South Dakota has five-time Pro Bowler Pete Retzlaff. Alaska has two-time All-Pro Mark Schlereth. North Dakota has three-time Super Bowl participant Phil Hansen. Wyoming has two-time Pro Bowler Boyd Dowler. And Vermont has ... well ... Jason Foster?
The former Mount Saint Joseph (Rutland, Vt.) Academy standout is competing for a spot at right guard in Oakland Raiders training camp, hoping to become only the third prep football player from the Green Mountain State ever to even play in the NFL.
“I’m not going to stop until I’m done, and I want to leave on my own terms,” Foster told the Burlington Free Press. “This is my dream. I have the rest of my life to do anything I want to do. Right now, it’s playing football.”
Foster would join Joe Shield and Bob Yates as the only Vermont preps to see the field in the NFL, according to the Burlington Free Press. Shield didn't produce a single statistic in just three games for the Green Bay Packers in 1986, and Yates never started a game in five seasons as an offensive lineman for the then Boston Patriots from 1961-65.
It wouldn't take much for Foster to become Vermont's greatest prep football player ever. Natives David Ball (most recently), Ollie Dunlap, Dick Hebert, Sean Keenan and Todd Rundle all appeared on practice squads or in NFL tryouts, but never made the show.
In fact, Washington Redskins wideout Pierre Garcon, who played just one season at Norwich University before transferring, and Seattle Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka, who finished his collegiate career at N.C. State, are the only two players currently in the NFL that even attended college in Vermont, according to the Free Press report.
Vermont has the second-lowest population in the U.S., ahead of only Wyoming, but even the Equality State featured five former prep players -- John Chick, Brett Keisel, Brady Poppinga, Chris Prosinski and John Wendling -- who played in the NFL just last year.
In other words, it's about time someone conducts a study about the correlation between maple syrup and football prowess.