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

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).