Have you ever wondered what people in Alaska do for fun? Obviously, there is plenty of hiking, hunting, and fishing. But they also play plenty of football in the 49th state. Just because Alaska doesn’t have a pro or major college football team doesn’t mean the folks there don’t love football as much as everyone else. Occasionally, someone from Alaska is even good enough to make it to the NFL despite being from such an overlooked part of the country. That’s why we wanted to share with you some of the best NFL players to ever come out of the state of Alaska.
While he wasn’t born in Alaska, Bowman went to high school in Anchorage as a pit stop on his way to playing college football at Nebraska. He played eight seasons in the NFL with three different teams, spending most of his career with the Bears.
In Chicago, he was one of the more underrated members of the defense and put together some good years, eventually finishing his career with 13 interceptions, six fumble recoveries, and three defensive touchdowns.
Most people don’t know that the other Steve Smith was born in Anchorage before eventually going to high school in Los Angeles County and playing college football at USC.
As a rookie, he caught five passes in the Super Bowl, helping the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Smith then had a breakout season in 2009, earning a Pro Bowl spot. However, things quickly fizzled for Smith, who was hindered by injuries for the rest of his six-year career.
Born in Fairbanks, Colledge literally went to North Pole High School, which is about as close to the top of the world as most people will ever get. After a great college career at Boise State, he was drafted in the second round by the Packers.
Colledge spent five seasons in Green Bay, helping the Packers win Super Bowl XLV. He went on to play with the Cardinals and Dolphins, starting 137 games at offensive guard over nine seasons in the NFL.
Hall hails from the lovely city of Soldotna in southern Alaska. He eventually relocated to Utah and played his college ball at BYU. Despite being picked in the sixth round of the 1995 draft, Hall put together an 11-year career in the NFL, spending his first 10 seasons with the Falcons.
In those 11 years, Hall played in 150 games and racked up 42 sacks, which is more than respectable for a late-round pick.
Before he became a TV analyst, Schlereth was born and raised in Anchorage. Naturally, he was overlooked by college coaches but found a home at Idaho, playing for the Vandals before becoming a 10th-round pick in the 1989 Draft.
After six seasons in Washington, going to the Pro Bowl in 1991 and winning a Super Bowl ring, he spent the next six seasons with the Broncos, helping them win two Super Bowls and going to another Pro Bowl in 1998. Over 12 seasons, Schlereth started 140 games and retired with three Super Bowl rings. Not bad for a kid from Alaska who nobody ever seemed to want.