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The Surprising College Majors of Von Miller and 8 Other Famous Athletes

Close up of Von Miller smiling and wearing a blue suit

When people think about college athletes, they tend to forget the first word in that phrase. While it is true that some athletes go into majors that either pertain to sports or have a course load that caters to athletics, some take advantage of the education to pursue passions, dreams, and curiosities in the process. After all, there may be a life after sports where their major comes into play. Similarly, they may just have other interests that can make college more fun.

Whatever their reasons may be, these athletes chose majors that are truly bizarre when we think about their athletic careers. 

Von Miller, poultry science

Von Miller is one of the biggest names in professional football, but did you know he also has a passion for chicken farming? While making his name on the football field at Texas A&M, Miller decided to major in poultry science. It doesn’t appear to be a random major, either. To this day, Miller owns a chicken farm in California. 

Drew Brees, industrial management and manufacturing 

Drew Brees is known for his hard work and stunning longevity in the NFL, so it may come as no surprise that he spent his college career learning about the industrial world. Brees majored in industrial management and manufacturing while spending his time at Purdue, and with the twilight of his career coming up, perhaps we will soon see a return his roots. 

Chris Bosh, coding and graphic design

At his prime, Chris Bosh was one of the most talented big men in the NBA. Growing up, however, Bosh always had an interest in computers, specifically with regards to how they work. While playing at Georgia Tech, he was interested in a career in coding, but after becoming a breakout college star, his future diverged to basketball. 

Michael Jordan, cultural geography

Perhaps Michael Jordan’s international empire can be traced back to his days at North Carolina. While one might suspect that Jordan focused his studies on business or marketing. However, the biggest living name in sports actually spent his academic time learning about the world in a different way. He studied cultural geography during his time in college.

Dhani Jones, self-representation

Linebacker Dhani Jones didn’t just choose a random major. He made one up. While studying at the University of Michigan, Jones created a major called “Self-Representation” and graduated with honors in 2000. He used the major to spawn a career that is heavy on philanthropy, and he has even hosted shows on Travel Channel. 

Rob Gronkowski, pre-business

Gronk’s brand may be more calculated than we give him credit for. Not only is he one of the greatest tight ends that the NFL ever saw, but he knows a thing or two about the business world. While studying at the University of Arizona, Gronkowski was a pre-business major. Perhaps he will put this to good use now that he is retired. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, history

One of the most socially conscious players in the history of professional sports, it may be no surprise that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took the time during his college career at UCLA to learn about history. It may have even been what caused him to be so vocal about racial justice from his time in college to today. 

Andrew Luck, engineering

The comeback player of 2018, Andrew Luck was a college phenom at Stanford. While the attention he got was for his football performance going into the NFL, he didn’t disappoint academically, either. Luck majored in engineering, and at Stanford of all places. That’s not an easy major for any student. 

Tim Tebow, family, youth, and community sciences

Tim Tebow’s career has taken him everywhere from the NFL to minor league baseball to the broadcasting booth and beyond. When he was in college, however, he was studying family, youth, and community sciences. Those who have kept up with his philanthropic work may not be surprised by this, however.