Four former B1G players make ESPN's 100 most famous athletes in the world ranking
It’s not easy to quantify fame. Still, ESPN took its best shot.
In an attempt to rank the most famous athletes in the world, ESPN used a combination of Facebook/Instagram/Twitter followers, endorsements and Google search popularity. They also talked to sources from across the world.
What did it find? Middle America — AKA the B1G — produced some pretty famous athletes.
A total of four former B1G football players made ESPN’s World Fame 100 list in 2017. The B1G accounted for half of the current NFL players that made the top 100, three of which were from the SEC and one of which (Aaron Rodgers) hailed from the Pac-12 (though technically he played in the Pac-10).
Here were the B1G players that made the cut:
21. Tom Brady (Michigan)
52. Drew Brees (Purdue)
55. Russell Wilson (Wisconsin)
74. J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)
Brady was by far the highest-ranked football player. Cam Newton was the second-highest rated NFL player at No. 47, followed closely by the likes of Brees and Wilson.
Wisconsin was the only college football program that had multiple representatives on the list.
Last year, Brady came in at No. 52 while Brees was actually ahead of him at No. 44. Wilson and Watt also fell from No. 49 and No. 56, respectively.
So basically the only way to become more famous for an NFL player is to win a Super Bowl in dramatic fashion.