25 Thoughts on “Former Wyoming high school football players who played in the NFL

  1. Steve Core on July 7, 2010 at 8:46 am said:

    Patrick, did kelly poppinga and casey poppinga, both from evanston, ever play in the nfl—-kelly was with miami, arizona and st. louis, while casey was with seattle—not sure if they ever played a down or not, but at one point were on the roster. Steve

  2. Patrick on July 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm said:

    Hi Steve,

    From what I can gather, Brady is the only Poppinga brother to play in the NFL. The others suited but, again, from what I can gather, didn’t play. Wheatland’s Casey Bramlet falls into this list, too, I believe, of on the roster but never played (Redskins), and possibly Central’s Dave Edeen from the late 1980s (Broncos).

    By the way, most of my research on the players listed (and not listed) came from two Web sites, pro-football-reference.com and databasefootball.com. I warn you now, they are fantastic time wasters…


  3. Burke Binning on July 8, 2010 at 8:39 am said:


    Been awhile, but I have been keeping up with your progress. Great site.

    There is at least one player you are missing–Troy Dumas. He is a former Cheyenne East stud who graduated in 1991. Great all-around athlete. Two time state TJ champ, excellent basketball player, and strangely never made the all-state team in Wyoming. From what I remember, he was primarily a DB and returner. He went to play at Nebraska, and bulked up a lot and became a linebacker by his senior year. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 95 NFL draft by the Chiefs and played a few years. He now coaches at Southeast Missouri State University (link below to his bio).


  4. Patrick on July 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm said:

    Thanks for the catch, Burke. Completely spaced Mr. Dumas, although it wasn’t anything personal… Glad you caught that omission!

    Thanks, also, for the kind words. Much appreciated.

    Also worth throwing out that Gillette’s John Chick was recently signed by Indianapolis after a standout 2009 season in the CFL. He will probably join this list soon.


  5. Patrick on July 8, 2010 at 9:28 pm said:

    While I’m thinking about it, I want to throw a couple names into the air and see if they ring a bell for anyone. These are guys who were born in Wyoming and played in the NFL, but I’ve had no luck tracking down where they went to high school….

    The first is a guy named Walt McDonald, who was born in Worland in 1911, went to college at Utah and played one season (1935) in the NFL.

    The second is a guy named Paul Sanders. He was born in Otto in 1918, played his college ball at Utah State and played during the 1944 NFL season.

    I tried contacting folks at Utah and Utah State directly, but they didn’t have any high school info for these guys.

    If these names don’t ring a bell, ask your grandpa…. see if he knows…. or your great-grandpa… these are definitely old school players!


  6. Steve Core on July 12, 2010 at 8:37 am said:

    Two other notes—-Adam Archuletta was born in Rock springs and lived in Green River thru like 6th grade—Moved to Arizona, but his dad I think still lives in Green River. Also, Brock Marion was born in Rock Springs, but moved away at a young age. Jeremy Stevens also lived in Green River thru like little league age—Not sure if he was born in Wyoming–His dad, Bob Stevens, coached in Green River but worked at one of the Trona Mines—-Steve

  7. John Wahl on August 12, 2010 at 11:11 am said:

    1. Walt McDonald-born in Worley and Worley HS
    2. Paul Sanders-born in Otto, Basin HS

  8. John Wahl on August 12, 2010 at 11:13 am said:

    oops that should be Worland, obviously. Sorry I am not from Wyoming

  9. John Wahl on August 12, 2010 at 11:35 am said:

    I found some more:
    1. Tim Moynihan-Rawlins HS
    -also attended high school in Chicago,IL and that is what is probably listed on those sites you looked at.
    -Notre Dame
    -18 NFL games Chicago Cardinals-32-33′

    2. Jesse Johnson-Cheyenne East
    -born in Fort Collins, Co
    -went to U of Colorado
    -45 NFL games

    3. Mike McLeod-Cheyenne East
    -a 3rd for Cheyenne East
    -born in Bozeman,MT
    -went to Montana State
    -20 NFL games

    4. Jim Eliopulos-Cheyenne Central
    -born in Dearborn,Mi
    -went to U of Wyoming
    -31 NFL games

    5. Boyd Dowler technically went to “Cheyenne HS”,class of 55′, it became Cheyenne Central in 1960′

    6. Aaron Elling-Valley HS,Lander-93′?
    -born in Waconia,MN
    -U of Wyoming
    -18? NFL games as Kicker for MN

    7. Wee Willie Smith-Sheridan HS
    -also attended Lexington, NE HS
    -also attended Boise,ID HS
    -Born in Lexington, NE
    -U of Idaho
    -9 NFL games

  10. Patrick on August 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm said:

    John, this is an awesome list. Thanks for all the info you posted here!!!

    If you don’t mind sharing your secret, where did all this info come from?

    Thanks again!


  11. John Wahl on August 12, 2010 at 9:15 pm said:

    I have an old football encyclopedia from 1996. A big old 30 pounder that is falling apart. Well I hand-entered all 1400 pages (every name) into a data-base years ago,so I can look up any state or city instantly for this type of thing. I also did this with baseball and hockey encyclopedias. I have a lot of free time LOL Glad I could be of help.

  12. Patrick on August 12, 2010 at 9:36 pm said:

    Awesome. Sounds like my type of project. 🙂

    Some of these I should have known. I’ve talked to Elling before and I have no idea why I spaced it. Also, Jesse Johnson is NBAer James Johnson’s uncle. It’s weird to see that Jesse Johnson — like Troy Dumas — was never an all-state selection in Wyoming.

    As for the Cheyenne/Central designation, I go with Central to avoid any confusion… although not technically correct, it saves me a lot of grief.

    Anyway, again, this is fantastic. I really appreciate the help!! Thanks a million times. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to return the favor, but if there is, let me know.


  13. John Wahl on August 12, 2010 at 10:05 pm said:

    Well Patrick, since you offered. I need help on a couple high school nicknames.
    1. Campbell County/Gillette HS
    2. Cheyenne HS Indians? I know Cheyenne Central is/was Indians,but what was Cheyenne HS original nickname? and is Central still called the Indians?
    3. Fremont County Vocational HS
    4. Lingle HS Doggers?

    I am using my database to make a map for Wyoming ,among other states. This is where I actually looked to compile my list for you, but that info was gathered from my old encyclopedia among other sources. My map isn’t finished yet,so I don’t like to make them viewable to the public until they are done, but you’d probably enjoy it. A You can look up any high-school and see who is famous from each one, each city and see who was born there etc. I can make it available for your perusal, but like I said it’s not finished and I am constantly changing some things.

  14. Patrick on August 13, 2010 at 8:06 am said:

    1. Gillette Camels.

    2. Cheyenne/Cheyenne Central has always been and remains the Indians.

    3. As I understand it, Fremont County Vocational is basically the same as Lander HS (aka Lander Valley HS). Same school, three names…. I think.

    4. Lingle Doggers is correct. As in Bulldoggers, like in a rodeo.

    I post some info on the teams in Wyoming here: http://www.wyoming-football.com/schooldetails.html You may find that helpful/interesting.

    When you get your map for Wyoming done, let me know. That sounds like a blast!


  15. John Wahl on August 13, 2010 at 10:41 am said:

    Wow,Awesome list!!!. Someone needs to make one of those for Minnesota (and every state for that matter), where I have run into dozens of defunct/now combined schools and no way of knowing their nicknames. I have looked and looked and looked. There are not many lists like this out there for other states. At least not for former schools. I’m impressed. Something tells me it might have to be ME who tackles something similar.

    I’ll post my map site soon. I made a ton of updates yesterday. It’s almost ready for viewing.

  16. John Wahl on August 13, 2010 at 4:26 pm said:

    ok, here is the address. I have changed the settings so people can view it.


  17. troy dumas on September 26, 2010 at 10:40 am said:

    Patrick, you missed James Johnson who played at Cheyenne East and played for the New York Jets.

  18. Boyd Dowler went to Wyoming for college, not Colorado.

  19. Patrick on October 11, 2010 at 9:10 pm said:

    Boyd Dowler’s NFL.com profile: http://www.nfl.com/players/boyddowler/profile?id=DOW415287
    Boyd Dowler’s Pro Football Reference page: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/D/DowlBo00.htm
    And check out the last picture on this page: http://www.cubuffs.com/fls/600/classic/content/individuals/ward_dal.html

    Boyd Dowler, without a doubt, went to Colorado for college. Without a doubt, he did NOT go to Wyoming.


  20. http://www.wyoming-football.com/schooldetails.html very useful link in this site. Wyoming has an awesome background for which they may easily feel proud. Don Westbrook is one of my favorite formal player.

  21. Chris on May 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm said:

    Would Corey Bramlet also be eligible for this list?

  22. Patrick on May 23, 2016 at 3:00 pm said:

    Chris, as Corey (and Casey) did not play in a regular-season game for an NFL team, the answer is no. Being signed, being in uniform…. not enough to make this list. Hope that clarifies it.

  23. Didn’t John Wendling play for Detroit? I believe he was the special teams captain.

  24. Patrick on February 7, 2018 at 9:02 am said:

    J, he sure did. I haven’t updated this list in several years.


  25. Jason Taylor on April 28, 2018 at 6:28 pm said:

    John Chick- Gillette, played for the Jacksonville Jaguars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation