Current and Former NFL Players With Whatcom County Roots

Over the years, a handful of NFL players have heralded from Whatcom County. Some won Super Bowls, while others endured journeyman careers in the football world. Here’s a look at some of the NFL talent to emerge from our area.


Rapp — a 2016 Sehome High School graduate — is a safety for
the Los Angeles Rams, with 41 NFL games and counting under his belt.   

After playing for three seasons at the University of
Washington, Rapp was taken in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In 2021,
he started all 17 games and made four interceptions, along with 94 tackles, six
pass deflections and 1.5 sacks.

Tyler Rapp graduated from Sehome High School in 2016 and began playing for the Los Angeles Rams after three seasons at the University of Washington. Photo courtesy Los Angeles Rams

Rapp’s terrific season culminated in a Super Bowl ring in
February 2022, when the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI. After
the game, Rapp proposed
to high school sweetheart Dani Johnson.


The 1986 Ferndale High School grad has two Super Bowl rings —
one apiece as a player and coach.

Pederson entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with
the Miami Dolphins in 1991. He endured multiple cuts and re-signings over five
years with Miami and appeared in just seven games — all in 1993. In 1992 and
1995, he spent time in the World League of American Football (WLAF) and was
drafted by the Carolina Panthers in a 1995 expansion draft before being cut.

Ferndale’s Doug Pederson led the Philadelphia Eagles to an NFL title in Super Bowl LII as a head coach. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Pederson became the Green Bay Packers’ third-string
quarterback in 1995, picking up a Super Bowl ring in 1997 when the Packers
defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.
Pederson was promoted to backup quarterback and primary placekick holder in
1998 before becoming starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999.

He made just nine starts, with eight more the following
season for the Cleveland Browns. He returned to Green Bay in 2001 for four more
seasons as placekick holder and backup to Brett Favre, replacing Matt

As a player, Pederson participated in 100 NFL games, throwing
for 2,762 yards with 12 touchdowns, 19 interceptions, and a 54.8 completion
percentage. After retiring, he became a high school football coach before
returning to the Eagles as an offensive coach in 2009.

After serving as Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator
from 2013 to 2015, Pederson became the Eagles’ head coach in 2016. His five
seasons there resulted in a 42-37 record, highlighted by Philly’s Super Bowl LII win over
the Patriots. Who could forget the Philly Special?

Pederson is currently head coach of the Jacksonville


The 2006 Ferndale High School grad mesmerized
as a Golden
Eagles and Washington Huskies quarterback before being drafted 8th
in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Signed by the Tennessee Titans, Locker served as Matt
Hasselbeck’s backup for a year before assuming starting duties in 2012. Despite
great promise, Locker’s time in Tennessee was marred by injuries. He started 11
games in 2012, just 7 in 2013, and 5 in 2014 — his final season.

Jake Locker, a state title-winning Ferndale High School quarterback, played in NFL seasons with the Tennessee Titans. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The Titans declined a fifth-year option on Locker, and he
retired in March 2015. In total he played 30 NFL games, throwing for 4,967
yards with 27 touchdowns, 22 interceptions, and a completion percentage of 57.5. 

Today, Locker resides in Ferndale with his wife and
children, and co-owns Locker Room
Fitness with fellow NFL alum Michael Koenen.


A 2000 Ferndale High School grad, Koenen was an all-star
punter and placekicker for the now-defunct Western Washington University
football program. In 2005, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted
free agent and became the team’s starting punter.

Koenen appeared in all 16 games, and even kicked a 58-yard
field goal in a game against the New England Patriots. In a 2006 preseason
game, he punted, kicked-off and made four field goals — all from 40 yards or

Michael Koenen, another Ferndale High grad, played 10 NFL seasons as a punter between 2005 and 2014. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Koenen spent six years with Atlanta and is probably best known
for having a punt blocked
by Saints safety Steve Gleason in the first post-Hurricane Katrina game at
the New Orleans Superdome. In 2011, Koenen signed with the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers, where he spent four seasons.   

Appearing in 160 NFL games, Koenen recorded 748 punts for
31,964 yards. He made two regular season field goals, both from more than 50
yards, and had a punting average of 42.7 yards. He currently lives in Whatcom
County with his wife and children.


A 1991 Nooksack Valley High School graduate, Ackerman
played college football at Eastern
Washington University before being selected 145th overall in the
1996 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints.

Ackerman spent six years with New Orleans as a special
teams player and offensive lineman in both starting and backup capacities. In
2002, he signed with the Tennessee Titans and played in 11 games before
becoming a full-time backup for the team in 2003.

In total, Ackerman played in 105 NFL games, starting 21.
After his playing career, he served as an offensive lineman coach at Eastern,
and also helped coach the now-defunct Spokane Shock, an arena football team.


The Bellingham-born Newman was drafted by the Toronto Blue
Jays while still a high school senior in Beaverton, Oregon. Instead of entering
the majors, Newman chose football at the University of Oregon.

Trading cards of Bellingham-born Anthony Newman — who played in 178 NFL games — can be found for sale online.

Drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round (35th
overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft, Newman played as a defensive back and safety
for the team from 1988 to 1994. He spent 1995 to 1997 with New Orleans and
played his final two seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

Newman played in 178 NFL games, recording 21 interceptions
for 256 yards and a touchdown. After retiring, Newman worked as a commentator
for Oregon Sports Network coverage of Ducks football, and also served as a
defensive coordinator for two high schools in Portland. He also operates Anthony Newman Sports Camps, a
series of seasonal youth athletic camps.


The 1983 Bellingham High School grad was an all-star
athlete who was voted Washington State Lineman of the Year in 1982.

After playing at the University of Washington, Alvord was
taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 9th round of the 1987 NFL
draft. A defensive tackle, he played in 27 games between 1987 and 1988 — the
Cardinals’ last season in St. Louis and first in Phoenix.

After his NFL career, Alvord played two seasons (1991 to
1992) as a defensive end for Spain’s Barcelona Dragons in the WLAF. In 2018, he
returned to his high school alma mater for induction into the school’s athletic
hall of fame.


The Bellingham-born Warren grew up in California and played
football at San Diego State. Drafted in the fourth round of the 1979 NFL Draft
by the Washington Redskins, Warren became a tight end known primarily for this

Between 1979 and 1992, he played in 193 NFL games,
recording 244 receptions for 2,536 yards and 7 touchdowns. From 1981 to 89, he didn’t
miss a regular season start.

Trading cards of Don Warren, a Bellingham-born tight end who won three Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins, can also be found for sale online.

Warren was an original member of “The Hogs,” the nickname of
Washington’s stellar offensive line during its heyday under head coach Joe
Gibbs. He started on four Super Bowls teams (1983, 1984, 1988, 1992), collected
three rings, and played in two of them (Super Bowl XXII and Super Bowl XVII).

After retiring, Warren became a high school baseball and
football coach before returning to the Redskins as a scout from 2005 to 2009. He
spent another 10 years as a scout with the Carolina Panthers before three more
years as senior scout with the Washington Commanders.

Warren officially retired from the NFL in June 2022.

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