Eight Country Singers Who Almost Went Pro in Sports

Before some country artists were playing music in stadiums, they used to play their favorite sports in hopes of making the pro leagues. 

Written by Kelly Brickey
Eight Country Singers Who Almost Went Pro in Sports
Artist Publicity Photos

Before some country artists were playing music in stadiums and arenas, they used to play their favorite sports in hopes of making the big time with professional leagues. While the trade-off from sports to music may seem like a huge life change, many of these artists have learned to love the music industry and are grateful for the careers they’ve made for themselves.

Nevertheless, the artists’ favorite sports will always remain a huge part of their lives and will never leave them no matter how big they make it in music. Since school is back in session and many different sports are getting ready to start up their seasons, Sounds Like Nashville is throwing it back to the eight country stars that almost went into professional sports as their career. Take a peek at who used to be the star of the football team or who would knock one out of the park:

A photo posted by Chase Rice (@chaserice) on

Chase Rice – football

Playing the position of linebacker is no easy job, especially when you’re a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill team. Rice has done a lot of cool things with his life and music career, but that line of college football is incredible.

Brett Young – baseball

For Brett Young, sports seemed to always reign supreme. He admits to loving music, but never knew how to make it his full-time job. With a scholarship to play college baseball, Young made a few hits, but ultimately it was an elbow injury during his junior year that left him on the bench. Fixing his focus onto music, Young surely came back around full circle to music as his choice of career.

Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Sam Hunt – football

Even though Sam Hunt spent hundreds of hours out on the football field during his college years as a quarterback, he still kept enough spare time to teach himself how to play guitar after practice. Going from QB #1 to No. 1 on the charts, Hunt has had a pretty slick transition over into the music industry.

Chris Lane – baseball

Just as it seems many country stars did, Chris Lane played college ball until his injuries became too much to carry it on into a professional career. Thankfully, learning the guitar was a great backup plan for the singer who is making his way into the country spotlight amongst some other heavy hitters.

Photo courtesy Seattle Seahawks

Photo courtesy Seattle Seahawks

Kenny Chesney—football

Everyone knows that Kenny Chesney loves “The Boys of Fall.” As a former player himself, Chesney feels super connected to the ties of football and even created a documentary about the beloved American sport. Luckily, Chesney doesn’t have to stay far away from football stadiums as he gets to rock them out on his tour throughout the summer.

Garth Brooks—baseball

Not only is Garth Brooks a legend in the country music industry, but he also tried his hand at major and minor league baseball. The country star technically signed with teams like the San Diego Padres, the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals at one point. In the end, Brooks found his home plate on the stage rather than on the diamond.


A video posted by Jake (@barefootjake) on

Jake Owen – golf

Jake Owen is known for being one of those more outdoorsy guys in country music. Golf was his sport of choice, going on to play in college and trying to pursue a career in the PGA. Unfortunately, his athletic talent got in the way when he was seriously injured during a day of wakeboarding. Owen underwent surgeries to fix his shoulder and his chances of getting back out on the green, but it was music that won out his heart and ultimately became his passion.

Toby Keith—football

Little known fact about Toby Keith: he used to be a defensive end on semi-professional football team in Oklahoma. Crazy to think that if Keith would have continued on the pursuit of his football career, he could have been an NFL Hall of Famer. Guess he’ll just have to manage with ACM and CMA Awards instead.