Terence Crawford and The Best Athlete From Each US State

Darren - August 2, 2023

Terence Crawford and The Best Athlete From Each US State

Darren - August 2, 2023

America is a huge nation that produces hundreds of elite athletes. Some states are talent-producing factories while others have one in every generation like Nebraska’s iconic Terence Crawford. So today, we’re going to look at each US state’s best athlete right now. We’re sticking to the present so the obvious greats like Tom Brady or Michael Jordan won’t appear on this list.

Some of these inclusions will be obvious while others will be more surprising because there isn’t a big talent pool. There are plenty of high-profile exclusions as well. It’s fascinating to see who comes from where and how much love smaller states give to their elite stars. Check them out here.

Sky Sports

Alabama – Derrick Henry

If this was an all-time list, we’d be talking about Hank Aaron as Alabama’s greatest ever. But there’s no denying Henry is their best current athlete. The running back is a force of nature. It’s no surprise that Tennessee made him one of the NFL’s highest-paid running backs.


In 2020, he won the Offensive Player of the Year Award after leading the league in rushing and touchdowns. Henry is one of his team’s leaders and helps them contend without an elite quarterback (via Sports Illustrated).

CBS Sports

Alaska – Jared Cannonier

It’s difficult to find elite athletes from the state. Curt Schilling and Carlos Boozer are two of the best athletes in state history but there’s been a deficit recently. UFC star Jared Cannonier is their best current competitor.


The heavy hitter grew up in Alaska and worked as an air traffic controller there. He then turned to combat sports. Cannonier began training in Anchorage but has traveled across the world. He’s a perennial contender in the UFC’s middleweight division (via Sportskeeda).


Arizona – Cody Bellinger

Bellinger is the most popular Arizona native in MLB right now. The World Series winner helped the LA Dodgers to glory in 2020. He’s earned multiple All-Star selections and 2019 saw him win the NL MVP award (via Bet Arizona).

L.A. Times

The Grand Canyon State has witnessed greatness over the years with legends like Larry Fitzgerald. But there haven’t been many elite natives in recent years. Luckily, Bellinger has many more years at the top as a proud son of Arizona.

Arkansas – Bobby Portis

Portis is a Wisconsin legend because of his recent NBA Championship victory with the Bucks. But the Little Rock native loves his home state and regularly returns. Portis is a solid, reliable option for Milwaukee.

Bleacher Report

But he never forgot where he came from and even started a foundation to help single mothers. That’s an incredibly noble gesture. We almost went for the Patriots’ Hunter Henry here but his body of work doesn’t match Portis at this point (via


California – Aaron Rodgers

Tom Brady retired so there’s only one man we can talk about here. Rodgers is a polarizing star today but there’s no denying his brilliance. He’s arguably the most talented quarterback of his generation and it’s a travesty he hasn’t won more Super Bowls.

New York Times

Nonetheless, Rodgers is a four-time NFL MVP and has countless other accolades. He’s already one of the greatest ever. California has produced some outstanding sportspeople including Aaron Judge and Venus Williams. But Rodgers is their best athlete as of now (via CBS Sports).

Colorado – Mikaela Shiffrin

It’s not shocking that Colorado’s best athlete is a Winter Olympian. Shiffrin is arguably the greatest alpine skier ever. She’s dominated the World Cup over the past decade and won two Olympic gold medals. The Vail native is an inspiration.

Arizona Daily Star

Few Winter Olympians achieve mainstream recognition but Shiffrin is one of the few who has. She’s appeared on all of the major talk shows and even won an ESPY. Shiffrin is the full package with exceptional strength, a level head, and girl-next-door looks. It’s no surprise that everyone loves her (via POWDER).


Connecticut – Max Pacioretty

It’s surprisingly difficult to find elite stars from Connecticut right now. Yes, there are a few NFL players but none of them are outstanding. That’s why we’ve opted for this long-serving NHL vet as their best athlete.

CBS Sports

Pacioretty has enjoyed a decent hockey career since the Canadiens drafted him in 2007. Eventually, he captained the Montreal franchise and became a fan favorite. He wasn’t the flashiest player on the ice but he is a reliable goalscorer. He’s also played for the Golden Knights and the Hurricanes (via RMNB).

New York Times

Delaware – Elena Della Donne

WNBA players don’t receive the same love that their male compatriots do. But Della Donne is one of the greatest players of her generation and a shining light for girls across the world. The Wilmington native went to high school and even played college ball in Delaware.


Della Donne is a two-time MVP as well as a seven-time All-Star. She spent the first few seasons of her career with the Chicago Sky before joining the Washington Mystics in 2017. There she won her first Championship as a Mystic in 2019. She represents the First State with pride (via Washington Post).


Florida – Jacob deGrom

Florida has had some exceptional athletes over the years. The Rangers’ deGrom is one of the best now. He has one of the most ruthless fastballs in baseball but two Tommy John surgeries curtailed his potential. It’s a shame because he has the talent to reach Cooperstown.

New York Times

DeGrom’s breakout season came in 2018 as he achieved the best strikeout rate allowed. The four-time All-Star also won the MLB Rookie of the Year award in 2014. He also has two Cy Young Awards (via Sports Illustrated).

New York Post

Georgia – Dwight Howard

The Atlanta-born Howard loves his home state. Once an elite center, Howard enjoyed a spectacular career as one of the Magic’s greatest-ever players. He won his first NBA championship in his second spell with the Lakers.

Sky Sports

Howard also played in Taiwan after he left the Lakers in 2022. The former Defensive Player of the Year is Georgia’s best athlete of the past decade. He’s indeed in the twilight of his career but it’s been a great ride (via The Sports Rush).


Hawaii – Max Holloway

We could have talked about Tua Tagovailoa or Marcus Mariota here. But those two quarterbacks haven’t achieved as much as this top UFC fighter. Holloway is a former featherweight champion and has two wins over legendary Brazilian star Jose Aldo.

Bleacher Report

‘Blessed’ also broke records for the most significant strikes thrown in UFC bouts. His output is ridiculous because he overwhelms his opponents with brutal offense. Holloway is a proud Hawaiian and a great role model outside of the cage (via MMA Fighting).


Idaho – Leighton Vander Esch

Vander Esch is currently Idaho’s best athlete. The Cowboys picked him in the first round of the 2018 Draft and instantly made him a starter. This linebacker has sacks over some of the best QBs in the NFL.

Dallas Cowboys

He also made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season after achieving the third-most tackles in the league. Vander Esch cuts a unique presence on the field because of his neck guard. He also has the awesome nickname of ‘Wolf Hunter’ (via Dallas News).


Illinois – Anthony Davis

It’s fair to say that Davis is Illinois’s best athlete because of his incredible achievements. The Englewood native stayed loyal to his community. From there, Davis became one of the top players in the NBA. He had an outstanding career with the Pelicans before he outgrew them.

L.A. Times

Then he joined the Lakers as LeBron James’s heir-apparent. He won his first championship ring and racked up All-Star awards. Davis has outstanding defensive skills, leading the league in blocks three times. He’s a brilliant athlete and any team is lucky to have him (via Clutchpoints).

AP News

Indiana – Terry McLaurin

If this was an all-time list, we’d be talking about Larry Bird as the best athlete from Indiana. He’s also a major reason why the Hoosier State adores basketball. But their current top performer is probably McLaurin, a top wide receiver for the Washington Commanders.

Pro Football Network

Many fans agree McLaurin is one of the NFL’s most consistent performers. It’s even more remarkable when they realize that he’s played with 10 different starting quarterbacks in four seasons. Somehow, McLaurin took an unenviable position and made the most of it (via

Fox News

Iowa – Alan Lazard

Lazard is already making a big impact in the NFL. He went undrafted before the Packers signed him and forged a close relationship with Aaron Rodgers. The first sign Rodgers would join the Jets was when ‘Gang Green’ signed Lazard in free agency first.

New York Jets

He scored 20 touchdowns in 57 games for the Packers and showed that he’s Iowa’s best athlete right now. Lazard played college ball at Iowa State and always looked like he would make it to the top. The wideout is a big part of the Jets’ current hype train (via NY Post).

Sports Illustrated

Kansas – Christian Braun

It’s been a rapid rise to the top for Braun after the Nuggets drafted him in 2022. The Burlington native was already an NCAA champion with the Kansas Jayhawks. He then added an NBA ring in his rookie season, proving that he’s Sunflower State’s best athlete right now.

Indy Star

Braun had a strong influence on his team’s fortunes as he played in 16 playoff games. The future is bright for Braun after he helped end Denver’s agonizing wait for an NBA championship. He sealed legendary status after a single season (via AS).


Kentucky – Rajon Rondo

Rondo has enjoyed a magnificent career and played for some of the best franchises in the NBA including the likes of the Celtics, Cavaliers, Lakers, and the Bulls. He’s a two-time NBA Champion and a four-time All-Star.

FOX Sports

Rondo led the league in steals in 2010 when he was at the peak of his powers. The fans know he is a confrontational athlete and will go head-to-head with anybody. This rubs some opponents the wrong way but his teammates love him (via Deadspin).

The US Sun

Louisiana – Dustin Poirier

The Bayou State has seen some elite talents over the years like Ravens’ icon Ed Reed and UFC double-champ Daniel Cormier. There are a bunch of active NFL stars including Travis Etienne from Louisiana. But for our money, Dustin Poirier is Louisiana’s best athlete right now. ‘The Diamond’ lives in Lafayette and is a local icon.

MMA Fighting

He boasts a UFC interim title and two victories over Conor McGregor. Meanwhile, the hot sauce producer is also a classy individual. He is quietly a generous philanthropist and does amazing work with his foundation in the state (via MMA Fighting).

Bangor Daily News

Maine – Cooper Flagg

Flagg is possibly the most out-there addition to this list. Yet he has a genuine claim to be Maine’s best athlete right now. High school star Flagg is one of the most exciting prospects in the nation right now and one of their few stars.

Bangor Daily News

He joined Montverde Academy after it became clear that he was a special player. Flagg also possesses incredible confidence and allegedly annoyed Bradley Beal during a one-on-one game. He trash-talked the NBA star before Beal cussed at him. That will serve him well when he reaches the big leagues (via Sporting News).

Ryan Hafey

Maryland – Gervonta Davis

It’s very easy to dislike Davis because he’s a massively polarizing figure. But he’s also one of the best young boxers on the planet. He defeated Ryan Garcia via stoppage this year after a massive, hype-filled buildup. Everybody knew this Baltimore native had talent but that proved it (via The Guardian).


The problem with Davis is his antics outside of the ring. He infamously committed acts of domestic violence, had street fights, and also a hit-and-run. ‘Tank’ risked jail time because of his bad behavior but hopefully, he cleans up his act. It’s a shame that he tarnished his reputation because he’s Maryland’s best athlete right now.

Sporting News

Massachusetts – Calvin Kattar

Kattar is the epitome of the hard-nosed reputation everyone from Massachusetts embodies. The UFC featherweight contender grew up in blue-collar surroundings before his high school wrestling success earned him a college scholarship. However, he always knew that he was a fighter and committed himself to MMA from an early age.

MMA News

Kattar has some of the best hands in the featherweight division. He’s a difficult matchup for everybody and has standout wins over Dan Age and Giga Chikadze. Maybe he’ll never achieve his dream of holding a title but the New Englander won’t stop until his body forces him to (via USA Today).

Sporting News

Michigan – Kirk Cousins

Cousins is one of the NFL’s most polarizing quarterbacks and arguably Michigan’s best athlete. Some people think that he’s one of the most overrated players in the league. But others believe it’s not his fault. He’s one of the longest-serving signal-callers in the NFL today.


The four-time Pro Bowler began life as Robert Griffin’s backup but emerged as a bonafide starter. After he had a contract disagreement with Washington, he joined the Vikings on a massive deal. The Barrington native is also a philanthropist (via Holland Sentinel).


Minnesota – John Shuster

Shuster is one of the most random additions to this list as a winter sports athlete. He led the first U.S. team to win Olympic gold when he claimed victory in Pyeongchang. It was a very inspiring story because he lost significant amounts of weight before assembling the roster.

New York Times

This was an outstanding achievement and it secured him his second Olympic medal after he won bronze in 2006. The Duluth resident is a proud Minnesotan and arguably their best athlete now. He never expected this when he was working at Dick’s Sporting Goods (via Ottawa Sun).

Sports Illustrated

Mississippi – A.J. Brown

Brown is another top NFL wide receiver. This productive wideout played brilliantly for the Titans before he joined Philly in 2022. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler and one of the most dynamic threats in the NFL (via CBS Sports).

Fox News

The Starkville native loves Mississippi and played football at Ole Miss. He broke records for the iconic school and this prompted Tennessee to make him a second-round Draft pick. He nearly won a Super Bowl during his first season in Philadelphia.

Missouri – Jayson Tatum

Some people think Tatum is the best NBA player today. He’s in the conversation after he emerged as an elite talent with the Celtics. One of his best performances came in 2023 when he helped his team demolish the 76ers in the playoffs.

Sky Sports

He was also one of the reasons why Boston failed to win the title. Tatum’s injuries reduced his effectiveness but his coaches didn’t want to bench their best player. There’s no reason why Tatum can’t take LeBron James’s title as the most famous and marketable American basketball star (via Fansided).

Yahoo Sports

Montana – Sean O’Malley

There isn’t a massive athlete talent pool in Montana so it’s not a surprise that they don’t produce much talent. Arguably, their current best athlete is this UFC star. O’Malley is a polarizing figure but he’s brilliant when it comes to connecting with today’s fans. He has a slick fighting style and is a master of social media.

Montana Sports

Some people don’t take him seriously because of his dyed hair and dresses flamboyantly. O’Malley isn’t afraid to be himself. Check out his fight with Petr Yan because he proved that he can hang with the most ruthless fighters in the bantamweight division (via Bloody Elbow).


Nebraska – Terence Crawford

‘Bud’ is an icon in his native Omaha because he’s arguably the Cornhusker state’s best athlete of all time. The boxer established his pound-for-pound credentials in 2023 with one of the most sensational wins ever. He dissected Errol Spence Jr. in a welterweight unification bout to seal his status as the world’s top boxer.

New York Times

Crawford became the first man to become an undisputed champion in two weight classes. He also went 40-0 in the process as he asserted his dominance. This was an outrageous performance because everybody expected a close match. Crawford made a mockery of these predictions and proved he’s Nebraska’s best athlete (via The Ring).

USA Network

Nevada – Kyle Busch

Busch is the sole NASCAR driver on this list because his magnificent legacy includes a long list of wins. Busch has won dozens of races in NASCAR and the Xfinity Championship as well as many others.


He also owns several records including the first driver to win on every track he competed on. That’s a magnificent achievement and shows how long he’s been around. Busch is like the Tom Brady of racing because of his consistency (via Racing America).


New Hampshire – Hunter Long

There are plenty of trees in New Hampshire, but there aren’t many athletes. That’s why we’ve resorted to sticking Long on this list because we couldn’t find many other elite stars. The tight end plays for the Rams. We don’t have much to say about him except that he is from Exeter so he qualifies.

Sea Coast Online

New Hampshire does have sporting legends including Carlton Fisk who produced an iconic moment in the 1976 World Series. There are also a few baseball players who earned All-Star appearances but there’s a deficit of talent right now (via Sports Illustrated).


New Jersey – Mike Trout

There are a few athletes we could have gone for here but we’ve chosen arguably the best baseball player of his generation. It’s crazy that he could walk down the street without most people recognizing him. But that’s the state of modern baseball except for Shohei Otani and Aaron Judge.


It’s too bad that he plays for the Angels. Somehow they have two of the best talents in modern MLB but they never make the playoffs. Trout is a three-time AL MVP and a nine-time Silver Slugger Award winner (via The Athletic).

New York Post

New Mexico – Holly Holm

It was tempting to nominate UFC champion Jon Jones as New Mexico’s best athlete. But while the Rochester native adopted Albuquerque as his home, he’s from New York. Instead, we’ll talk about another UFC champion. Holm is one of the greatest female combat sports stars ever (via MMA Mania).

Sporting News

First, she became a boxing champion before she transitioned to kickboxing and MMA. She shocked the world when she knocked out Ronda Rousey with an iconic head kick in Australia. ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ is a committed athlete and maintains outstanding conditioning. She’s a consummate professional and one of the UFC’s most popular female fighters.

CBS Sports

New York – Saquon Barkley

We almost went for Jon Jones here but the UFC champion has too many problems outside the cage. Barkley is a New York native who plays for the Giants so it’s almost impossible to ignore him. Yes, running backs don’t receive the love that other positions do but he’s still an excellent player.

Fox News

After spending his early years in the Bronx, his family took him to a safer area in Pennsylvania. That’s where Barkley blossomed into one of the most dynamic running backs in the nation. The Pro Bowler never forgot his roots and loves the Big Apple with a passion (via New York Post).

AZ Central

North Carolina – Chris Paul

Many people think Paul is one of the best players who never won an NBA Championship. He’s one of the top athletes of his generation and came close multiple times. Paul had a golden opportunity in 2021 when he made the Finals with the Suns. But they couldn’t overcome Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks.

CBS Sports

This 12-time All-Star is an unbelievable point guard and has so many individual awards. Unfortunately, he’s found himself on the wrong teams during the prime of his career. But he’s inarguably North Carolina’s best athlete (via Bleacher Report).

Sky Sports

North Dakota – Carson Wentz

It says a lot about North Dakota that Wentz is on this list because they don’t have much active talent. Some people will scoff at Wentz’s inclusion because he’s had disastrous recent years. The Eagles thought that he was the future of their franchise but he suffered a sharp decline.

Sports Illustrated

Since he lost his place to Jalen Hurts in the City of Brotherly Love, he’s bounced around the NFL. We can give Ronda Rousey an honorable mention even though she moved to the Flickertail State when she was three. But she spends more time in the entertainment industry now than as an active athlete (via Fansided).


Ohio – LeBron James

It’s amazing how Ohio constantly produces elite athletes across different sports. Their long list of stars includes Steph Curry, Simone Biles, Russell Wilson, and Travis Kelce. The list goes on and on but one name stands out more than any other.


King James made his case undeniable after he won his fourth ring in 2020. The Lakers star is a four-time MVP and is arguably the greatest basketball player in history. James also stands up when it counts and won the Finals MVP award in each of his championship wins. He’s up there with the very best stars on this list (via Bleacher Report).


Oklahoma – Mariah Bell

Bell isn’t the most famous sportsperson on this list but she possesses remarkable talents. The Tulsa native represented the U.S. in Beijing after achieving multiple national title wins (via


It was always going to be Bell’s destiny because she began figure skating as a little girl. Her skill was obvious and the family built their plans around her. They moved across the nation from Texas to Colorado as they sought the best possible coaches. It’s paying off.


Oregon – Sabrina Ionescu

Ionescu is one of the greatest female college basketball players ever and is enjoying a strong professional career. Her achievements with the Oregon Ducks are beyond belief because she set so many records (via New York Post). Now she plays for the New York Liberty and is a two-time All-Star.

Sporting News

In 2023, she stunned the nation when she shattered Steph Curry’s single-round score record in a three-point contest. Meanwhile, Ionescu has represented the U.S. and is proud to star for her country.

Premier Boxing Champions

Pennsylvania – Stephen Fulton

Fulton is one of the top super-bantamweight boxers in the world right now. Maybe he doesn’t get the respect that he deserves because he’s a lighter fighter. But he held the WBO and WBC straps and showed he’s an elite athlete (via The Guardian).


Unfortunately, he ran into ‘The Monster’ in 2023. Naoya Inoue is one of the most ferocious competitors ever and sent Fulton to the shadow realm. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t forget Fulton’s prior achievements because he went 21-0 before that.


Rhode Island – Michael Carter-Williams

Everybody knows that Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union so it’s not a shock that they don’t have many elite athletes. Carter-Williams is probably the pick of the bunch because he’s an NBA veteran with a decent track record. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2014.


Arguably, he never reached his full potential as he suffered injuries and bounced between franchises. But this doesn’t change the fact that success is relative. States like California, Texas, and New York are talent factories. Others are happy when they produce a single elite star like Carter-Williams (via CBS Sports).


South Carolina –  Deebo Samuel

Samuel is one of the most unique talents in the NFL right now. On paper, he’s a wide receiver but he can also run with the best running backs. That’s why he calls himself a ‘wide back’ and is one of the most valuable stars in the sport. The Niners know they always have a shot when he’s on the field.

NBC Sports

That’s why they handed him a $74 million extension in 2023. San Francisco fans love him because he’s so explosive and fun to watch. Samuel is probably South Carolina’s best athlete right now (via Clutchpoints).

Bleacher Report

South Dakota – Brock Lesnar

South Dakota doesn’t have many elite athletes. This former UFC heavyweight champion is one of the most recognizable WWE stars on the planet. Yes, he probably has more steroids inside him than a stable full of racehorses, but who doesn’t love Lesnar?

Inside Sports

He also has one of the most distinctive tattoos that everyone recognizes. Lesnar is a bonafide elite wrestler with NCAA and UFC victories over top opposition. These days he focuses on the sports entertainment business with the WWE (via Essentially Sports).

Bleacher Report

Tennessee – Trevor Lawrence

We associate Lawrence with Georgia but he was born in Tennessee. That’s where he spent his infant years before he moved to Cartersville and became one of the most exciting young football prospects in the nation. He’s arguably the best athlete to come out of the Volunteer State in the last decade.


The Jaguars licked their lips when Lawrence fell into their laps in 2021. It’s fair to say that he carried massive expectations and was the highest-rated quarterback since Andrew Luck. Lawrence had a tough rookie season under Urban Meyer’s dysfunctional regime. But he proved his talent the following year and earned his spot in the Pro Bowl (via NBC Sports).


Texas – Patrick Mahomes

There’s no question that Mahomes is the Lone Star State’s best athlete now. He replaced Tom Brady as the NFL’s leading quarterback and is shattering records at a breakneck pace. The former Texas Tech star is a two-time Super Bowl champion as well as a two-time NFL MVP winner. Everybody in Kansas City adores him because he returned greatness to the city.

AP Photo

Meanwhile, he’s an excellent role model because there’s nothing bad to say about him. Mahomes is an incredibly efficient athlete with more touchdowns in the postseason than any other athlete. He is also sprinting through passing yard milestones and only required 40 games to reach 100 touchdowns (via Heavy).


Utah – Nathan Chen

Figure skaters don’t get enough respect. They have the poise and flexibility of a ballerina but then they risk horrific injuries by performing on ice. It’s incredible to watch their control and tricks but nobody is better than Team USA’s Chen (via Deseret Sun).

New York Times

He won the Olympics in 2022 with a dazzling display. The Salt Lake City star is a three-time World Champion and also has a trio of Grand Prix victories. Some people transcend their sports and Chen is one of these. Nobody wants to compete against the Utah hero because he’s so good.

San Diego Union-Tribune

Vermont – Lindsey Jacobellis

Jacobellis is the greatest snowboard cross athlete ever because nobody beats her. She won gold at the Beijing Olympics and has many other medals. It’s not shocking that she hails from wintery Vermont because she grew up in the right conditions.

NBC News

She also spent a lot of time in Connecticut but the Green Mountain State had a massive impact on her. Maybe she’s not the most recognizable name on this list but she’s Vermont’s best athlete ever (via Just Women Sports).

NBC News

Virginia – Duane Brown

The Jets made waves when they signed Aaron Rodgers in 2023. But they quietly added another elite veteran to their ranks in Brown. The former Seahawks star was one of the most dependable offensive tackles in the sport. He added nous and grit to their offensive line as they sought to protect their new superstar.

New York Post

Brown earned five Pro Bowl selections during his career in Seattle. The Hermitage native also played for Virginia Tech in his home state. Now he’s in his second decade in the NFL in one of the most physically demanding positions (via NBC Sports).

Manhattan Mercury

Washington – Cooper Kupp

Quarterbacks monopolized the Super Bowl MVP award for a decade before Kupp came along. The Rams receiver exploded into life in 2021 as he helped his team win the coveted prize. They didn’t expect it when they first drafted him as a third-round pick in 2021. But the former Eastern Washington Eagles player is a bonafide star.

Turf Show Times

He established a strong relationship with Matthew Stafford and became a dynamic attacking threat. Now he’s Washington’s best athlete and one of the most recognizable NFL stars. Kupp also won the Offensive Player of the Year Award in 2021. This was a brilliant achievement but he earned it (via L.A. Times).

Seattle Seahawks

West Virginia – Bruce Irvin

Irvin is West Virginia through and through. The linebacker played for the Mountaineers before entering the NFL. He won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks but also suffered an ejection. This was an unwanted record because no player ever experienced this before. But Irvin plays on the edge and went too far.

Seattle Seahawks

Every team needs a player like Irvin who puts their body on the line. He’s a little bit crazy but that’s what makes him so exciting. He is entering the twilight of his career but he can hold his head high because he has a ring (via SBNation).

Fox News

Wisconsin – TJ Watt

A few years ago, we’d be talking about Watt’s older brother JJ. But today, TJ is the main man in Wisconsin and the Badger State’s best athlete. This linebacker is a ferocious competitor and one of the most consistent defensive players in the NFL. The Steelers lose games when he doesn’t play because he’s such an integral cog in their system.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Watt finally won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2021 after two previous nominations. He’s had his share of injuries but that’s because he puts his body on the line. Watt loved growing up in Wisconsin and went to his local high school. His talent shone bright and scouts quickly heard about him (via Saturday Tradition).

AP News

Wyoming – Logan Wilson

Wyoming is the least-populated US state so it’s not surprising they have a deficit of elite athletes. Arguably, their best athlete now is the Bengals’ linebacker, Wilson. This young man is quietly carving out a decent career in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Enquirer

The former Mountain West star played college ball for the Bison before he entered the NFL Draft. Then the Bengals made him a third-round pick but he established himself as a regular in their defence. Cincinnati became a post-season contender in recent years and Wilson has had a big role in their success (via Fox Sports).