Throughout NFL history, there have been those players who not only excelled on the football gridiron, but also in other sports at the professional level. When discussing these top multi-sport athletes, a few well-known names come up, such as former Baltimore Ravens and Pro Football Hall of Fame CB Deion Sanders, who played in the NFL as well as Major League Baseball. Sanders played baseball for the Atlanta Braves and is the only person to ever play in both a Super Bowl and World Series.
NFL players such as RB Bo Jackson (baseball), RB Herschel Walker (Olympic Bobsled Team, MMA), RB Jim Brown (All-American Lacrosse player-Syracuse), QB John Elway (baseball) and WR Bob Hayes (100M Olympic Gold Medalist) among others. Baltimore native and Milford Mill High School graduate Brian Jordan replicated Deion Sanders' similar route, playing football for the Atlanta Falcons and baseball for the Atlanta Braves (and Los Angeles Dodgers).
The question is, other than Sanders, which members of the Baltimore Ravens were the best multi-sport athletes?
Understanding that the Ravens name only goes back 16 years, the list won't be too long and the options are relatively slim, but some of the names might surprise you. Ravens safeties Tom Zbikowski (boxing) and Haruki Nakamura (judo) both have prior experience excelling in another sport, but those sports could definitely help their football careers. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata played rugby before football. Can you imagine trying to bring down the 340 pound beast without any pads?
What many Ravens didn't know is that RB Ricky Williams played four seasons of minor-league baseball, after being an 8th round selection (213th overall) in the 1995 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. He was drafted at the age of 18, played one year of rookie ball, then the last three at the Single A level. Playing outfield, his best season was in 1996, when he hit three home runs, drove in 20 runs and stole 17 bases, but only batted .188, sealing his baseball demise, to the benefit of the NFL.
Most players are the professional level played multiple sports in high school and even a few did in college as well. But the few that did play more than one sport at the professional or world class level, or were All-Americans in other sports at the collegiate level, were the ones whose amazing athletic abilities cannot be overlooked.
The full list of multi-sport athletes is available at Wikipedia.
Who is/was the Baltimore Ravens best multi-sport athlete?
Tom Zbikowski (83 votes)
Haruki Nakamura (10 votes)
Haloti Ngata (72 votes)
Ricky Williams (13 votes)
Other (list in comments) (4 votes)
182 total votes