Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty Star, Passed on NFL For Hunting

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Phil Robertson, 66, has gained fame and wealth from hunting, but the star of A&E's Duck Dynasty was once a football quarterback with pro-level talent.

Seriously. Here's Phil then and now:

Phil Robertson Photos

Robertson, the millionaire inventor of the Duck Commander duck calls and patriarch of Louisiana's Duck Dynasty reality series, is no back country bumpkin.

He has a master’s degree in education, and he was the starting quarterback at Louisiana Tech for two seasons. His backup? NFL legend Terry Bradshaw.

The guy could play.

Teammates and coaches recall a talented, outdoors-obsessed character who walked away from his final year of eligibility to spend more time hunting and fishing.

"As a little kid, looking back on it, I could always throw farther than all the other kids. The point is, a good arm, my man, you’re born with that," he tells ESPN.

"You can’t teach someone that. It’s either there or it’s not, you know what I’m saying? I had the arm. The ability. Bradshaw probably had me a little more on distance."

"I was about a 65-yard man. I remember at some point, Bradshaw and I would get out there and he would throw like 70-plus. But [I had] a quicker delivery."

By all accounts, he had the talent to play in the NFL, but despite his athletic gifts, Phil Robertson felt then, as he does now, that he had to pursue his passion.

"The choice came down to me in the woods hunting ducks, or getting in a situation, a lifestyle, whereby large, violent men are paid huge sums of money to do one thing," he recalls.

"Stomp me in the dirt. I said, you know, I think it would be less stressful to go after ducks."

More power to him. Despite some criticism from Morrissey, Phil and the rest of the guys from Duck Dynasty returned to record ratings this week on A&E.

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