What NFL team did Roman Reigns play for? The WWE superstar's short-lived NFL career

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2018 - Arrivals
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2018 - Arrivals

Roman Reigns (real name Leati Joseph Anoa'i) is a WWE superstar and one of the company's top assets. He has been world champion multiple times and was part of one of the greatest factions in the company's history, The Shield.

Reigns hails from an iconic wrestling family that includes his cousins The Usos, his father Sika Anoa'i (one-half of the Wild Samoans), Rikishi (cousin), Umaga (cousin), and the one and only Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (non-biological cousin).

WWE & E! Entertainment's "SuperStars For Hope" Event At The Beverly Hills Hotel
WWE & E! Entertainment's "SuperStars For Hope" Event At The Beverly Hills Hotel

Roman Reigns' journey from the NFL to the CFL to WWE

Before he strapped up his wrestling boots and entered the squared ring, Roman Reigns was strapping up his cleats as a professional football player.

He played for Pensacola Catholic High School in Pensacola, Florida, and transferred to Escambia High School to play his senior year. He played alongside his cousins Joshua and Jonathan Fatu (The Usos). Reigns was a defensive tackle and was named Defensive Player of the Year by the Pensacola News Journal during his senior year.

After high school, he attended Georgia Tech to play for the Yellow Jackets. Reigns was a three-year starter and played alongside Calvin "Megatron" Johnson. He was named team captain in his senior year.

Roman Reigns recorded 40 total tackles, two forced fumbles and 4.5 sacks during his senior year and was named first-team All-ACC.

He declared for the 2007 NFL draft but went undrafted. The Minnesota Vikings signed him as a UDFA player, but that's when his football career started to come to an end. During his physical, Reigns was diagnosed with leukemia, thus failing his physical and the Vikings released him shortly after. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed him a few months later, but he was released right before the start of the season.

In 2008, Roman Reigns signed with the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos and played an entire season. It was a relatively uneventful campaign as he managed only five starts and wasn't re-signed for the following season. He later announced his retirement from football to pursue a career in professional wrestling.

Roman Reigns is just one of many wrestlers who started their career in professional football before making it big in pro wrestling. Here are some of the most popular wrestlers who also tried their hand at football:

  • Baron Corbin
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Goldberg
  • Mojo Rawley
  • Brian Pillman
  • Vader
  • Lex Luger
  • JBL
  • Ron Simmons
  • "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan
  • Bill Watts
  • Ahmed Johnson
  • Verne Gagne
  • Dwayne Johnson
  • Steve "Mongo" McMichael
  • Kevin Greene
  • Wahoo McDaniel
  • Titus O'Neil

Wrestlers like John Cena and Steve Austin played college football but never made it to the pros.

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Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar