Starting NFL QBs: All-Time State List

Two of three rookie quarterbacks from California high schools who have been starting games in the NFL this season are shown when they were playing in high school — Sam Darnold (left) at San Clemente and Josh Rosen from St. John Bosco of Bellflower. Photos: Craig Takata / SoCalSidelines.com & Scott Kurtz.


With three rookie QBs in the NFL this season from California high schools who have all been starting games, we got inspired to see if a total of eight for one season could be put into historical perspective. So we went overboard and have compiled a list of every single starter from California going back through the years. And eight isn’t even close to the all-time best. Double-digit numbers of California starting QBs in the NFL was actually reached several times in the 1980s.

FOR A GOLD CLUB COMPANION COLUMN TO THIS LIST THAT GOES OVER MANY OF THE TOP YEARS FOR CALIFORNIA QBS, WHERE CALIFORNIA QBS STAND IN THE NFL RECORD BOOKS AND FOR LIST OF SCHOOLS WITH THE MOST STARTING QBS, CLICK HERE.

We hope you enjoy this free list on CalHiSports.com. To get the companion Gold Club column plus State Top 50 team rankings, all-time state record updates and State Stat Stars of the Week, please consider becoming a Gold Club member today. Rates are as low as 6.8 cents per day. For details, CLICK HERE.

Notes: This is not a list of every quarterback from a California high school who has been a back-up or has been on an NFL roster. This is a list of those who have started at least one game during one season. We are including American Football League teams prior to its merger into the NFL, but we are not including those from any other pro football league (USFL, etc.). There didn’t start to be more than one California QB starting for those very early NFL teams until 1945 so that is when this list begins. We believe the first starting QB for an NFL team that still exists would be Roy “Bullet” Baker of Long Beach Poly, who played for the Green Bay Packers in 1928-29. Another starter from before 1945 was Roy Zimmerman of Arcadia Duarte (school now known as Monrovia). He started at QB in 1943 for the Steelers and then in 1944 and 1945 for the Eagles. Chuck Fenenbock (Pittsburg) also got a start as a QB in 1945 for the Lions.

This also is not a list of those who may have gone to a California high school at some point during their high school years but moved out of state afterward. An example of that would be Super Bowl winning QB Jim McMahon. He started at Andrew Hill (San Jose) but graduated from a high school in Utah. Another Super Bowl winning QB, Troy Aikman of the Dallas Cowboys, was born in West Covina but graduated from a high school in Oklahoma.

(All players listed in alphabetical order with year or years they started at least one game and for which team)

Tony Adams (Ramona, Riverside) Vikings 1987

Frankie Albert (Glendale) 49ers 1946, 49ers 1947, 49ers 1948, 49ers 1949, 49ers 1950, 49ers 1951, 49ers 1952

There’s an entire chapter in our recently released book about California quarterbacks with more info about all-time greats Tom Brady, John Elway and Aaron Rodgers plus others. Order the book by CLICKING HERE.


Josh Allen (Firebaugh) Bills 2018

Tony Banks (Hoover, San Diego) Ravens 1999, Ravens 2000

Steve Bartkowski (Buchser, Santa Clara) Falcons 1975, Falcons 1976, Falcons 1977, Falcons 1978, Falcons 1979, Falcons 1980, Falcons 1981, Falcons 1982, Falcons 1983, Falcons 1984, Falcons 1985, L.A. Rams 1986

Pete Beathard (El Segundo) Chiefs 1965, Oilers 1967, Oilers 1968, Oilers 1969, St. L. Cardinals 1971, L.A. Rams 1972

Bob Berry (Willow Glen, San Jose) Vikings 1966, Falcons 1968, Falcons 1970, Falcons 1971, Falcons 1972, Vikings 1974

Steve Beuerlein (Servite, Anaheim) L.A. Raiders 1988, Raiders 1990, Cowboys 1991, St. Louis Cardinals 1993, Arizona Cardinals 1994, Jaguars 1995, Panthers 1996, Panthers 1997, Panthers 1998, Panthers 1999, Panthers 2000, Broncos 2002, Broncos 2003

Kyle Boller (Hart, Newhall) Ravens 2003, Ravens 2004, Ravens 2005, Ravens 2007, St. L. Rams 2009, Oak. Raiders 2011

Tom Brady (Serra, San Mateo) N.E. Patriots 2001, Patriots 2002, Patriots 2003, Patriots 2004, Patriots 2005, Patriots 2006, Patriots 2007, Patriots 2008, Patriots 2009, Patriots 2010, Patriots 2011, Patriots 2012, Patriots 2013, Patriots 2014, Patriots 2015, Patriots 2016, Patriots 2017, Patriots 2018

John Brodie (Oakland Tech) 49ers 1957, 49ers 1958, 49ers 1959, 49ers 1960, 49ers 1961, 49ers 1962, 49ers 1963, 49ers 1964, 49ers 1965, 49ers 1966, 49ers 1967, 49ers 1968, 49ers 1969, 49ers 1970, 49ers 1971

Carlos Brown (Riverdale) Packers 1976 (Note: Later changed name to Alan Autry, actor and mayor of Fresno)

Ed Brown (San Luis Obispo) Bears 1955, Bears 1956, Bears 1957, Bears 1958, Bears 1959, Bears 1960, Bears 1961, Steelers 1962, Steelers 1963, Steelers 1964

Mark Brunell (St. Joseph, Santa Maria) Jags 1997, Jags 1998, Jags 1999, Jags 2000, Jags 2001, Jags 2002, Jags 2003, Redskins 2004, Redskins 2005, Redskins 2006, Saints 2009

Jeff Carlson (Pacifica, Garden Grove) Buccaneers 1991, N.E. Patriots 1992

David Carr (Stockdale, Bakersfield) Texans 2002, Texans 2003, Texans 2004, Texans 2005, Texans 2006, Panthers 2007

Derek Carr (Bakersfield Christian) Raiders 2014, Raiders 2015, Raiders 2016, Raiders 2017, Raiders 2018

Virgil Carter (Folsom) Bears 1968, Bears 1969, Bengals 1970, Bengals 1971, Bengals 1972, SD Chargers 1975

Matt Cassel (Chatsworth) N.E. Patriots 2008, Chiefs 2009, Chiefs 2010, Chiefs 2011, Chiefs 2012, Vikings 2013, Vikings 2014, Cowboys 2015, Titans 2016, Titans 2017

Oaks Christian QB Jimmy Clausen had the state career TD pass record from 2006 to 2014. Photo: StudentSports.com.


Max Chaboian (Tulare) Broncos 1966

Jimmy Clausen (Oaks Christian, Westlake Village) Panthers 2010, Bears 2014, Bears 2015, Ravens 2015

Scott Covington (Dana Hills, Dana Point) St. L. Rams 2002

Randall Cunningham (Santa Barbara) Eagles 1985, Eagles 1986, Eagles 1987, Eagles 1988, Eagles 1989, Eagles 1990, Eagles 1991, Eagles 1994, Eagles 1996, Vikings 1997, Vikings 1998, Vikings 1999, Cowboys 2000, Ravens 2001

Sam Darnold (San Clemente) Jets 2018

Steve DeBerg (Savanna, Anaheim) 49ers 1978, 49ers 1979, 49ers 1980, Broncos 1981, Broncos 1982, Broncos 1983, Buccaneers 1984, Buccaneers 1985, Buccaneers 1986, Buccaneers 1986, Buccaneers 1987, Chiefs 1988, Chiefs 1989, Chiefs 1990, Chiefs 1991, Buccaneers 1992, Buccaneers 1993, Dolphins 1993 (played on two different teams in 1993)

Trent Dilfer (Aptos) Bucs 1994, Bucs, 1995, Bucs 1996, Bucs 1997, Bucs 1998, Bucs 1999, Ravens 2000, Seahawks 2001, Seahawks 2002, Seahawks 2004, Browns 2005, 49ers 2007

Dennis Dixon (San Leandro) Steelers 2009, Steelers 2010

Ken Dorsey (Miramonte, Orinda) 49ers 2004, 49ers 2005, Browns 2008

Tony Eason (Delta, Clarksburg) N.E. Patriots 1983, Patriots 1984, Patriots 1985, Patriots 1986, Patriots 1987, Patriots 1988, Patriots 1989

Trent Edwards (Los Gatos) Bills 2007, Bills 2008, Bills 2009, Bills 2010,

John Elway (Granada Hills) Broncos 1983, Broncos 1984, Broncos 1985, Broncos 1986, Broncos 1987, Broncos 1988, Broncos 1989, Broncos 1990, Broncos 1991, Broncos 1992, Broncos 1993, Broncos 1994, Broncos 1995, Broncos 1996, Broncos 1997, Broncos 1998

Randy Fasani (Del Oro, Loomis) Panthers 2002

Vince Ferragamo (Banning, Wilmington) L.A. Rams 1979, L.A. Rams 1981, L.A. Rams 1982, L.A. Rams 1983, L.A. Rams 1984, Bills 1985

Tom Flores (Sanger) Raiders 1961, Raiders 1963, Raiders 1964, Raiders 1965, Raiders 1966, Bills 1967, Bills 1968

Dan Fouts (St. Ignatius, San Francisco) SD Chargers 1973, Chargers 1974, Chargers 1975, Chargers 1976, Chargers 1977, Chargers 1978, Chargers 1979, Chargers 1978, Chargers 1979, Chargers 1980, Chargers 1981, Chargers 1982, Chargers 1983, Chargers 1984, Chargers 1985, Chargers 1986, Chargers 1987

Jesse Freitas (Serra, San Mateo) SD Chargers 1974, Chargers 1975

Bob Gagliano (Hoover, Glendale) 49ers 1987, Lions 1989, Lions 1990, Chargers 1992

Jeff Garcia (Gilroy) 49ers 1999, 49ers 2000, 49ers 2001, 49ers 2002, 49ers 2003, Browns 2004, Lions 2005, Eagles 2006, Bucs 2007, Bucs 2008

Gale Gilbert (Red Bluff) Seahawks 1986, Chargers 1994, Chargers 1995

Jared Goff from Marin Catholic of Kentfield was an Elite 11 QB but still rose above many others to become the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. Photo: Mark Tennis.


Jared Goff (Marin Catholic, Kentfield) Rams 2016, Rams 2017, Rams 2018

Tony Graziani (Downey, Modesto) Falcons 1997, Falcons 1998, Falcons 1999

Lee Grosscup (Santa Monica) Jets 1962

Pat Haden (Bishop Amat, La Puente) L.A. Rams 1976, L.A. Rams 1977, L.A. Rams 1978, L.A. Rams 1979, L.A. Rams 1980, L.A. Rams 1981

Jim Harbaugh (Palo Alto) Bears 1988, Bears 1989, Bears 1990, Bears 1991, Bears 1992, Bears 1993, Indy Colts 1994, Colts 1995, Colts 1996, Colts 1997, Chargers 1999, Chargers 2000

Jim Hardy (Fairfax, Los Angeles) L.A. Rams 1948, Chicago Cardinals 1949, Lions 1952

Eric Hipple (Warren, Downey) Lions 1981, Lions 1982, Lions 1983, Lions 1984, Lions 1985, Lions 1986, Lions 1989

Mike Hohensee (Rowland, Rowland Heights) Bears 1987

Todd Hons (West, Torrance) Lions 1987

Don Horn (Gardena) Packers 1969, Packers 1970, Broncos 1971

John Huarte (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Eagles 1968

Chad Hutchinson (Torrey Pines, San Diego) Cowboys 2002, Bears 2004

Josh Johnson (Oakland Tech) Buccaneers 2009, Buccaneers 2011

Rob Johnson (El Toro, Lake Forest) Jags 1997, Bills 1998, Bills 1999, Bills 2000, Bills 2001, Bucs 2002

Colin Kaepernick (Pitman, Turlock) 49ers 2012, 49ers 2013, 49ers 2014, 49ers 2015, 49ers 2016

Joe Kapp (Hart, Newhall) Vikings 1967, Vikings 1968, Vikings 1969, Boston Patriots 1970

Jack Kemp (Fairfax, Los Angeles) Bills 1963, Bills 1964, Bills 1965, Bills 1966, Bills 1967, Bills 1969

Tom Kennedy (Pasadena) N.Y. Giants 1966

Cody Kessler (Centennial, Bakersfield) Browns 2016

Billy Kilmer (Citrus, Azusa) Saints 1967, Saints 1968, Saints 1969, Saints 1970, Redskins 1971, Redskins 1972, Redskins 1973, Redskins 1974, Redskins 1975, Redskins 1976, Redskins 1977, Redskins 1978

Bill Kenney (San Clemente) Chiefs 1980, Chiefs 1981, Chiefs 1982, Chiefs 1983, Chiefs 1984, Chiefs 1985, Chiefs 1986, Chiefs 1987, Chiefs 1988

Gary Kerkorian (Inglewood) Baltimore Colts 1954

Matt Kofler (Patrick Henry, San Diego) Indy Colts 1985

Erik Kramer (Burroughs, Burbank) Lions 1991, Lions 1992, Lions 1993, Bears 1994, Bears 1995, Bears 1996, Bears 1997, Bears 1998, Chargers 1999

Oakdale High has won a CIF state title and numerous CIF Sac-Joaquin Section titles, but is still perhaps most famous for being alma mater of Eddie LeBaron. Photo: Mark Tennis.


Daryle Lamonica (Clovis) Bills 1963, Bills 1964, Bills 1965, Raiders 1967, Raiders 1968, Raiders 1968, Raiders 1969, Raiders 1970, Raiders 1971, Raiders 1972, Raiders 1973

Eddie LeBaron (Oakdale) Redskins 1952, Redskins 1953, Redskins 1955, Redskins 1956, Redskins 1957, Redskins 1958, Redskins 1959, Cowboys 1960, Cowboys 1961, Cowboys 1962, Cowboys 1963

Bob Lee (Lowell, San Francisco) Vikings 1970, Vikings 1971, Falcons 1973, Falcons 1974, Vikings 1976, Vikings 1977

Bruce Lemmerman (Westchester, Los Angeles) Falcons 1969

Matt Leinart (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Az. Cardinals 2006, Cardinals 2007, Cardinals 2009, Texans 2011

Ryan Lindley (El Capitan, Lake Forest) Az. Cardinals 2012, Cardinals 2014

J.P. Losman (Venice) Bills 2005, Bills 2006, Bills 2007, Bills 2008

Ed Luther (St. Paul, Santa Fe Springs) Chargers 1983, Chargers 1984

Mark Malone (El Cajon Valley, El Cajon) Steelers 1981, Steelers 1984, Steelers 1985, Steelers 1986, Steelers 1987

Sean Mannion (Foothill, Pleasanton) Rams 2017

Todd Marinovich (Capistrano Valley, Mission Viejo) L.A. Raiders 1991, L.A. Raiders 1992

Jamie Martin (Arroyo Grande) Jags 1998, Rams 2002, Rams 2005

Paul McDonald (Bishop Amat, La Puente) Browns 1982, Browns 1983, Browns 1984

Dan McGwire (Claremont) Seahawks 1991, Seahawks 1992, Seahawks 1994

Dan Milan (Santa Ynez) Packers 1975

Warren Moon (Hamilton, Los Angeles) Houston Oilers 1984, Oilers 1985, Oilers 1986, Oilers 1987, Oilers 1988, Oilers 1989, Oilers 1990, Oilers 1991, Oilers 1992, Oilers 1993, Vikings 1994, Vikings 1995, Vikings 1996, Seahawks 1997, Seahawks 1998, Chiefs 2000

Matt Moore (Hart, Newhall) Panthers 2007, Panthers 2009, Panthers 2010, Dolphins 2011, Dolphins 2016, Dolphins 2017

Moses Moreno (Castle Park, Chula Vista) Bears 1998, Chargers 2000

Mike Moroski (Novato) Falcons 1983, Falcons 1984, 49ers 1986

Dennis Morrison (El Rancho, Pico Rivera) 49ers 1974

Craig Morton (Campbell) Cowboys 1965, Cowboys 1967, Cowboys 1968, Cowboys 1969, Cowboys 1970, Cowboys 1971, Cowboys 1972, N.Y. Giants 1974, N.Y. Giants 1975, N.Y. Giants 1976, Broncos 1977, Broncos 1978, Broncos 1979, Broncos 1980, Broncos 1981, Broncos 1982

Bill Munson (Lodi) L.A. Rams 1964, L.A. Rams 1965, Lions 1968, Lions 1969, Lions 1973, Lions 1975

Steve Myer (West Covina) Seahawks 1977

Jack “Moose” Myers (Ventura) Eagles 1948

Bill Nelsen (El Rancho, Pico Rivera) Steelers 1964, Steelers 1965, Steelers 1966, Steelers 1967, Browns 1968, Browns 1969, Browns 1970, Browns 1972

Ken O’Brien (Jesuit, Carmichael) Jets 1984, Jets 1985, Jets 1986, Jets 1987, Jets 1988, Jets 1989, Jets 1990, Jets 1991, Jets 1992, Eagles 1993

J.T. O’Sullivan (Jesuit, Carmichael) 49ers 2008

Carson Palmer (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) Bengals 2004, Bengals 2005, Bengals 2006, Bengals 2007, Bengals 2008, Bengals 2009, Bengals 2010, Raiders 2011, Raiders 2012, Az. Cardinals 2013, Cardinals 2014, Cardinals 2015, Cardinals 2016, Cardinals 2017

Dan Pastorini (Bellarmine Prep, San Jose) Houston Oilers 1971, Oilers 1972, Oilers 1973, Oilers 1974, Oilers 1975, Oilers 1976, Oilers 1977, Oilers 1978, Oilers 1979, Raiders 1980, L.A. Rams 1981

Craig Penrose (Woodland) Broncos 1976, Broncos 1978

Jim Plunkett (James Lick, San Jose) NE Patriots 1971, Patriots 1972, Patriots 1973, Patriots 1974, Patriots 1975, 49ers 1976, 49ers 1977, Raiders 1980, Raiders 1981, Raiders 1982, Raiders 1983, Raiders 1984, Raiders 1985, Raiders 1986

Mike Rae (Lakewood) Raiders 1976, Raiders 1977, Buccaneers 1978

Tom Ramsey (Kennedy, Granada Hills) N.E. Patriots 1987, Patriots 1988, Colts 1989

Aaron Rodgers has been very supportive of his alma mater when it has played in recent CIF state title games in football, boys basketball and girls basketball. Photo: imgarcade.com.


Aaron Rodgers (Pleasant Valley, Chico) Packers 2008, Packers 2009, Packers 2010, Packers 2011, Packers 2012, Packers 2013, Packers 2014, Packers 2015, Packers 2016, Packers 2017, Packers 2018

Josh Rosen (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Az. Cardinals 2018

Sean Salisbury (Orange Glen, Escondido) Vikings 1992, Vikings 1993, Vikings 1994, Chargers 1996

Mark Sanchez (Mission Viejo) Jets 2009, Jets 2010, Jets 2011, Jets 2012, Eagles 2014, Eagles 2015

Turk Schonert (St. Paul, Santa Fe Springs) Bengals 1983, Bengals 1984, Falcons 1986, Bengals 1989

Jay Schroeder (Palisades, Pacific Palisades) Redskins 1985, Redskins 1986, Redskins 1987, L.A. Raiders 1988, L.A. Raiders 1989, L.A. Raiders 1990, L.A. Raiders 1991, Bengals 1993, Ariz. Cardinals 1994

Frank Seurer (Edison, Huntington Beach) Chiefs 1987

Dennis Shaw (Damien, La Verne) Bills 1970, Bills 1971, Bills 1972

Brian Sipe (Grossmont, La Mesa) Browns 1974, Browns 1975, Browns 1976, Browns 1977, Browns 1978, Browns 1979, Browns 1980, Browns 1981, Browns 1982, Browns 1983

Akili Smith (Lincoln, San Diego) Bengals 1999, Bengals 2000, Bengals 2001, Bengals 2002

Alex Smith (Helix, La Mesa) 49ers 2005, 49ers 2006, 49ers 2007, 49ers 2009, 49ers 2010, 49ers 2011, 49ers 2012, Chiefs 2013, Chiefs 2014, Chiefs 2015, Chiefs 2016, Chiefs 2017, Redskins 2018

Steve Stenstrom (El Toro, Lake Forest) Bears 1998, 49ers 1999

Matt Stevens (Fountain Valley) Chiefs 1987

Kevin Sweeney (Bullard, Fresno) Cowboys 1987, Cowboys 1988

Jack Trudeau (Granada, Livermore) Colts 1986, Colts 1987, Colts 1989, Colts 1992, Colts 1993, Jets 1994

Jeff Tuel (Clovis West, Fresno) Bills 2013

Norm Van Brocklin (Acalanes, Lafayette) L.A. Rams 1950, L.A. Rams 1951, L.A. Rams 1952, L.A. Rams 1953, L.A. Rams 1954, L.A. Rams 1955, L.A. Rams 1956, L.A. Rams 1957, Eagles 1958, Eagles 1959, Eagles 1960

Jeff Van Raaphorst (Grossmont, La Mesa) Falcons 1987

Billy Volek (Clovis West, Fresno) Titans 2003 (1st season after move from Houston Oilers), Titans 2004, Titans 2005

Seneca Wallace (Cordova, Rancho Cordova) Seahawks 2006, Seahawks 2008, Seahawks 2009, Browns 2010, Browns 2011, Packers 2013

Bob Waterfield (Van Nuys) L.A. Rams 1946, L.A. Rams 1947, L.A. Rams 1948, L.A. Rams 1949, L.A. Rams 1950, L.A. Rams 1951, L.A. Rams 1952

Craig Whelihan (Santa Teresa, San Jose) Chargers 1997, 1998

Dave Wilson (Katella, Anaheim) Saints 1981, Saints 1983, Saints 1984, Saints 1985, Saints 1986

Jim Zorn (Gahr, Cerritos) Seahawks 1976, Seahawks 1977, Seahawks 1978, Seahawks 1979, Seahawks 1980, Seahawks 1981, Seahawks 1982, Seahawks 1983, Packers 1985, Buccaneers 1987

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle:


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One Comment

  1. RON SIEGEL
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Mark
    Yet another piece of first class work and research.
    Very interesting reading !!!
    Take care and best regards,
    Ron Siegel
    Kent, Washington

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