent time in the NFL with four teams. He has also played football roles on movies like The Longest Yard as Cheeseburger Eddie.
- Brian Dennehy
Dennehy’s place on the Lions’ football team prevented him from pursuing his true dream: Joining the Columbia Players’ acting group. “In those days, the Players had an artistic definition of themselves which didn’t allow a football player to be active,” Dennehy later told Columbia College Today. “I remember going up there a few times and distinctly feeling unwelcome.”
- Josh Duhamel
Josh Duhamel, star of the now-cancelled Battle Creek series on CBS and many other box office hits including Safe Haven, was a quarterback at hometown Minot State University in North Dakota. Relegated to backup duties with the Beavers, Duhamel realized the hard way that his pro football dreams were just that. “Two different coaches told me I didn’t have it, and even today it still bothers me,” Duhamel told the Chicago Tribune in 2003. “As much as I hated them at the time, it made me a better person…”. I think his life worked out just fine, ha!
- Nick Nolte
Nolte went to Arizona State on a football scholarship and also played for the Sun Devils’ basketball and baseball teams. Unfortunately his athletic career was cut short when he was expelled from ASU for academic reasons. No worries for Nick Nolte, I think he did just fine for himself.
- Carl Weathers
Unlike most of the former football players on this list, Weathers had a substantial career after college as well, spending parts of two seasons with the Oakland Raiders and three with the CFL’s British Columbia Lions. Which explains why he was so cut for his star turn as Apollo Creed in the first Rocky movie in 1976. Personally, I will always remember him for his role on Happy Gilmore as the one handed Chubbs Peterson.