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There aren’t many states in the United States that have produced as many talented NFL players as Wisconsin. Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been a number of players that have won the Super Bowl after playing college football in Wisconsin. However, these are some of the stars that have enjoyed an excellent career in the NFL.
Jim Leonhard was born in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, and played college-level football with the University of Wisconsin. He was undrafted during the 2005 draft, but that didn’t stop him from chasing his dream in the NFL. He eventually signed for the Buffalo Bills in 2005, where he spent two seasons before moving to the Baltimore Ravens.
After a short stint with the Ravens, he moved to the New York Jets and then the Denver Broncos. He would continue to play in the NFL until 2014 with the Bills and the Cleveland Browns. During his career, he made 429 tackles and 4.5 sacks. After finishing his career, he returns to Wisconsin to work as a coach. He first took up the role of defensive backs coach, before then becoming the defensive coordination & defensive backs coach in 2017.
Owen Daniels may have been born in Naperville, Illinois, but he made Wisconsin his home during college. He was one of the highly regarded players to be drafted during the 2006 Draft, as he was picked at 98 overall by the Houston Texans. He was immediately a fan favorite with the Texans, as he was nicknamed ‘The Weatherman’. He stayed at the Texans for seven years, before leaving for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014.
The best season of his career would come in 2015, as he would help the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl. Daniels was a revered player on the pitch, as he was named in the Pro Bowl on two occasions, with the latter of those coming in 2012. He was also named in the NFL All-Rookie Team. During his career, he made 479 receptions and completed 5,661 receiving yards.
The most famous former Wisconsin college alumni that are currently playing in the NFL is Russell Wilson. He has been with the Seattle Seahawks since being signed by the franchise in the 2012 Draft. He was picked in the third round of that year’s draft, at 75th overall. Wilson remains a crucial player for the Seahawks to this day. The quarterback won the Super Bowl with the Seahawks in 2014 and has been named in the Pro-Bowl on seven occasions throughout his career.
His reputation on the field has continued to blossom, and he was awarded for his excellent performance in 2019 by signing a new multi-year extension with the Seahawks, which made him the highest-paid player in the NFL for a brief time. Wilson remains only one of two players in NFL history to have a passing rating over 100, with the other player being Aaron Rodgers. The Seahawks remains a prominent pick on the NFL betting lines this season, as Wilson looks to win a second Super Bowl championship.