Did the Rock Play in the NFL?

Many people have often wondered, did the Rock play in the NFL?

Did the Rock Play in the NFL?
Wade McElwain

Written by: Wade McElwain

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2023-11-03

Did the Rock Play in the NFL?

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a larger-than-life figure who resonates with millions of fans worldwide. Known for his incredible physique, charismatic personality, and success in both the world of professional wrestling and Hollywood, Johnson has become a pop culture icon. However, there's a lingering question that many fans often ask: Did The Rock ever play in the NFL?

The short and somewhat disappointing answer is no, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson never played in the NFL. However, that doesn't mean he didn't come close, even if it was just 'acting.'

Despite having portrayed football characters like Spencer Strasmore on 'Ballers,' a man who played for the Miami Dolphins and eventually became the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, that's the closest he has come to the real NFL deal. 

Like many young American teens with anger and legal issues, Dwayne Johnson found salvation in high school football, embarking on a journey of Friday Night Lights redemption. His path change led him not only to focus on his physical transformation as a defensive tackle for his team but also to become a local motivational speaker, nudging him toward his acting path. Despite having a certified pedigree in wrestling, Dwayne was determined to forge his own football legacy.

Rock-Miami Hurricanes.jpg

1991 Miami Hurricanes

Dwayne's college football career began with the 1991 Miami Hurricanes squad, a team that would go on to crush the Nebraska Cornhuskers 22-0 in the Orange Bowl and go on to be named National Champions. Unfortunately, Dwayne wasn't involved in the season that much, as injuries and a locker room full of bigger, tougher men meant Dwayne was eventually replaced. His replacement was Super Bowl stud Warren Sapp, who would go on to have his own stellar career.

Dwayne tried out for many NFL teams after college, having not been selected in the 1995 NFL Draft, but to no avail. 
It was only when his father, Rocky Johnson, who was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada, encouraged him to return home and get back into the family business.
That road to stardom was forged in the WWE, as Dwayne transformed into 'The Rock,' forever solidifying his status as an action hero. 
And while football might have been a theme in some of his film characters in movies like 'Gridiron Gang' and 'The Gameplan,' sadly, it was all just fantasy.

The Rock Buys the XFL

In a move that was almost true to form for his 'Ballers' character, Dwayne became a part-owner of the bombastic 'XFL,' a spring football league hoping to complement the NFL. While the XFL has faced attendance struggles and post-COVID challenges, The Rock is confident that the league will continue to expand and grow.
So, while The Rock might never have officially played an NFL game, football and the NFL have always been close to his heart. His journey from the gridiron to the wrestling ring and the big screen is a testament to his work ethic and determination. While he may not have tackled opponents on the NFL field, he's certainly tackled the worlds of entertainment and business with great success.
So, no, The Rock has never played in the NFL, but his impact on the sport, both on-screen and off, is a testament to his passion and commitment to the game.

Wade McElwain

Wade McElwain

Wade McElwain is our Mr. NFL, a bona fide North American sports nut who knows about NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA plus MMA boxing and more. Originally from Canada, Wade is also an international award-winning stand-up comedian; host of numerous TV game shows; and a TV producer & writer. He also runs NFL in London-the largest NFL fan group in Europe, and has hosted NFL events at Wembley and around the world. Yes, he lives alone and does nothing but watch sports.

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