10 Country Singers Who Played Football

Isaac Brekken/Parade

It’s that time of year… Superbowl is in the air!

In the spirit of the big game, and as we prepare for the big day, we wanted to take a look back at country stars, who once upon a time, tried out their chances at a career in football.

Lucky for us, all of these country singers put down the football and picked up the microphone…

Check out the list below to see 10 country stars in their football days. Some may surprise you!

1. Kenny Chesney

(Photo Credit: sportsthenandnow.com)

Football has always been very close to Kenny Chesney’s heart, and before Chesney was the country icon he is today, he was a wide receiver for Tennessee’s Gibbs High School.


Unfortunately, his football career was short lived, and after college Chesney moved to the music capitol to pursue country music. And boy, are we glad he did!

In 2010, Chesney came out with the documentary “The Boys of Fall,” which paid tribute to the game that shaped his childhood. The documentary debuted on ESPN and showcased the lives of football players.


2. Willie Nelson

(Photo Credit: houstonpress.com)

Willie Nelson also tried his hand at football back in the day.

Before he was considered one of the first “outlaws” in country music, Nelson was just your average football-playing high schooler. Nelson played for Abbott High School in Abbott, Texas, as the team’s halfback.

Of course, Nelson also played music on the side and ultimately decided to follow that path.

3. Sam Hunt 

(Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka, Getty via Rollingstone.com)

Sam Hunt was probably the closest to pursuing a pro career in football. The country singer was nominated for a Heisman trophy while in high school, and was quickly picked up by a college to play as the staring quarterback.

Hunt played for both Middle Tennessee State University and The University of Alabama, before he decided to trade in his football for a microphone.

Before long, Hunt was a country superstar, best known for his hit, “Take Your Time.

4. Cole Swindell


5. Trace Adkins 

(Photo Credit: tasteofcountry.com)

Thanks to genetics, Trace Adkins was born to play football. Between a muscular build and standing 6 and a half feet tall, we can’t really imagine a team that wouldn’t him. After high school, Adkins continued to pursue his football career, playing for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, all while studying music.

Adkins played as a walk-on offensive lineman, but injured his knee during his freshman year.

Needless to say, he picked a different career path after that…

6. Toby Keith


(Photo Credit: SB Nation)

Toby Keith is another country star who was pretty much born to play football. While working on his music career, Keith simultaneously worked on his football career. Keith balanced music and played on defense for the United States Football League.

The “Made in America” singer played semi-pro for two whole years before pursuing his music career full-time. Great move!

7. Garth Brooks

(Photo Credit: newsok.com)


(Photo Credit: OleMissFB via Twitter)

Back in the day, Eric Church was really involved in sports. He played baseball, golf, basketball, and yes, football. Unfortunately for Church, his football career was cut short when he injured his knee in high school. He wasn’t able to play in college, but everything happens for a reason! 

If it wasn’t for that, who knows if Church would have kicked off his singing career! 

9. Darius Rucker


(Photo Credit: Twitter.com/dariusrucker)

In 2015, Darius Rucker was given the chance to play with the South Carolina Gamecocks, a tradition made by the head coach to involve a fan to join in on the game. Although Rucker didn’t exactly go pro with his football career, he knew enough to score a touchdown during the game.

When he was in elementary school, Rucker was a Dan Marino fan, and kept up with the Miami Dolphins. By the time middle school hit, Rucker played quarterback, before changing his focus when entering high school.

10. Tim McGraw

(Photo Credit: tennessean.com)

Although Tim McGraw was born from a professional baseball player (his father was famous baseball player, Tug McGraw) he wanted to try both fields. While in high school, McGraw dabbled in all kinds of sports, football included.

McGraw has been known to play in football-themed films, including “Friday Night Lights” and “The Blind Side.” Maybe his past has something to do with his interest in those types of films? Either way, we think it’s great!