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These former Utah college stars have earned NFL All-Pro honors

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner celebrates after the 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. Warner has been named All-Pro for the third time.

The state of Utah has become a football factory, and the results speak for themselves.

Seven former in-state college talents have been named NFL All-Pro selections for 2023, with three players receiving First Team honors and another four landing on the Second Team.

Another Utah high school product — Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell — was recognized as a First Team honoree, as well.

Here’s a look at the local award winners.

Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers/BYU (First Team linebacker)

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner flexes during warmups before an NFL football game against the <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/seattle/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Seattle Seahawks;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Seattle Seahawks</a>, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, in Seattle. | Stephen Brashear, Associated Press

During his third career All-Pro campaign, Warner racked up 132 total tackles with four forced fumbles and four interceptions for the NFC’s top-seeded 49ers.

Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints/Weber State (First Team punt returner)

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/new-orleans/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:New Orleans Saints;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">New Orleans Saints</a> wide receiver Rashid Shaheed (22) returns a punt for a touchdown past Green Bay Packers safety Jonathan Owens (34) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/green-bay/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Green Bay;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Green Bay</a>, Wis. | Morry Gash, Associated Press

Shaheed returned 25 punts for 339 yards, averaging 13.6 yards per return and taking one attempt to the house for a 76-yard score. The former undrafted free agent also caught 46 passes for 719 yards and five touchdowns as a receiver.

Miles Killebrew, Pittsburgh Steelers/SUU (First Team special teamer)

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/pittsburgh/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Pittsburgh Steelers;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Pittsburgh Steelers</a> safety Miles Killebrew (28) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/baltimore/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Baltimore Ravens;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Baltimore Ravens</a>, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, in Baltimore. | Terrance Williams, Associated Press

Pittsburgh captain Killebrew made 13 total tackles this season — 11 solo — and blocked a punt against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 8. The Thunderbirds legend has blocked four punts over his eight-year NFL career.

Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks/Utah State (Second Team linebacker)

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) defends during an NFL Football game in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. | Michael Ainsworth, Associated Press
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) defends during an NFL Football game in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. | Michael Ainsworth, Associated Press

Wagner added to his Hall of Fame resume with a 10th career All-Pro nod. He led the league this season with 183 total tackles — 96 solo — and piled up 3.5 sacks with a fumble recovery.

Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams/BYU (Second Team wide receiver)

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/la-rams/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Los Angeles Rams;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Los Angeles Rams</a> wide receiver Puka Nacua (17) catches a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. Nacua set a rookie record for receptions on this play. | Jed Jacobsohn, Associated Press

The first-year phenom became an overnight sensation, breaking the all-time rookie receiving records with 105 catches and 1,486 yards while adding six touchdown grabs.

Nacua is the first former Cougar to earn All-Pro honors on offense since quarterback Steve Young in 1998.

Taron Johnson, Buffalo Bills/Weber State (Second Team cornerback)

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/buffalo/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Buffalo Bills;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Buffalo Bills</a> cornerback Taron Johnson (7) defends during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Orchard Park, NY. | Matt Durisko, Associated Press

Johnson racked up 98 tackles in the Buffalo secondary, forcing three fumbles, defending eight passes and even picking up a sack. The former Wildcat also posted a strong 81.7 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus.

Jaylon Johnson, Chicago Bears/Utah (Second Team cornerback)

Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson (33) breaks up a pass intended for <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/minnesota/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Minnesota Vikings;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Minnesota Vikings</a> tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, in Minneapolis. | Abbie Parr, Associated Press

Johnson became a star in Chicago, logging four interceptions, 10 passes defended, 36 tackles and his first career defensive touchdown.

The lockdown corner also posted an elite 91.3 overall grade from PFF and is set for a hefty payday upon reaching free agency this offseason.

Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions/Desert Hills HS (First Team right tackle)

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell (58) stands on the field before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in Minneapolis. | Abbie Parr, Associated Press
Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell (58) stands on the field before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in Minneapolis. | Abbie Parr, Associated Press

While he played his college ball at Oregon, Sewell played high school football in Utah. And no local talent has proven more elite in 2023 than the St. George native.

Sewell allowed just one sack in 1,178 offensive snaps this season, posting a 90.7 overall PFF score along with a 93.1 mark for run blocking in his first career All-Pro campaign.