In the winter we looked at the oddest jobs some of our basketball lost lettermen are now involved in. Today it’s time to check out our football lettermen and some of the quirkiest things they’re doing after hanging up the cleats.
Note: As of spring 2010
10. Reuben Droughns (Oregon) – Serbian Football Coach
As we just mentioned, the former Oregon and NFL running back is breaking into the coaching ranks – nothing unusual about that, right? Except that Droughns’ first coaching gig is in Serbia. Yes, Serbia! He’s only 31 but was recently under investigation by the DEA for allegedly growing marijuana in his house. Leaving the country might have been a no-brainer.
9. Trezelle Jenkins (Michigan) – Owner, Harold’s Chicken Shack
Jenkins, a Chicago native and former Michigan offensive tackle, grew up loving the taste of Harold’s Chicken Shack, a Chicago original. He loved it so much that after settling in the Detroit area, he wanted to bring one into Michigan. Today he and his wife co-own a Harold’s Chicken Shack in Ferndale, MI, and it’s been voted as one of the best fried chicken restaurants in the Detroit area based on numerous newspaper reader polls.
8. Leonard Marshall (LSU) – Seton Hall Professor
Marshall made a name for himself after unloading on Joe Montana during the 1990 NFC Championship game. Today Marshall is terrorizing students instead of quarterbacks as a professor of sports management at Seton Hall. One look at that video and you’ll think twice about turning in a paper late.
7. Neil O’Donnell (Maryland) – FieldTurf Sales Rep
Based on his lack of speed, O’Donnell spent plenty of time on the ground during his professional career. So we figured he’s the perfect candidate to sell FieldTurf (which amazingly was around when he played). O’Donnell was a CBS analyst three years ago when he went to FieldTurf’s founder, the late John Gilman, and suggested he should become a salesman. He currently works his magic in Kentucky and Tennessee.
6. Tony Mandarich (Michigan State) – Owner, Mandarich Photography
Mandarich was known for being a bit of a wild child during his playing days, but since then he’s mellowed out and become a passionate photographer. Only he’s not photographing football or any sport for that matter. He takes picture of nature. Oh, and he has his own modeling business. Really? Mandarich Models features Fitness, Boudoir & Glamour Photography. Yeah, didn’t see that one coming.
5. Chad Brown (Colorado) – Owner, Pro Exotics Reptile Store
When just having a dog or cat isn’t enough, Chad Brown can hook you up with a freaking python snake. That’s right, after his days at Colorado and the NFL, Brown went into the reptile business, selling all kinds of reptiles, including snakes, and the various equipment and food supplies needed to take care of them. The oddest part of his business, Pro Exotics: it’s located in Littleton, CO. Not exactly the place you associate with reptiles. And be sure to write out a large check. Some of his snakes cost up to $3,000.
4. Billy Cannon (LSU) – Dentist at Louisiana State Penitentiary
The 1959 Heisman Trophy winner has had quite a life following his football career. He got his dental degree from Tennessee and an additional degree from Loyola University in Chicago. But he got himself into trouble with the law when he began counterfeiting money to pay off gambling debts. He spent two and a half years behind bars. In the mid ’90s he was struggling to rebuild his dental practice when he took a chance and applied to be the part-time dentist at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. He did such a good job he was eventually hired full time and put in charge of the whole medical system in the prison. He still works there today and his called “Legend” by the inmates.
3. Ryan Leaf (Washington State) – Booking Fishing Trips in Canada
Where players begin their playing NFL careers and where they end up vastly differs but for the No. 2 overall pick to end up working for a fishing resort in Canada? Now that’s odd. Leaf’s fall from the No. 2 selection in the 1998 NFL Draft is epic. It’ll take years and more embarrassment for another player to be considered the biggest NFL bust. But despite all the off-field issues, Leaf has managed to find peace within himself and a steady job booking fishing trips for West Coast Resorts.
.2. Eric Crouch (Nebraska) – Owner, Crouch Recreation
Athletes owning their own business is nothing new. But when that business builds playgrounds, well that’s something interesting. Soon after he was released from the Green Bay Packers, the 2001 Heisman winner was presented with an opportunity to purchase a recreation equipment company. He liked what he saw, shadowed the original owner for a couple of months and eventually took over. Today Crouch Recreation builds playgrounds, park equipment (shelters, benches, etc.), scoreboards and even waters slides.
1. Jake Plummer (Arizona State) – Handball Player
Even though he’s no longer behind center, Plummer still competes for championships. Handball championships. Like Todd MacCulloch finding a way to continue his competitive streak in pinball, Plummer has found an unusual competitive outlet. Last year he and his partner lost to his two older brothers in the Idaho Handball State Championship. His brothers were defending champions.
In fact, Jake is the only male in his family to not have a state championship to his name. Plummer lives in Sandpoint, ID, and still plays handball. He’s also an assistant with the Sandpoint (ID) High School football team, who lost the 4A State championship last season. In the offseason he’s cross-training the players by having them play handball.
Yep, you can say he’s hooked: