Before they were Kansas City Chiefs, Dorian O’Daniel and Kendall Fuller were Falcons.
Not in Atlanta, but in Olney, Maryland, playing football while attending Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. The pair was on three Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title-winning teams before going separate ways for college.
O’Daniel is a Chiefs linebacker, who won an NCAA title at Clemson University. But, in high school, he was dominant on both sides of the ball, crushing ball carriers on defense and bruising opposing linebackers while carrying the ball as a bruising running back.
Meanwhile, Fuller, who grew up outside Baltimore, was a wide receiver and cornerback at Good Counsel, where he was became a five-star recruit. Like his three older brothers, who all played in the NFL (only Kyle, who plays for the Bears, remains an active player), he went to college at Virginia Tech.
A trade with the Redskins, who drafted Fuller out of Virginia Tech, reunited them in Kansas City.
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At some point in the game, it is possible the only person standing between O’Daniel or Fuller and the San Francisco quarterback could be another D.C.-area product.
One of the backup offensive lineman for San Francisco is Justin Skule. He is a rookie offensive tackle from Fairfax County, Virginia. Skule grew up in Clifton, graduated from Centreville High School, and played at Vanderbilt. He won’t be starting in the Super Bowl, but he did start eight games as a rookie for the 49ers this year.
Other players with local connections include San Francisco backup quarterback CJ Beathard, who is the grandson of Hall of Fame executive Bobby Beathard, the former Redskins general manager.
Bobby Beathard was the architect of the teams that won Super Bowls with Joe Gibbs in the 1980s.
Other players from the region include:
- Kansas City wide receiver Felton Davis, who graduated from Highland Springs High School, outside of Richmond.
- Kansas City safety Juan Thornhill, who is from Alta Vista, Virginia.
- Kansas City nose tackle Derrick Nnadi, who is from Virginia Beach.
- San Francisco cornerback Tim Harris, who is from Henrico.