This article is about some interesting careers of NFL players before they went pro that you may not have heard about. It is about the guys who switched positions at some point in their career before making it big as a pro. You may be surprised at some of the names on this list, as well as what position they once played.
These are people you all know about as a professional, but might have heard much about them prior to then. This article also includes a general background of the featured players' athletic careers.
They are all big names, some who are even legends who will be remembered for playing one position better than most others. But if you don't know how these guys started off their football careers, you can now find out.
Mahe was a backup running back for the Philadelphia Eagles, who signed him as an undrafted free agent. But before he was an NFL halfback, Mahe made his name at another position.
In his freshman year of college, he was the number two back for Brigham Young. During that season, he posted 481 rushing yards and seven TDs.
But after being suspended for his entire sophomore season for breaking the school's Honor Code, Mahe transferred to Dixie State College, which at the time was part of the NJCAA. At Dixie State, he made the jump from running back to wide receiver, where he dominated his lesser competition.
In that one season, Mahe had a sensational 57 receptions for 1,387 yards and 19 touchdowns, all on astounding 24.3 yard average. When he returned to BYU for his junior year, he did not revert back to RB. He would go on to record 91 receptions 1,211 yards and nine TDs in his junior year. In his senior season, Mahe did not do as well, only catching 59 passes for 771 yards and 2 scores.
After college, Mahe would go undrafted, and ended up having to make the transition back to running back in order to make the Eagles' roster.
Next up is Matt Jones, a former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He would probably still be with the team if it were not for drug charges against him, stemming for an arrest in which cocaine, and possibly marijuana, were found in a car which Jones was in. This led to his demise on the field.
Since then, Jones has been in jail twice. If it were not for this, he would probably be one of the league's better receivers.
His nickname is "The Freak", a title coined by some of the coaches and players who were in attendance for his combine workouts. The name describes his incredible athletic ability and monstrous size.
In fact, Jones is so skilled that he has been able to find success in spots other than just wide receiver.
At the University of Arkansas, he was one of the elite quarterbacks in the nation. He also played on the Hogs' basketball team, which is another testament to his natural athleticism.
He was a big success as a QB, completing 417 out of 755 passes for 5,857 yards, 53 TDs, and 30 picks in his collegiate career. He is currently the SEC's all-time leading rusher at the quarterback position, racking up a total of 2,559, a number that Tim Tebow will most likely eclipse in 2009.
He averaged 7.0 yards per rush and finished his college days with 24 scores on the ground.
When he was drafted by the Jags, his coaches felt that he would have a bigger impact as a wide out than a backup quarterback. If he can get his legal troubles sorted out, Jones will be an attractive pickup as a second or third option at receiver.
There is also a chance that a team that is interested in running the Wildcat will offer him a contract to play QB a couple plays a game. The Freak's uncanny natural talent and versatility might be what he needs to get his career back on the right track.
Vernon Davis, tight end of the San Francisco 49ers. Davis has been decent his first three years in the NFL, but decent is not anywhere near what he was expected to be.
Coming college out of college, it looked liked he was bigger, faster, stronger, and flat out better than the other tight ends in his class. He seemed to be an unheralded talent and would take the NFL by storm.
But the combination of slow progression and disciplinary issues have stopped this from happening. However, he is still very young, and has a great chance to develop into one of the league's top talents even now.
The fact that coach Mike Singletary is not shy at all about letting Davis hear exactly what he is thinking does not hurt either.
If Vernon does not have the desire to play at the top level from his experiences in the league so far, then you can be sure Singletary will change that in a hurry.
While Davis only has three touchdowns thus far in his young career, he does have an impressive 11.0 yards per catch, which is very good for a tight end. But he was even better in college. At Maryland, Davis had 83 receptions, 1,371 yards, and nine touchdowns.
He was a fantastic receiver who could block as well. In fact, he was so good that as an underclassmen, he started games as an H-Back in addition playing tight end. It seems like he has a lot of flexibility for 6'3", 250 lbs TE.
But that is only the beginning. In high school, the coaches were aware of this guy's sensational talent. Of course he was the team's starting tight end, as well as the safety on defense.
But it turns out that Davis played a pretty wide range of positions before his days at Maryland. This includes wide receiver, kick and punt returner, linebacker, and defensive end.
While scouts were sure they wanted him as soon as they saw him, there was probably a little confusion when trying to figure what spot on the field he actually played.
While this is a very interesting story, there is only one position that this young stud has to worry about if he wants to live up to the expectations: tight end.
You might remember him for being one of the most explosive and dangerous return men in the NFL for a good portion of the decade. From 2000 to 2006, Hall exploited opposing teams and showcased his talent for the Kansas City Chiefs.
If you are not familiar with him, just think of how feared Devin Hester is today and you have a pretty close match with Dante.
Every time defenders went up against "The Human Torch", they knew that they were about to be burned. "The X-Factor" also found success as a wide receiver, but on a lesser scale.
He is now playing for the St. Louis Rams. While it is clear that Hall is a physical specimen and top-notch athlete, you may not know how he made his name prior to the NFL. At Texas A&M, "X-Man" was a starting running back, as well as a standout return specialist.
He was extremely effective at his positions, finishing his college career with the second highest total for all-purpose yards in Aggies' history.
It was only when the Chiefs drafted Hall and sent him over to the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe that he made the transition to wide out.
While Hall is not on an NFL roster right now, his all-around offensive and repertoire and special teams presence make him an attractive pick-up for any team that suffers a last minute injury.
The next guy on this list is no longer in the league, but has an interesting story nonetheless. Curtis Conway was at his best with the Chicago Bears from 1993 to 1999 and the San Diego Chargers, with whom he played from 2000 to 2002.
He also spent 2003 with the New York Jets and 2004 with the San Francisco 49ers before retiring.
Conway was a pretty good receiver during his career, ending up with 8,230 yards and 52 touchdowns on 594 catches.
In college, he was a dual-threat at wide out and kick/punt returner for the Trojans of USC. He is So. Cal's all-time leading kick-off returner, even ahead of Reggie Bush. Also, he was an All-American at receiver in his junior year.
Most serious football fans from his time period have probably heard of him. But they may not know about Conway's career before he was catching passes in the pros, or even before his days with Southern California.
In high school, Conway was an All-American track star. Not surprising is it? But he was also able to earn All-America honors as a quarterback. QB was the position that Conway was first able to gain national prominence while playing at.
His head coach at USC, who at the time was Larry Smith, called him, "a great athlete, maybe the best we've ever had".
He probably would have made a fine NFL field general, but coaches felt his overall athletic ability overshadowed his capability to play quarterback.
Randle El was a solid receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers for a few years, and is currently playing for the Washington Redskins.
He is also a special teams standout for both teams, especially as a punt returner. He has even taken a bunch of hand-offs during his pro career, and surprisingly, has a lifetime 5.6 rushing average.
He can be a difference maker for whatever club he is on, and offers an assortment of skills that any team would benefit from having. One of the skills Randle El possesses is something other than just scoring touchdowns or gaining yards on his feet.
He has also been on the passing end of a few lays that ended in a score. Of his 25 career regular season touchdowns, four of them have been throwing.
But none of these 25 scores are his most famous TD. We have to go back to Super Bowl XL in 2006 when Antwaan threw a fake reverse pass to fellow receiver Hines Ward. This play was crucial for the Steelers' fifth Super Bowl victory.
Why is he such a reliable option at quarterback? In college, he was named the first team All-America quarterback selection by the Football Writers Association of America. Also, while at Indiana, he became the first player in Division I history to throw and run for 40 touchdowns each.
He finished his Hoosier days with 7,469 passing yards, 3,895 rushing yards, and 92 passing/rushing scores. He was the first player in the history to have more than 2,500 all-purpose yards for four straight years.
It appears that Randle El is one of the most prolific athletes in the NFL and is good enough to give defensive coordinators a scare no matter where he lines up.
Joe Thomas, the dominant young left tackle for the Cleveland Browns. With Cleveland, Thomas was selected to two Pro Bowls—the maximum number he could have been chosen for since he has only been in the league for two seasons.
In 2007, he was runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award. In his two years, Thomas has paved the way to success for running backs Jamal Lewis and Jerome Henderson, as well as protecting QB Derek Anderson on pass plays.
In college, Thomas did a fine job blocking for star running back P.J. Hill at Wisconsin. While he was at Wisconsin, the Badgers enjoyed great success, making three bowl games and winning two.
Thomas wasn't doing bad either, collecting both the Outland Trophy and the Jim Parker Award in his senior year. He started his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons at offensive tackle.
However, as a freshman, he had limited game time. Instead of playing tackle, his coaches saw his blocking value and smartly decided to use it.
They made him an occasional blocking tight end. Joe thrived in this role, which helped him earn a starting spot for the remainder of his college career.
Then there is Jason Peters, who is an offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles. This past offseason, Peters was traded to Philly from the Buffalo Bills. In each of his last two seasons with Buffalo, Peters was a Pro Bowl selection.
Weighing in at a mammoth 340 pounds, he is one of hardest guys to get around in the entire NFL. Running backs like Willis McGahee, Travis Henry, Marshawn Lynch, and Fred Jackson have made their names while running behind Peters.
Now that he is playing in the City of Brotherly Love, Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy look to add their names to the list of guys who have had success behind the big man from Buffalo.
But while Peters has been helping teammates score for the past few years, there was once a time where he was the man making the plays with the ball in his hands.
For his four years with the Razorbacks of Arkansas, Peters was not a tackle but a tight end. With the Hogs, he finished with 28 receptions for 300 yards. It must have been a nightmare for 190-210 pound defensive backs to try to bring him down in the open field. After all, defensive linemen that weigh around 300 lbs have a hard enough time getting around him. While he was really more of a blocking tight end in his three years of college, Peters was still appreciated enough to be dubbed Second Team All-SEC in 2003.
In the pros, Peters has two touchdowns: one off of a blocked punt and one receiving score. Sounds pretty versatile for a 340 pounder, right?
Surprisingly enough, neither tackle nor tight end were his top position in high school. Peters actually shined the brightest as a defensive end.
When Jason first signed with the Bills, he was still seen as a tight end as a special teams player. A lot has changed since Peters entered the league as an undrafted free agent.
But what if it didn't? Who knows? Maybe Peters could have been the biggest pass catcher in NFL history.
Hostetler is best known for being the quarterback to lead the New York Giants to a victory in Super Bowl XXV, which was one of the most exciting of all time.
He also played for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and the Washington Redskins. In his fourteen year NFL career, Hostetler compiled 1,357 completions, 16,430 yards, and 94 touchdowns.
He entered the league after being drafted by the Giants in 1984, where he would be the backup to Phil Simms. It was only at the end of the 1990 season that he took over the starting job following an injury to Simms.
From there, Hostetler lead the Giants to an NFL title and remained the teams number one QB for the next season after he beat out Simms.
But he could not maintain the job after going down with injuries the next two years. He played with L.A. for two years, then moved to Oakland with the rest of the franchise for his final two years as a Raider. He played his final two season with the Skins before retiring in 1998.
His college career began at Penn State, where he was recruited to play by the great Joe Paterno. But after losing the QB competition his freshman year, "Hoss" transferred to West Virginia.
Although he was forced to sit out his sophomore year because of NCAA transfer rules. But it was probably worth it when you look at what he did the next two years. Jeff became the quarterback of West Virginia.
As a Mountaineer, Hostetler would go 18-6 while becoming a fan favorite in Morgantown. His senior year was one of the best individual seasons in WVU history.
But you have to go back even before college to find out why Hoss' name is on this list. In his first three years of high school, Hostetler played quarterback and linebacker.
But in his senior season, his coach moved him to tailback due to the fact that the team did not have one. He made a nice transition to running back while winning All-America honors.
Imagine how different things would have been if Hoss was trying to sack the QB rather than being one. Would the Giants still have beaten the Bills?
Charles Woodson is one of the most dynamic cornerbacks in the NFL. Woodson is well known for his work with the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers as a defensive standout. So far, Woodson has totaled 441 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 66 passes defensed, 36 interceptions which he has returned for 606 yards and six TDs.
He has eight fumble recoveries, 17 loose balls forced, and seven career scores in the pro game. He is a ballhawk and is someone that a quarterback would be foolish not to keep in his sight when making a throw. Another dimension of his game is returning kicks, where he has really started to shine.
In college, he played for the University of Michigan, where he would go on to win an assortment of prestigious awards, most notably the 1997 Heisman Trophy.
As a Wolverine, Woodson made several key plays in big moments, which is what earned him a list of college football's finest awards. That and his incredible athleticism, which he used in all assets of his game very well.
So well in fact, that there was once a time where Ohio's Mr. Football of 1994 was actually better as an offensive player than anywhere else. Of course I am talking about high school.
Woodson set various records at his high school, en route to becoming an All-America, and, as was mentioned before, Mr. Football for the state of Ohio. And he did all this as a running back.
Sure, he still played corner, but it was as a running back that he was able to thrust himself into the national spotlight.
He has also made appearances as a wide out in both college and the pros. Being a three dimensional player is beneficial to anyone, as each area of your game is improved by another.
Being good on offense helps your defense because it gives you return ability once the ball is in your hand, while playing strong D allows you to play aggressively on offense. Need proof? Just look at "C-Wood".
Taylor is currently a defensive end for the Miami Dolphins. In 2008, he played for the Washington Redskins. Before that he was a Dolphin; from 1997 to 2007. Now he has made a return to Miami for the '09 season.
His first eleven years in the league where some of the best over that time period. In fact, nobody has had more sacks than Taylor since 2000. He has been named to countless NFL All-Defensive Teams and other similar honors.
He is a perennial Pro Bowler, with six total appearances, aw well as four All-Pro selections. In 2006, he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Not many have had as great a field presence as Taylor since his arrival in the NFL. In all, Jason has a career 678 tackles, 120.5 sacks, 81 passes broken up, seven interceptions, 110 return yards, and three touchdowns.
He also has 40 forced fumbles, 26 fumble recoveries, 198 return yards, and five scores, as well as two forced safeties.
In addition to having all the numbers, Taylor is a sensational athlete. He has a powerful combination of strength and speed that sets him apart from the group. He is the prototype player at the defensive end slot. Add this in with the fact that he is a fan favorite and it just doesn't seem like there is anything not to like about him.
He was very successful in college, too. In his senior year at Akron, Jason was a First-Team All-MAC defensive end. But as a junior, Taylor was First-Team All-Conference, only then he was a linebacker.
He was very good at both spots, there was one thing that he accomplished as a linebacker that he could not as a D-end. This comes in the form of an All-America nomination and selection as a junior.
Taylor's history of varying positions continues dating back to high school. Then, he was a feared tight end and free safety. Everyone has seen a lot of Jason Taylor on TV whether it be football or something else.
But it is not commonly known that he had played so many different positions in his career. Then again, it shouldn't really shock anyone when we are talking about a world-class athlete like Taylor.
Any true NFL fan knows that Sapp was one of the most dominating forces in the league for many years. He was great right out of the gate as a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, flashing world-class strength and incredible speed, for a guy who spent most of his career hovering between 285 and 335 lbs.
He finished his excellent career with the Oakland Raiders in 2007, retiring very quietly due to the fact that a certain No. 4 "ended" his career that same day.
Sapp was part of the 2002-2003 Bucs team that captured Super Bowl XXXVII by defeating the Oakland Raiders 48-21. Sapp was one of the top contributors to their victory.
In his magnificent career, he tallied 569 tackles, 96.5 sacks, 29 passes defensed, four picks, one of which he took to the end zone, 19 fumbles forced, 12 recoveries, four catches, 39 yards and two receiving scores. Those certainly seem like some pretty amazing numbers.
Sapp's tenacious mentality lead him to do much of the same thing in college while at The U. As a Miami player, the self-proclaimed "QB-Killa" took home a boatload of awards and prizes, most notably the Defensive Player of the Year award, which was presented by the Football Writers Association of America.
He also earned a couple of All-America choices, the Lombardi Award, the Nagurski Trophy, and the Bill Willis Awrd among others.
During this time, Sapp was one of the most overpowering defensive tackles in the nation. But before he was a hard hittin' Hurricane, Warren found himself taking on multiple different roles on the gridiron.
When he was a high school student, defensive line was not somewhere that Sapp was used to playing. He actually caught the attention of recruits as a linebacker, tight end and punter. He was so good at linebacker that he was named to the Florida High School Association All-Century Team.
It was only when he enrolled at Miami that he converted to DT. To add to this, Sapp was also used as a defensive end in Oakland. His versatility is just one of the many reasons that this Warren will have his bust placed in Canton in just a few years.
If you don't know this next player, here is a history lesson. It's Otto Graham, Browns' Hall of Fame quarterback in the 1940s and 50s. In his fantastic career, Graham racked up 1,464 completions, 23,584 yards, and 174 touchdowns in the air.
He also maintained an 86.6 QB rating, and had 882 yards and 44 touchdowns on the ground. He added 14 more scores in postseason play.
Because of this, Graham won two AAFC and three NFL MVPs. He also had the top three highest passing touchdowns in one season in AAFC history, putting up 25, 23, and 19 in 1947, 1948, and 1949 respectively. His .810 winning percentage is the highest among starting quarterbacks in NFL history.
He even played defensive back, where he intercepted seven passes that he brought back for 102 yards and a score. He took back a fumble for a TD, too. In addition to this, he returned kicks and punts.
He also played professional basketball, helping the Rochester Royals win the 1945-1946 National Basketball League title.
His football career lasted from 1946-1955, which was followed by a short stint as Washington Redskins head coach, in which he went 17-22-3 from 1966-1968.
For Otto, it always looked like he was going to gain his fame as a basketball player. He got into Northwestern on a basketball scholarship, while playing on the football and baseball teams as well. As a Wildcat, Graham thrived as a quarterback, breaking every single Big Ten passing record at the time.
He also played defensive back, handled all of the kicking duties, and even played a little bit of running back. He ended up being third in the Heisman voting in his final collegiate season.
He has since been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame."Automatic Otto" is one of the most prolific players in NFL history, and yet not many people know of his greatness. So if you didn't know much about him before reading this, now you do.
And if you were already familiar with him, you still probably didn't know that he was able to play anywhere on the field at any level. He might just be the best player on this list.
Here is another guy who is one of the most well-known football players in NFL history, despite being almost sixty years old.
Of course, this means that some of us have not had the chance to see him in person. But this does not mean that he did not have a profound impact on football that lives on today.
Casper was at his best when he was an Oakland Raider, and later an L.A. Raider in his second stint with the team. He also played for the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings.
As a pro, Casper racked up 378 receptions, 5,216 yards, and 52 touchdowns. In addition to being one of the finest receiving tight ends the game has ever seen, "The Ghost" is also known for his aggressive and physical blocking style.
He was 6'4", 240 pounds, and one of the most effective blockers ever to line up outside the tackles. Factor in that he was also a magnificent pass catcher, and you've got one the greatest forces in football history.
Over the course of his career, he won two Super Bowls, was chosen to five Pro Bowls, had four All-Pro selections, and was a part of the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team. He is also considered one of the most clutch players in NFL history.
Casper is best known for two particular plays, both of which showcase his ability under pressure. The first was "The Ghost to the Post". On this play, Dave caught a 42 yard pass in a acrobatic style, which set up the game tying field goal and put the 1977 Divisional Playoff Game between the Raiders and the Baltimore Colts into overtime.
The Ghost would also score the winning TD later on. This game is one of the more famous games in NFL history.
Another play that gets just as much notoriety is known as "The Holy Roller". It occurred the next season, against the San Diego Chargers.
On the play, two Raider players intentionally fumbled the ball to advance it toward the end zone, starting at the fourteen.
Then Casper knocked the ball into the end zone and dove on it for the game winning score. This play is the reason that you cannot advance the ball on your fumble today.
But these are the things everyone knows about Casper. Many people also know that know that he was an All-American and captain of the Notre Dame National Championship Team in 1973.
But it is not known by all that The Ghost only caught 21 passes for 335 yards and 4 touchdowns in his collegiate career. This is because for the first two of his three years with the Fighting Irish, he was an offensive tackle. And he wasn't bad either.
In fact, as a sophomore he was Second Team All-America. All though he wasn't the biggest guy, his fearless demeanor allowed him to line up with, and usually control the nation's biggest and best.
If you remember, Jason Peters is 340 lbs, exactly 100 more than Casper's playing weight. It's a pretty big size differential, but not much of a drop-off in performance between the two.
When you think about it, most players would have never been able to accomplish what Casper did. But then again, Dave Casper was by no means just another player.
Nothing surprising here. Everyone knows that Tony Gonzalez is a physical specimen that could line up all over the field on any given day.
"Tony G" is the all-time leading receiver for any tight end in every single career category. His 916 receptions, 10,940 yards, and 76 touchdowns, and four 1,000+ yard seasons are unmatched by any tight end in NFL history. He also has the most catches by a TE in league history with 102.
He also holds a number of Kansas City Chiefs' team records, where he played from 1997 to 2008. During this run, "Gonzo" accumulated ten Pro Bowl appearances, six First-Team All-Pro choices, and three Second-Team All-Pro selections.
While with the Chiefs, Gonzalez' 11.9 YPC has been wide receiver-esque. He was also a standout on special teams earlier in his career.
During his twelve career, Tony has been another short of spectacular, and the best part is that it still isn't over.
This offseason, he was traded from the struggling Chiefs to the high-powered offense of the Atlanta Falcons. He is expected to put up some big numbers now that he is part of an elite offense that has other guys to be focused on. Many have proclaimed him to be the greatest tight end in NFL history, while others say if he was just a little better at blocking, he would be a sure thing for that title.
It was apparent that this guy would be great from the very beginning. He played three years of college ball at California.
At Cal, he reached 1,302 rec. yards and 8 TDs on 89 grabs, all on a 14.6 average. As a junior, Tony was an All-Pac-10 and All-America selection.
He was also a main contributor on the basketball team. Would it really surprise you if he was once a multi-talented football player as well as a multi-talented athlete? In addition to being an outstanding high school basketball and baseball player, Gonzalez was an All-American tight end.
On the defensive side of the ball, he also earned an All-America distinction; this time as a linebacker. His athleticism allowed him to be the best guy on the field at all times, as well as giving him the ability to be an All-America choice both ways.
He also earned various awards as a tight end and linebacker, with him being equally talented at both. This is just another great story to talk about the day that Tony is being enshrined into Canton.
Of course you all saw this one coming. If you didn't already now about his interesting past, you had to have at least recognized him from the photo in the opening slide.
If you couldn't figure it out, it's Hines Ward. There's a lot to be said about Hines, whether it be his incredible skill-set or his fearless demeanor.
Ward has been dominant for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1998, the year he was drafted by the team. In his outstanding career, he has reeled in 800 receptions for 9,780 yards and 72 touchdowns.
He has also rushed for 430 yards and a score while maintaining 7.7 yards per carry. He is a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-pro, and is the all-time leading receiver in Pittsburgh history; a team that has had a few pretty good wide outs in its history.
He is also a two-time Super Bowl champion, as well as the Super Bowl XL MVP. But what sets Ward apart from other NFL receivers has nothing to do with catching passes at all.
Hines is one of the most feared blocking receivers in the NFL. He bucks the trend of selfish and flashy split ends, as he does everything the Steelers need of him without a complaint.
He is known for his devastating hits on the opposing defenses. Even the Baltimore Ravens daunting defense has to keep No. 86 in the corner of their eye on every play. It is well-documented that Ward is one of the top blockers at the WR position in recent years.
But not everyone knows about Ward before the pros. Sure, "Psycho Ward" was a wide receiver in college, when he played for Georgia. He totaled 149 receptions and 1,965 yards, both of which are second in school history.
As a freshman, Ward went into the year at quarterback, the position at which he had earned the distinction of being an All-America his senior year.
But injuries forced him to move to halfback, where he played through the beginning of his sophomore season. An injury at the QB allowed him to take over that role.
He struggled at first, and was even benched, before he got his act together and looked better than ever. He finished the year by leading the Dawgs to a Peach Bowl victory in which he completed 39 of 51 passes and threw for 413 yards, which are both team records for bowl games.
He played wide out for his last two years, and was All-SEC both times. He was also a solid kick returner throughout his collegiate career.
When you add up his total yardage at all four positions, Ward has a 3,870 all-purpose yards, a mark that ranks second in school history. This may be surprising, since this a player who blocks like a tight end or a fullback, and yet there was a time when other guys were clearing the way for him.
But when you have a phenomenal athlete like Hines, there isn't too much that you shouldn't expect.
There always a bunch of people who are not good enough to get a featured spot on any list, no matter what the topic may be. This one is no different.
There a plenty of players who did not make as big an impact at their original position as the one they played in the NFL, or just did not have interesting enough stories.
But the fact is, there are still many notable guys that have not been mentioned prior to now. So here they are: The best of the rest.
Herb Adderley: HOF NFL CB (Green Bay Packers, 1961-1969; Dallas Cowboys 1970-1972), played RB for Michigan State in college.
Marcus Allen: HOF NFL RB (Los Angeles Raiders, 1982-1992; Kansas City Chiefs, 1993-1997) and HOF USC RB in college, played S and QB in high school.
Dallas Clark: NFL TE (Indianapolis Colts, 2003-present), played LB at Iowa in college, before switching to TE.
Nick Collins: NFL S (Green Bay Packers, 2005-present) played LB at Bethuine-Cookman in college, before switching to S. In high school, he was a DB, QB, and RB.
Patrick Crayton: NFL WR (Dallas Cowboys, 2004-present), played WR for his three years of college at Northwestern Oklahoma State, before switching to QB for his senior year.
Antonio Gates: NFL TE (San Diego Chargers, 2003-present), played LB at Michigan State in college, before transferring to Kent State and switching to TE.
Desmond Howard: NFL WR/KR/PR (Washington Redskins, 1992-1994; Jacksonville Jaguars, 1995; Green bay Packers, 1996,1999; Oakland Raiders, 1997-1998; Detroit Lions, 2000-20001) was a Heisman winning return man and WR at Michigan in college. In high school he played RB, DB, and KR/PR.
Leonard Little: NFL DE: (St. Louis Rams 1998-present) played DE at Coffeyville Community College, and then transferred to Tennessee as a DE, before switching to LB. In high school, he played LB and WR.
Steve Smith: NFL WR (Carolina Panthers, 2001-present) and WR at Santa Monica College, and later Utah in college, played RB and DB in high school.
Lawrence Taylor: HOF NFL LB (New York Giants, 1981-1993), was originally recruited to play college football for North Carolina as a DL, before switching to LB.
Andre Tippett: HOF NFL LB (New England Patriots, 1982-1993), played DE at Iowa in college.
Brian Urlacher: NFL LB (Chicago Bears, 2000-present), played LB and S at New Mexico in college, as well as playing a mix of the two called a "Lobo-Back", in addition to WR and KR/PR.