On Friday, Sporting News released a list of the 20 smartest athletes who have performed in the classroom and on the playing field.
At No. 6 is Ravens center Matt Birk. He sailed through Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn., with a 4.4 grade-point average, graduated from Harvard University in 1998 with a degree in economics, and has agreed to donate his brain and and spinal cord tissue to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University's School of Medicine upon his death to help researchers better comprehend the effects of repeated head trauma on the nervous system and develop methods for prevention, treatment and a cure.
Birk sits just outside of the top five, which includes Oakland A's relief pitcher Craig Breslow at No. 1; Tennessee Titans safety Myron Rolle at No. 2; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf at No. 3; Anaheim Ducks forward George Parros at No. 4; and Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, a fellow Crimson alum.