Fred Warner Is A Pro Bowler in 2021: Which BYU Players Have Made Multiple Pro Bowls?
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Fred Warner has quickly become one of the best linebackers in the NFL. The linebacker from BYU was an immediate contributor for the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie. Now in just his third season, Warner has earned his first Pro Bowl selection and a 1st-team All-Pro nod as well. He has led the team in tackles every year of his young career and is a leader on a defense that made a Super Bowl appearance just one year ago.
Fred Warner is on his way to a long and successful career in the NFL; a career that could rival some of the best of any former BYU players in the league. With his selection to the Pro Bowl in 2020, he became just the 11th BYU player to ever make a Pro Bowl. Only a handful of those players ever made multiple appearances.
It’s safe to say a healthy Warner will find himself playing in the Pro Bowl for years to come. He could join the small group of BYU players to have made multiple Pro Bowls. Here are the last five BYU players in the NFL with multiple Pro Bowl selections, as heard on the “Top 5” segment on Cougar Sports Saturday (KSL Newsradio, Noon-3pm).
Last Five BYU players in the NFL with Multiple Pro Bowl Selections
John Denney was an undrafted free agent coming out of BYU in 2005. He was a defensive end and long snapper during his time in Provo. Denney signed with the Miami Dolphins, where he played 14 seasons as the starting long snapper and made the Pro Bowl in 2010 & 2012. When he was released by Miami in 2019, he was the longest-tenured player on the team. Denney, who is now 42 years old, is currently signed to the New Orleans Saints practice squad.
Chad Lewis was a walk-on at BYU and left Provo as an undrafted free agent in 1997. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he played all but six games during his 9-year NFL career. Lewis was a Pro Bowler for three seasons from 2000 to 2002 and was named 2nd-team All-Pro in 2000. Lewis spent half a season in St Louis in 1999, where he won a Super Bowl with the Rams. He also appeared in a Super Bowl with Head Coach Andy Reid in 2005, losing to the New England Patriots.
There is no BYU player in the NFL more iconic than Steve Young. Young did not go to the NFL after leaving BYU in 1983. Coming off a season where he was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, Young went to the USFL, being selected by the Los Angeles Express and signing a $40 million deal. When the league folded Young headed to the NFL. After a journey in Tampa Bay and backing up the legend Joe Montana, the lefty took over the quarterback job in San Francisco in 1991 and never relinquished it. Steve Young made the Pro Bowl every year from 1992-1998, won two MVP awards in 1992 & 1994, and won Super Bowl XXIX earning MVP honors.
Like his college teammate Steve Young, Bart Oates also chose the USFL out of BYU instead of pursuing the NFL. After winning two championships with the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars, Oates joined the New York Giants in 1985. The center spent nine years with the Giants and two years with the 49ers, winning three Super Bowls. Oates was a member of the 1994 49ers Super Bowl team, snapping the ball to fellow-Cougar and MVP Steve Young. Bart Oates was a five-time Pro Bowler, being selected in five of his final six seasons in the NFL.
Todd Christensen was a five-time Pro Bowler with the Los Angeles Raiders from 1983-1987. Christensen, who was selected in the MLB Draft out of high school, played fullback during his time at BYU. He was drafted in the 2nd round by the Dallas Cowboys, who moved him to tight end. After a brief stint with the Giants, Christensen found a home with the Raiders. He spent 10 years with the Silver & Black, won two Super Bowls & was named a 1st-team All-Pro in 1983 & 1985.
Yes, I know this is the weekly Top 5. And this is no. 6. BUT, I couldn’t leave out an overlooked former BYU athlete who had a very nice career in the NFL. Vai Sikahema was the first Tongan ever to play in the NFL after being selected in the 10th round of the NFL Draft in 1986. He was an electric special teams player in the NFL, spending 8 seasons with the Cardinals, Packers & Eagles. Sikahema made a Pro Bowl as a rookie in 1986 and again in 1987, also being named an 1st-team All-Pro. He is 9th in the NFL in career punt return yards.
The 24 year-old Fred Warner is very early into his NFL career. He already has a Pro Bowl selection, an All-Pro nod and a Super Bowl appearance; quite the resume for a guy who claims he’s not even the most talented of his own siblings. BYU fans have a lot to look forward to on Sunday’s during the NFL season with players like Warner, Taysom Hill & Jamaal Williams making plays on winning teams. Dan Sorenson is looking to win back-to-back Super Bowl rings this week with Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs. And that doesn’t even include future NFL stars like Zach Wilson, who could become the new face of a franchise on April 29th.
It’s a great time for BYU in the NFL and it will only continue to get better for Cougar fans. Kalani Sitake and his staff have shown that they can develop two/three-star recruits into NFL prospects. The future remains high for this year’s class and the potential NFL prospects that will stand out in 2021. Fred Warner’s early success is a testament to his hard work and dedication. At this rate, when he ends his career he may be grouped with only the best BYU has produced at the NFL level.
Listen to the full segment about Fred Warner and the last five BYU players in the NFL to make multiple Pro Bowl appearances.
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