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Wyoming high school football players in the NFL — Wyoming High School Football History
Only a few fortunate players have moved from the ranks of Wyoming high school football to the National Football League. In all, 31 former Wyoming prep stars have advanced to professional football’s highest circle and played at least one snap in a regular-season NFL game.
Here are short recaps of each player’s NFL career, with the college the player attended in parentheses. * indicates an active player.
Nick Bebout, Shoshoni (Wyoming): After three years in Atlanta, the offensive tackle started 54 games in four seasons for the expansion Seattle Seahawks before winding up his career with Minnesota in 1980.
*Jacob Bobenmoyer, Cheyenne East (Northern Colorado): As a rookie in 2020, Bobenmoyer made the Denver Broncos’ roster as their long snapper.
Don Bracken, Thermopolis (Michigan): In an eight-season, 99-game career in the NFL with Green Bay and the Los Angeles Rams from 1985-93, Bracken punted 461 times, averaging 39.9 yards per punt.
John Burrough, Pinedale (Wyoming): Burrough played 89 games with three teams, notching 4.5 sacks in his time with Atlanta, Minnesota and St. Louis from 1995-2002.
*Taven Bryan, Natrona (Florida): Bryan was the first Wyoming product to be picked in the first round of the NFL Draft, going 29th overall to Jacksonville in the 2018 draft. Through his first two seasons, Bryan had notched 53 tackles and three sacks as part of the Jaguars’ defensive line.
John Chick, Gillette (Utah State): In 19 games with Jacksonville in 2011 and 2012, Chick had 10 total tackles and 2.5 sacks from his defensive end spot; he also played eight seasons in the CFL.
Jim Crawford, Greybull (Wyoming): Crawford, who led the NCAA in rushing yards in 1956, had a combined 1,574 rushing and receiving yards and seven touchdowns in his five-year career with the Boston Patriots from 1960-64.
Win Croft, Lovell (Utah): The guard played 20 games in the NFL, 11 with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1935 and nine with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1936.
Boyd Dowler, Cheyenne Central (Colorado): A two-time Pro Bowl selection at wide receiver, Dowler caught 474 passes for 7,270 yards and 40 touchdowns in 11 seasons with Green Bay and one with Washington from 1959-71. The owner of two Super Bowl rings, Dowler was also the Packers’ punter for three seasons.
Troy Dumas, Cheyenne East (Nebraska): Dumas played in 15 games over two seasons with Kansas City and St. Louis, registering one career sack as a linebacker.
Jim Eliopulos, Cheyenne Central (Wyoming): Eliopulos played three seasons for the New York Jets and St. Louis Cardinals as a linebacker, finishing with one fumble recovery in 31 games.
Aaron Elling, Lander (Wyoming): A kicker, Elling made 19 of 27 field goals and all 50 of his extra points in three seasons with Minnesota, Tennessee and Baltimore from 2003-05. He also had seven punts at 43.4 yards per punt.
Dennis Havig, Powell (Colorado): Havig, an offensive guard, played in 79 games with Atlanta, Houston and Green Bay from 1972-77, starting 13 games at right guard with the Falcons in 1975. He was part of the NFL All-Rookie team in 1972.
Jerry Hill, Lingle (Wyoming): In nine seasons with the Baltimore Colts, Hill scored 25 touchdowns and pilled up 2,668 rushing yards and 970 receiving yards. A Super Bowl champion in his final season, 1970, Hill is one of only two NFL players to have played six-man football in high school.
Jesse Johnson, Cheyenne East (Colorado): Johnson played 45 games in parts of four seasons with the New York Jets from 1980-83, registering one fumble recovery from his defensive back position.
Brett Keisel, Greybull (BYU): In 12 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including eight as starting defensive end, Keisel tallied 30 sacks and nine fumble recoveries. The two-time Super Bowl champion has a combined 408 tackles in his career. He retired after the 2014 season.
Lee Kizzire, Greybull (Wyoming): A fullback, Kizzire played in seven games for Detroit in 1937, carrying seven times for 20 yards.
Dewey McConnell, Laramie (Wyoming): McConnell played in nine games for Pittsburgh in 1954, snagging three interceptions on defense and one pass on offense.
Walt McDonald, Worland (Utah): In his one year in the NFL, McDonald, a center, played 11 games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1935.
Mike McLeod, Cheyenne East (Montana State): McLeod played 20 games at safety for Green Bay in 1984 and 1985, notching an interception and a fumble recovery.
Tim Moynihan, Rawlins (Notre Dame): An all-pro center as a rookie with the Chicago Cardinals in 1932, Moynihan — who also played high school ball in Chicago — played only one more season before leaving the NFL.
Clint Oldenburg, Gillette (Colorado State): An offensive lineman, Oldenburg played in two games for the New York Jets in 2007.
Brady Poppinga, Evanston (BYU): In Green Bay, Poppinga played for seven years (2005-10) and started for three years in the Packers’ linebacking corps. He also played for St. Louis in 2011 and Dallas in 2012, finishing his career with 307 total tackles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
Chris Prosinski, Buffalo (Wyoming): Prosinski, a safety drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by Jacksonville, played seven seasons with the Jaguars, Eagles and Bears. He tallied 149 tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Paul Sanders, Basin (Utah State): Sanders played in seven games for the Boston Yanks in 1944, rushing six times for four yards while catching four passes for five yards.
Willis aka “Wee Willie” Smith, Sheridan (Idaho): Smith, who also attended high school in Lexington, Neb., and Boise, Idaho, played in nine games for the New York Giants in 1934, rushing 80 times for 323 yards and two touchdowns.
J.J. Syvrud, Rock Springs (Jamestown, N.D.): Svyrud, a linebacker, played in one game for the New York Jets in 1999.
John Wendling, Rock Springs (Wyoming): In three seasons playing safety with Buffalo from 2007-09 and four seasons with Detroit from 2010-13, Wendling notched 147 tackles and also snagged one interception.
Don Westbrook, Cheyenne Central (Nebraska): In five seasons with New England (1977-81), Westbrook caught 23 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns and also averaged 15.3 yards per kick return.
*Logan Wilson, Natrona (Wyoming): A third-round choice of Cincinnati, Wilson, a linebacker, played his rookie year with the Bengals in 2020.
Willie Wright, Riverton (Wyoming): Wright played in nine games for the Phoenix Cardinals in 1992.