There were three starting quarterbacks from California high schools among the four that started in last week’s AFC and NFC championship games and it was another strong season for the state in the league in general. The most remarkable story among all of them, of course, was the return of Helix of La Mesa grad Alex Smith to a starting role two years removed from a horrific leg injury. Smith already has been named as NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Here’s the updated all-time list of every starting QB from a California high school in NFL history.
FOR A GOLD CLUB COMPANION COLUMN TO THIS LIST WRITTEN WHEN IT WAS FIRST COMPILED IN 2018 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.
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Notes: We’ll have much more on Serra of San Mateo’s Tom Brady prior to next week’s Super Bowl. 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.