Small School Athletes

Image created by Kolby Barrett/Student Contributor

Student Contributor

Going to over-the-top colleges like Duke for basketball or Alabama for football is not always necessary to have a professional career. Athletes can come from the littlest of D1 schools or even some D2 and D3 schools.

A documentary series on Netflix, called “Last Chance U”, showcases small colleges that can give athletes a shot at making it. All it takes for some of these athletes is a shot, like Stephen Curry, who attended Davidson College and made his mark at March Madness.

One school around here that is D2 and has sent some players to the big leagues is Slippery Rock University. This year, one of their halfbacks, Wes Hills, is projected to be a mid-round draft pick in the NFL Draft. Hills rose his draft grade up after having a great performance at the Senior Bowl and was named MVP of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

Another famous athlete to come from a small school around here was the great Kurt Angle, who attended Clarion University. Angle attended Clarion University’s D1 wrestling program and went on to make it to the Olympics, winning a gold medal.

Former Pittsburgh Steeler R.J. Bowers attended Grove City College, another D3 school. After college, Bowers would play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns from 2001 to 2003.

All of these examples prove that you don’t always have to attend the big colleges to get your name out there. Just go out and work for it.

Here’s a list of great players who attended colleges that do not typically produce pro athletes:

Dennis Rodman – Southeastern Oklahoma State

Larry Allen – Sonoma State University

Stephen Curry – Davidson University

Terrell Owens – Chattanooga University

Andre Reed – Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Damian Lillard – Weber State University

Michael Strahan – Texas Southern

Steve McNair – Alcorn State

Elgin Baylor – Seattle University

Walter Payton – Jackson State

Albert Pujols – Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods in Missouri

Jerry Rice – Mississippi Valley State

Antonio Brown – Central Michigan University

Ben Roethlisberger –Miami of Ohio University


Kolby Barrett is a student at Redbank Valley High School and a member of The Bark, the school’s journalism/publications group.