The 5 Best College Football Players Who Also Played in March Madness
Tony Gonzalez a former NFL player for the Kansas City Chiefs from (1997-2008) and the Atlanta Falcons (2009-2013) and he also played in March Madness. When he finished his career he finished as the all-time leader in catches, yards, and touchdowns among tight ends. back when he was in college, Gonzalez was better known for not just his performance on the football field but his performance on the basketball court.
Gonzalez played basketball from 1995 to 97 averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds for the Golden Bears and while on the football field he had 89 catches for 1,302 yards and eight TDs in three years. He had his best year when he was a junior when in football and then basketball he was averaging 15.9 yards per reception with five TDs in 1996 and then pouring in 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds as a 6’6” forward.
When Gonzalez was playing during his final year of Basketball he was averaging 13.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in three games. One of his best moments was during the second round when he scored 23 points on 9-of-13 shots which lead win over win over Villanova
2. Ronald Curry, North Carolina
During Ronald Curry career as a football player, he had more than 6,200 yards of total offense with 41 total touchdowns. During 1998-2001 he was the quarterback for North Carolina and for all four seasons he was the starter. At the time that Curry played, he was the offensive leader for his school.
During those four seasons, the team went 24-23, that was the same number of wins the Tar Heels’ basketball team had during the 1998-99 season. Curry played as a freshman, although he skipped the next year then returned in 2000-01, as a starter in all 28 games of the UNC team that won the ACC regular-season title.
Curry led the team in assists while he was scoring 5.5 points per game that season, Curry had a combined 16 points and 12 assists in a pair of NCAA tournament contests. However, according to bleacherreport.com “he didn’t score in UNC’s lone tourney game during the 1998-99 when No. 14 seed Weber State upset the third-seeded Tar Heels” (Pedersen,2016).
Terry Baker, Oregon State
In 1962 while playing for Oregon State Terry Baker won the Heisman Trophy that made him the first player from Texas to claim the award. While he was with the Beavers during those three seasons Baker threw for more than 3,400 yards and ran for another 1,500 accounting for a total of 38 touchdowns. The Liberty Bowl was a big game for Baker he scored a total of 99-yard TD run which to this day remains the NCAA record. When Baker returned to OSU’s basketball team he was the starting point guard. In 1963 he helped his team into the final four and the year before he helped his team get into the Elite Eight. According to bleacherreport.com “The Beavers have only been to the Elite Eight once since then, and this season they reached the NCAA tourney for the first time since 1990” (Pedersen,2016).
Julius Peppers, North Carolina
When you think of Who you would put in the top ten all-time NFL sacks you should think Julius Peppers because I do. Peppers is the type of player that is always on the move and always leading his team. Peppers is with 136. he had 30.5 sacks in three seasons with North Carolina To me that’s INSANE. According to bleacherreport.com “as a junior, he won both the Bednarik and Lombardi awards before turning pro and getting drafted second overall” (Pedersen,2016).
Peppers was a valuable player on the court and in both years according to bleacherreport.com in 1999-2000 and 2000-01, he was averaging 5.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 56 total games. During the 1999-2000 Peppers averaged 5.8 points and 4.6 boards in the NCAA tournament. However, during UNC’s run to the Final Four, he had three blocks in a second-round to upset a top-seeded Stanford.
Charlie Ward, Florida State
Charlie Ward who won the Heisman Trophy in 1993 never played professional football instead he went for a career in basketball. A two-year quarterback for the Seminoles ward leads his team to a national championship in 1993. According to bleacherreport.com ward throw “for 3,032 yards and 27 touchdowns” ((Pedersen,2016) During his time at FSU and as a multiple college athlete, he had to schedule his time very well with the basketball team and football team. He would be preparing for the national title game, then he would have to switch to basketball full time.
According to bleacherreport.com during the season of 1993 to 94 Ward averaged 10.5 points and 4.9 assists. He also averaged 8.1 points and 4.4 assists in 91 games. Nine out of those 91 games came from the NCAA tournament. in the 1992-93 season According to bleacherreport.com, he averaged 8.3 points during a run to the Elite Eight.