The NFL is the highest level of professional football in the world, and it’s home to some of the most talented athletes on the planet. But what about the players who never went to college? Is it possible to make it to the NFL without playing in college first?
The answer is yes, and there have been a number of successful NFL players who didn’t go to college. In fact, some of these players have gone on to have Hall of Fame careers.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best NFL players who never went to college. We’ll also discuss how they made it to the NFL and what we can learn from their stories.
Eric Swann is widely considered to be the best NFL player who never went to college. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the 1991 NFL Draft, sixth overall. Swann played defensive tackle for the Cardinals and Carolina Panthers during his 10-year NFL career. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro selection.
Swann never played college football, but he was a standout player on the semi-professional Bay State Titans. He was also a very successful high school football player.
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Antonio Gates is another great example of an NFL player who never went to college. Gates was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft, 114th overall. He played tight end for the Chargers during his 16-year NFL career. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler and a five-time All-Pro selection.
Gates played college basketball at Kent State University, but he never played college football. He was a standout high school football player, but he didn’t receive any scholarship offers because of his academic grades.
Other Notable NFL Players Who Didn’t Go to College
- Brian Banks
- Michael Lewis
- Ray Seals
- Saverio Rocca
- Efe Obada
- Rico Gathers
- Vince Papale
- Lawrence Okoye
How Do Players Make It to the NFL Without Playing College Football?
There are a few different ways that players can make it to the NFL without playing college football. One way is to play in a semi-professional league like Eric Swann did. Another way is to be drafted by the NFL out of high school like Antonio Gates was. Finally, some players have made it to the NFL through the NFL International Pathway Program, which is designed to help international players make it to the NFL.
What Can We Learn From These Players’ Stories?
The stories of these NFL players who never went to college are inspirational. They show that it’s possible to achieve your dreams, even if you don’t take the traditional path.
These players also teach us the importance of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. They never gave up on their dreams, even when things were tough.
So, who’s the best NFL player who never went to college? It’s hard to say definitively, but Eric Swann and Antonio Gates are both strong contenders for the title. Both players had Hall of Fame careers and were instrumental to the success of their teams.
Why do some players choose not to go to college?
There are a number of reasons why some players choose not to go to college. Some players may not have the academic grades to get into college. Others may not be able to afford college. Still, others may simply want to start their professional careers sooner.
What are the challenges of making it to the NFL without playing college football?
There are a number of challenges that players face when trying to make it to the NFL without playing college football. One challenge is that players don’t have the same level of exposure as college players. They also don’t have the same access to resources and training.
What advice would you give to players who want to make it to the NFL without playing college football?
The best advice that I can give to players who want to make it to the NFL without playing college football is to work hard, be dedicated, and persevere. It’s also important to find a good mentor or coach who can help you on your journey.
What are the benefits of playing in a semi-professional league?
There are a number of benefits to playing in a semi-professional league. One benefit is that it gives players a chance to compete at a high level. Another benefit is that it gives players a chance to be seen by NFL scout