Tom Cruise pitted his football throwing skill against Jimmy Fallon this past week in a friendly game of Face Breakers. Cruise came away with the victory over The Tonight Show host, but not without some difficulty.
A real-life wrestler in high school, Cruise was cast as a football player in two different films. In 1983, just before he exploded in popularity with “Risky Business”, Cruise played a prep defensive back in “All the Right Moves“. Thirteen years later, he played a former SMU quarterback turned sports agent in “Jerry Maguire“.
At just 5 ft 7 in, it’s a bit of a stretch to imagine Cruise as a star college QB, but there is historical precedent. Edward Wayne LeBaron, Jr., the same height as Cruise, lettered all four years at College of the Pacific, leading them to an undefeated season in 1949. LeBaron went on to play professional football for more than a decade, including four years in which he was named to the NFL Pro Bowl (three times with the Washington Redskins, and twice with the Dallas Cowboys).