School: University of Notre Dame
Sports: Baseball, Football
Jeff Samardzija took a few years to develop into a game-breaking college football talent, but his success as a baseball player was immediate. His first year on the diamond in South Bend, Ind., Samardzija was named a freshman All-American. A couple years later Baseball America labeled him the second-most athletic college prospect in the 2006 draft, but he tumbled down draft boards out of fear that he’d bail from the mound in favor of the NFL.
That was a valid concern because, as Jeff became an upperclassman, he dominated the football field. As a junior he was a first-team All-American, setting records for a program that had accumulated a mighty impressive history for more than a century. In his last two years as a member of the Fighting Irish’s football team, Samardzija was a finalist for the award given to the best wideout in the country. He couldn’t bring it home, even as a senior. But hey, can you really hold it against a guy for losing out to Calvin Johnson? Yes, but he still makes the list.