6. Steve Emtman — Retired at 27 years old in 1997
A unanimous All-American in 1991 for the University of Washington Huskies, defensive tackle Steve Emtman was the stalwart on the Huskies defense that led the team to a Rose Bowl win to conclude the 1990 season; that was the first Rose Bowl win the program had in nearly a decade. In 1991, Emtman won the Outland Award (given to the best collegiate interior lineman) and Lombardi Award (given to the best college football lineman or linebacker), and was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
That led the Indianapolis Colts to take him with the #1 overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft. But due to various injuries, including blowing out both of his knees in his first two seasons, Emtman missed 30 games over his first three seasons, and retired from the league at only 27 years old.