For some reason professional athletes from all sorts of different sports have often tried to make the jump into pro wrestling, to varying degrees of success. Inevitably, the largest number of these crossover stars come from the world of American football. Many former college and professional football players have tried to make a living in the ranks of pro wrestling, and a lot of them have had notable careers. Out of that massive number of former gridiron stars, we’ve listed several of the ones which have made the biggest impact in wrestling over the years, including some of the biggest stars the industry has ever seen!
15. Jack Swagger
Swagger never made it to the NFL, but was a two-sport athlete in high school and for the University of Oklahoma, competing at a high level in both football and amateur wrestling, where he was an All-American. After playing two seasons as a backup on some very good Oklahoma football teams, Swagger quit football and focused on wrestling, where he caught the eye of WWE Hall of Famer and Oklahoma native Jim Ross. Swagger signed with WWE after graduating from college, and quickly showed enough raw talent in developmental that he was accelerated up the ladder, debuting for WWE as part of the ECW brand in 2008. His “All-American American” character and amateur wrestling style caused many people to compare him to Kurt Angle, and he seemed on the fast track to success, capturing the ECW Championship within his first six months on the brand. Swagger’s career continued to reach new heights after he left the ECW roster, winning Money in the Bank at WrestleMania XXVI and cashing in to become World Heavyweight Champion a few days later. Unfortunately, his reign was largely considered a failure, and while Swagger remains a visible member of the WWE roster, he has not yet reached those heights again.