There may not be a more passionate group of people in the world than dedicated football fans. This is especially true in the great city of San Francisco. Whether the 49ers make it to the Super Bowl or struggle to win more than a few games, die-hard fans are always there to root for the team. However, while it is exciting to root for the players on your home team, it is also important to recognize the players that grew up in your hometown. These are the six best NFL players who were born in San Francisco.
Dan Fouts spent the vast majority of his childhood living in San Francisco. A successful high school career at St. Ignatius College Preparatory helped him earn a scholarship at the University of Oregon. Fouts went on to have a fantastic 15-year NFL career with the San Diego Chargers. During his time with the Chargers, Fouts passed for more than 43,000 yards and 254 touchdowns. These accomplishments earned him a spot on six Pro Bowl teams during his career and a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame shortly after retiring. Fouts is routinely considered to be one of the best quarterbacks to never win the Super Bowl.
Tedy Bruschi spent a lot of his childhood in San Francisco before eventually moving to nearby Roseville as a teenager. He had a memorable career at the University of Arizona before being drafted in the third round by New England Patriots in 1996. The talented linebacker spent his entire 13-year professional career in New England. Whether it was stuffing the run, sacking the quarterback, or grabbing an interception, Bruschi always had the ability to make the big play. He is one of the few players in NFL history that lifted the Lombardi Trophy three times.
Bob St. Clair
Bob St. Clair may not be a familiar name to anyone under the age of 40, but he was one of the best offensive tackles to ever play in the NFL. The San Francisco native had the pleasure of spending his entire 21-year career with his hometown 49ers. St. Clair made the All-Pro team nine times during his career, and his number, 79, is currently one of only 12 numbers retired by San Francisco 49ers. In addition to this great honor, St. Clair was also named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
While Ollie Matson was born in Texas, he spent his entire high school and college football career in the city of San Francisco. Matson’s dominant stats in college helped him get drafted with the third overall pick in the 1952 NFL Draft. The star running back played for four different teams during his 15 years in the NFL. He was well ahead of his time as one of the first running backs in league history who posed a considerable threat in the passing game. Matson made the Pro Bowl in his first six seasons in the league, which helped him gain entry into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
Just like Bob St. Clair, John Brodie was a San Francisco native who spent his entire NFL career playing for the 49ers. Brodie was never afraid to make the tough throw, which helped him lead the league in passing yards three times in his career. He was named NFL MVP in 1970 after throwing for 2,941 yards and 24 touchdowns. Brodie was such an integral part of the 49ers franchise that the team retired his number shortly after he ended his playing career in 1973.
O.J. Simpson has undoubtedly had a troubled life away from the game, but there is no denying that he was one of the best players ever to put on a helmet. Simpson spent his entire childhood in the housing projects of San Francisco before getting drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1969. He led the league in rushing four times in his career. He also earned the NFL MVP Award in 1973 after amassing 2,003 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Simpson is enshrined in both the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame.