The top 10 players who played their high school football in Washington:
1. Drew Bledsoe: After a record-breaking career at Washington State, the Walla Walla quarterback was the No. 1 pick in the 1993 NFL draft by the New England Patriots. Bledsoe led the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXI, and In 2001, he signed a then-record 10-year, $103-million contract. He eventually lost his job to Tom Brady, but he stayed in the league until 2007. Bledsoe retired with 44,611 career passing yards.
2. Mel Hein: The Burlington product became the only lineman — he was
a center — to win the NFL MVP in 1938. He was inducted into the Pro Football
Hall of Fame in 1963 and he's also a member of the College Football Hall of
Fame (he was an All-American at Washington State). He was also named the center
on the NFL's 50th and 75th anniversary teams. He was an All-Pro eight times.
3. Albert Glen "Turk" Edwards: The Clarkston offensive tackle was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969. He was one of the first All-Americans at Washington State. He played for the Boston Braves for nine seasons in the 1930s, and won All-NFL honors every year but the last.
4. Lawyer Milloy: The defensive back from Lincoln4 (Tacoma) earned All-American honors in high school. He was twice drafted by major league baseball teams and played football and baseball at the University of Washington. He was an All-American at safety for the Huskies before the Patriots drafted him in the second round of the 1996 draft. He won a Super Bowl ring in New England, and he is a four-time Pro Bowler. He is heading into the season as the Seattle Seahawks' starter at safety.
5. Jon Kitna: The graduate of Lincoln (Tacoma) has had a well-traveled career. He won an NAIA championship at Central Washington University and was named MVP of the NFL Europe when he led Barcelona to the 1997 championship. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seattle Seahawks and he has also played for the Bengals, Lions, while currently serving as Tony Romo's backup in Dallas. He was named NFL's comeback player of the year in 2003 with Cincinnati, and he threw for more than 4,000 yards with the Lions in 2006 and 2007.
6. Mark Rypien: Born in Canada, Rypien graduated from Shadle Park (Spokane). He played collegiately at Washington State before the Washington Redskins selected him in the sixth round of the draft. Rypien won two Super Bowls with the Redskins though he sat on the bench for the first one, in 1988. In 1991, he was named Super Bowl MVP after the Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills. Rypien was named to two Pro Bowls.
7. Marcus Trufant: The Wilson (Tacoma) grad was a standout at Washington State before the Seattle Seahawks took him with the 11th pick of the 2003 NFL draft. He was a Pro Bowler after the 2007 season in which he had seven interceptions.
8. Ray Flaherty: The Gonzaga Prep (Spokane) product was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976, though mostly for his coaching. He is credited with inventing the screen pass. The late Flaherty played end (wide receiver) with the New York Yankees of the All-American Football Conference and the New York Giants. He coached the Washington Redskins to NFL championships in 1937 and 1942.
9. Steve Emtman: The Cheney product was lightly
recruited out of high school, but the defensive lineman was one of the best
players in Washington history. He was an All-American and he won the Outland
and Lombardi trophies as a junior. He also finished fourth in the voting for
the Heisman Trophy. He was the first pick in the 1992 draft, but his career was
derailed by injuries.
10. Morris (Red) Badgro: Born in defunct Orillia, Wash., Badgro is a little-known, but fascinating member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When he was enshrined in 1981, he was 78, the oldest person elected at the time. The 45 years between the end of his playing days and his enshrinement is also a record. He even quit football for a few years to play pro baseball. His best years were with the New York Giants in the 1930s. He was first or second-team all-league four times. In 1934, he tied for the league lead in receptions with only 16.
James Hasty. The Seattle product was a two-time
Pro Bowler for the Jets. He had 45 career interceptions.
Ron Holmes. The Timberline of Lacey grad won
the Morris Trophy, given to the top linemen in the Pac-10. He played in the NFL
for eight years.
Jonathan Stewart: An All-American at Timberline
of Lacey, the was an All-Pac-10 running back at Oregon before going with the
13th pick of the 2008 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers.
Harland Svare. The North Kitsap of Poulsbo grad
played linebacker at Washington and for the New York Giants, where he won three
Jake Locker: The Ferndale quarterback was a state champ and an
All-American in 2005. Now he's considered the best quarterback in the nation
for Washington.Nathan Joyce has covered high school sports in Washington for 13 years. He currently works at the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton.