Beyond bluegrass, bourbon and the Run for the Roses, Kentucky can hang its hat on two of the NFL's best quarterbacks. George Blanda spent 26 seasons as a pro kicker and quarterback after his time at Kentucky, throwing 236 touchdown passes and scoring 2,002 points. Johnny Unitas threw for more than 40,000 yards, mostly with Colts, 290 TD passes, and won one Super Bowl. Current players include former Louisville cornerback Sam Madison. After a distinguished career at Kentucky in the 1950s, tackle Lou Michaels spent 14 seasons in NFL, and 1950 Outland Trophy winner Bob Gain also had a nice career with the Browns.
• Join the Kentucky debate | Submit your opinion on pro football
The legend of Bear Bryant didn't begin at Alabama, it began after a year at Maryland and then eight in Lexington. His Wildcats went to four bowl games with the likes of quarterback Babe Parilli and Howard Schnellenberger. John L. Smith and Bobby Petrino have returned Louisville to the big time, knocking on the BCS door and sending multiple players, including receiver Deion Branch, to the NFL. Eastern Kentucky also has a couple of college hall of famers in George Floyd (22 interceptions) and his coach, Roy Kidd (315 I-AA wins).
• Join the Kentucky debate | Submit your opinion on college football
The Louisville and Lexington areas produce many strong teams. NFL MVP Shaun Alexander is from Boone County High School in Florence, the legendary Paul Hornung is from Louisville, and Bears hall of famer George McAfee was born in Corbin. Spring 2006 DI signees: 26. Fall 2006 high school football teams: 224.
• Join the Kentucky debate | Submit your opinion on prep football