The 10 Best Football Players to Ever Come Out of Jefferson County


August 18, 2022

Protective Stadium
Protective Stadium

Jefferson County has a habit of producing legends. After all, it’s the home of Willie Mays, Satchel Paige, Charles Barkley and Carl Lewis. Across the sporting world, Jefferson County has been the stomping grounds of some of the best athletes in history. But when it comes to football, this area is a breeding ground for greatness. There’s no way we’d try to cover all of them, but here are our picks for the 10 best football players to ever come out of Jefferson County. Share yours in the comments! And no matter what team you’re rooting for, come by Big Whiskey’s to watch the game!

Bo Jackson
RB - LA Raiders

You know and so does he. Bo Jackson has to be in the conversation no matter what sport it is. Heck, he probably would’ve been great at synchronized swimming. His legend stands alone. In 1985, he not only won the Heisman for football, he also hit .401 for Auburn’s baseball team. In 1989, he hit 32 homers and stole 26 bags for the Royals and ran for 950 yards for the Raiders. Unbelievable. If it weren’t for that hip injury, who knows what he could’ve done? I guess we know the answer to that question.

Andre Tippett
OLB - New England Patriots

The young ones out there might not remember Tippett, but they should. In the 80s and 90s he was a professional ass kicker. One of the best pass rushing linebackers ever, he totaled an even 100 sacks for his career. He was a 5-time Pro-Bowler, the 1985 Defensive Player of the Year and ended up in the Hall of Fame. If that’s not enough for you, he’s also a seventh degree blackbelt in karate. At 62, he could probably still kick 98% of people’s asses.

Cornelius Bennett
OLB - Buffalo Bills

The pride of Ensley High School, Bennett was a star in baseball, basketball and of course football. He went on to dominate at Alabama in college, winning the Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s best defender. In the pros, he went to 5 Pro Bowls and won AFC Defensive Player of the Year twice. He also played in five Super Bowls, all of which he lost. That stings, but Bennett is a Yellow Jacket. He always stings back.

Pat Sullivan
QB - Auburn Tigers

Pat Sullivan is an old school legend. Back when quarterbacks were still allowed to get hit, Sullivan hit back. He finished his college career with 72 touchdowns which tied the all-time record at the time. In 1971, he took home the Heisman to become the first Auburn Tiger to win it. Some people called him Super Sully, others called him the Moses of Auburn football. One thing is for sure, he is a legend in Jefferson County.

Buck Buchanan
DT - Kansas City Chiefs

One of the best to ever play at Parker High, Hall of Famer Buck Buchanan was an absolute problem for offenses. He was 6’7, 280 and earned praise as the best lineman legendary Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson ever saw. He played in the first Super Bowl ever with the Chiefs and lost, but came back for Super Bowl 4 and won. He played before most stats were even counted, but one of his best was that he never missed a game in 13 years.

Maxie Baughan
LB - Philadelphia Eagles

Another football OG, Maxie Baughan dominated at Bessemer City High before he became an NFL legend. He started his career by leading the Eagles to the 1960 championship and pulled down 3 picks in that win. He went to the Pro Bowl 9 out of his first 10 years in the league and was a first team All-Pro twice. He’s in the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame, The Eagles Hall of Fame, The College Football Hall and both Georgia’s and Alabama’s state Hall of Fame. After his playing days, he went on to coach for 5 NFL franchises and two NCAA teams.

Jameis Winston
QB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The most famous Golden Gopher ever, Winston became the youngest Heisman Trophy winner ever just one year after graduating from Hueytown. At Florida State he took home every major award between 2013-2014 on his way to leading the Seminoles to a BCS National championship (of which he was the MVP). After his redshirt sophomore season, he got picked #1 overall by the Bucs. He became the youngest player to ever pass for 4,000 yards and the youngest to ever throw for 40 TDs in a season. In 2019, he led the NFL in passing yards at 5,109.

Karlos Dansby
LB - Arizona Cardinals

Dansby will be in the Hall of Fame someday. We’re calling it now. He’s one of only five players in NFL history to have 40 sacks and 20 interceptions in his career, joining Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher. He also accounted for more than 1,000 tackles and led the Cardinals to the 2008 Super Bowl where they fell to the Steelers in one of the most dramatic championships in NFL history. He says he’ll be the first to do it without ever making a Pro Bowl. We believe it.

Roddy White
WR - Atlanta Falcons

Yeah, he’s one of the best receivers of the past 20 years, but he might be the best trash talker. He starts more beef than Bobby Flay. At least he can back it up. At UAB, Roddy finished his career third in all-time receptions and yards, but he really hit his stride in the pros. He got picked 27th overall and after a couple slow years and bad QBs (remember Joey Harrington?), he became one of the top WRs in the league when Matt Ryan showed up. He made five Pro Bowls in a row and in 2010 he led the league in receptions at 115. White finished with more than 10,000 receiving yards and 63 TDs, most all time for the Falcons. So, he’s earned a right to talk trash. He’s not from Jefferson County, but we’ll still claim him for the UAB connection.

Jared Cook
TE - Tennessee Titans

This might be a surprising pick for some, but Jared Cook is like Birdman. He needs some respect on his name. He is still playing and sits at 12th all time in receiving yards for a tight end and he could crack the top 10 this year. He’s also scored 45 tuddies and made two Pro Bowls. In our book, Cook is one of the most underrated players from the area ever.

Don’t like our list? Wanna add your own name to it? Drop us a line in the comments. And when you’re done, come by and watch some football with us at Big Whiskey’s. Check out the menu right here!

More Great Players from Jefferson County:

  • DeMeco Ryans
  • Jericho Cotchery
  • Marlon Humphrey
  • James Bradberry
  • Marcell Dareus
  • Joe Webb
  • Quinnen Williams
  • Jordan Howard
  • Ameer Abdullah