Great NCAA Players Who Were Cut From The NFL

A lot of the greatest NFL players were good in college as well, as they were the star players on their teams. Granted, that’s not always the case. Arguably the greatest player of all time, Tom Brady, spent the majority of his college career at Michigan on the bench, but eventually showed out in the pros.

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However, just because a player is good in college doesn’t mean they’ll be good in the NFL. Fans can easily count the number of players like Tim Tebow who was a flash in the pan in the league. However, even beyond those players, there are many NCAA greats who couldn’t even make a roster after college.

10 Kenny Hill

Kenny Hill is mostly seen as a bit of a disappointing player, but that’s given the massive expectations on him. His first year as a starter at Texas A&M was right after Johnny Manziel left, and he lit up the scoreboard for the first few weeks.

He eventually left for TCU the following year and finished out his college career there after posting two good seasons. Hill’s football career ended after college though, as he went undrafted and only spent a month with the Oakland Raiders before being cut.


9 Everett Golson

Everett Golson’s first season as a starter came in 2012 for Notre Dame. He quickly showed flashes of being a great dual-threat quarterback, as he led the squad to the National Championship game where they lost to Alabama. Following the loss, he was suspended for academic violations for a year.

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He eventually returned to Notre Dame and put up a respectable season before departing to Florida State the following year, where he led the Seminoles to 10 wins. Seen as a great talent but lacking the knowledge to succeed at the top level, he was invited to the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts training camps but couldn’t stick with either.

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8 Trevor Knight

Trevor Knight had one of the greatest individual performances in Sugar Bowl history in 2013, as he passed for over 300 yards and four touchdowns to defeat Alabama. He never quite lived up to that game for the rest of his college career, but Knight was still a successful starter for Oklahoma.

He eventually left for Texas A&M in 2016 after being benched for Baker Mayfield. Knight played well there, but it wasn’t enough to get an NFL opportunity. He was signed by the Arizona Cardinals, then the Atlanta Falcons, but was released quickly by both.

7 Eric Striker

Eric Striker started three seasons for the University of Oklahoma from 2013 to 2015. There, he was a phenomenal outside linebacker and was named a multiple-time All-American for his efforts. He didn’t get drafted into the league but was signed by the Buffalo Bills.

Sadly for Striker, he only spent a few months with the Bills before being cut. He was never signed by another NFL team.

6 Jordan Lynch

A multiple-time Heisman Trophy finalist, Jordan Lynch enjoyed two seasons as a starter at Northern Illinois in 2012 and 2013. It’s not hard to see why he was so respected, as he posted insane numbers. In back-to-back seasons, Lynch put up nearly 3,000 yards passing, and 2,000 yards rushing.

Sadly for Lynch, NFL teams weren’t convinced by his arm talent and thought he was too small to play the position. He went undrafted but was picked up by the Chicago Bears, who attempted to use him as a running back before cutting him.

5 Taylor Martinez

Taylor Martinez was a dual-threat quarterback during his years as a starter at Nebraska. He’s still the current holder for most combined yards put up in a single year at the university. Martinez put up over 10,000 yards passing and running.

However, he lacked the arm talent and size to make the NFL. He went undrafted but was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. They intended to use him as a wide receiver or cornerback, but he failed his physical and was released two days after his signing.

4 Major Harris

Major Harris was a great player for West Virginia in the 1980s. He was an All-American and was also selected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. He was a dual-threat player when the term wasn’t used too often.

He left college early to pursue a career in the pros and was drafted in the 12th round by the Los Angeles Raiders. However, he was cut from the team and ended up pursuing a career in the CFL instead.

3 Collin Klein

Collin Klein somewhat resembled Tim Tebow and came just a few years after the Florida star left for the pros. Klein was a wrecking ball at Kansas State and was an insane dual-threat player during his time as a starter. His final season in 2012 saw him finish third in Heisman voting, as he put up 15 passing touchdowns, and 22 running.

Klein went undrafted into the NFL but was given a training camp invite to the Houston Texans. Sadly, he never made the team and was never signed by another NFL squad.

2 Jason White

Jason White is arguably the greatest quarterback in Oklahoma history, and that says a lot considering how they’re essentially a quarterback factory. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2003 and nearly did it again in 2004. His passing stats for the Sooners look like video game numbers, as he passed for over 7,000 yards and 75 touchdowns in his two years as a starter.

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His incredible achievements came in spite of the fact that he essentially had the bad knees. Due to multiple ACL tears and ligament damage, White lost most of his mobility by his senior year of college. He was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans after going undrafted, but couldn’t stay on either roster due to knee issues. White has stated that he can’t even run without pain or knee issues these days.

1 Tommie Frazier

Tommie Frazier was one of the greatest players in college football history, as he led Nebraska to back-to-back national titles in the 1990s. He’s also one of the greatest players to never play in the NFL in any capacity. Unlike other entries, Frazier didn’t even make it to camp.

Frazier struggled with Crohn’s disease and notably had blood clots as a result of that. He went undrafted and was not signed by any NFL team afterward. He eventually played for the CFL for a season before hanging it up.


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