16 Famous Athletes Who Started From The Bottom

jeremy lin of houston rockets

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Despite advancements in scouting and player development, there are still athletes who fall through the cracks.We pulled out 16 of the most famous examples of this phenomenon.

They were all either undrafted or went to tiny colleges that pro scouts have never heard of.

After some luck and hard work, they rose up from the bottom and are now big names.

Houston Rockets player Jeremy Lin went to Harvard and played in the D-League

Cowboys QB Tony Romo wasn't even drafted out of Eastern Illinois

Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri once played for the Amsterdam Admirals in the Netherlands

Patriots player Wes Welker wasn't drafted and got cut after the first game of his rookie year with the Chargers

Chiefs QB Matt Cassell never started at quarterback for USC

Timberwolves guard JJ Barea played in Puerto Rico after he went undrafted out of Northeastern

Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco went to non-FBS Delaware

San Diego Chargers player Antonio Gates didn't play football in college at Kent State

Blue Jays hitter Jose Bautista was stuck in the minors for six years, breaking out 10 years after he was drafted

Soccer star Didier Drogba didn't sign his first professional contract until he was 21 (about five years later than most international players)

New York Giants player Victor Cruz went to non-FBS UMass

Six-time Pro Bowl centre Jeff Saturday wasn't drafted out of North Carolina

Cy Young winner RA Dickey taught himself how to throw a knuckleball after he failed as a traditional pitcher

2010 NFL rushing leader Arian Foster wasn't drafted out of Tennessee and started on the Texans practice squad

Patriots player Danny Woodhead (#3) went to Division-II Chadron State and wasn't drafted

Now see a guy who started from the top and went to the bottom

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