After an outstanding first-team All-Big 12 senior season at K-State, Leber was scooped up by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 2002 draft. The South Dakota native was a tenacious defender, forcing a fumble in all but one of his full seasons in the NFL. Leber's career stats — 24 sacks, 393 tackles, five interceptions — don't necessarily distinguish him, but he was a steady fixture in the NFL, starting for both the Chargers and Minnesota Vikings for the majority of his nine seasons with the teams.
Getty ImagesBrian Bahr
Martin Gramatica (1999-2008), K
As the only K-State alum to kick in the NFL, Gramatica did well to represent the Wildcats football program. The Argentine native, who moved to LaBelle, Fla., at age 9, didn't start kicking until his senior year of high school. While a Wildcat, Gramatica etched his name into school history by notching the most points in a career (349) — more than even Collin Klein (342) — and the longest field goal in school history at an impressive 65 yards. After a bright career at KSU, he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for whom he quickly became a Pro Bowl-caliber kicker. In 2002, Gramatica was a key contributor to the Bucs' Super Bowl run, converting a league-high 32 field goals. Throughout his nine-year NFL career, Gramatica only missed two of his 230 extra-point attempts and converted 76.4 percent (155 for 203) of his field-goal attempts.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
Paul Coffman (1978-1988), TE
Coffman, who grew up in St. Louis, Mo., blossomed in his senior season at K-State, finishing second in the Big 8 in yards per reception (17.1). However, he fell under the radar in the NFL Draft and went undrafted. One team wasn't oblivious to his talent, though. The Green Bay Packers picked up the future three-time Pro Bowler as an undrafted free agent, a major steal considering he'd one day be enshrined in their Hall of Fame. Coffman didn't blow up the record books in his 11-year NFL career, but he was nonetheless an extremely consistent player during his time with the Packers, racking up 4,223 yards and 39 touchdowns in eight seasons in Green Bay.
Jordy Nelson (2008-present), WR
A product of Manhattan, Kan., Nelson has been the pride of the city that hosts K-State. He initially walked on at KSU during the latter stages of Bill Snyder's first tenure. The 6-foot-3 wide receiver exploded in his senior season, earning a consensus All-American distinction after corralling the second-most yards (1,606) and receiving touchdowns (11) in the Big 12 in his senior season. Nelson has gone on to become an elite receiver in the NFL. After seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers, who drafted him in 2008, Nelson has won a Super Bowl, played in a Pro Bowl, and finished in the top 10 in receiving yards in three seasons. At 29, he still has plenty of football left, but he's already established himself as the best former K-State wide receiver in NFL history.
Getty ImagesPeter Aiken
Clarence Scott (1971-1983), DB
Often revered as one of the top-50 players in Browns' history, Scott spent all 13 seasons of his successful NFL career in Cleveland, starting 12 or more games in all but three seasons. It wasn't just his consistency that made him one of the most reliable defensive backs in NFL history. The Georgia native, raised in the Atlanta area, was an excellent man-to-man defender, evidenced by his 39 career interceptions, which rank third all-time in Browns history and 84th all-time in the league. Scott's best season came in 1973, in which he swiped a career-high five interceptions, one of which he returned 45 yards for a touchdown. The former K-State All-American made the Pro Bowl that year and would go on to have many more stellar seasons in the NFL.
Getty ImagesGeorge Gojkovich
Darren Sproles (2005-present), RB
After having one of the best careers in K-State history, Darren Sproles is currently on the tail end of what could very well be a Hall of Fame NFL career. At 5-foot-6, 190 pounds, Sproles is an anomaly in a sport dominated by gargantuan men. Among his many accomplishments and records set at Kansas State, Sproles remains the Wildcats' all-time leading rusher. He has made his stamp on the professional game as well by notching the most all-purpose yards ever in a single season (2,696) in 2011, his first season with the New Orleans Saints after spending the first five seasons of his career with the San Diego Chargers. While he's continued to be a steady rusher in the NFL, Sproles is best known for his elusive return runs, and he recently led the league in punt return yards upon arriving at his third and current team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Terence Newman (2003-present), DB
The Salinas, Kan., native was an all-sports star in high school, and although it would take some time for him to land a starting position at K-State, he would have a stellar career in college as well. The uber-athletic 5-foot-11, 190-pound defensive back excelled both at cornerback and as a returnman, leading the Big 12 in return yards per kickoff and earning a consensus All-American tag for his senior season. Newman needed no grace period to thrive in the NFL, as he had an immediate impact on the Cowboys' secondary as a rookie. He played with the Cowboys for nine seasons and then spent three years in Cincinnati playing for the Bengals. Having just reached a one-year deal with the Vikings, Newman's outstanding career, in which he has started 172 out of 174 games, will continue for an impressive 13th season.
Getty ImagesTom Szczerbowski
Lynn Dickey (1971-1985), QB
Dickey, who grew up in Osawatomie, Kan., was a stud quarterback at Kansas State, leading the Big 8 in passing yards in all three of his years as a starter. While in Manhattan, Dickey compiled an unflattering Big 8-record 64 interceptions, which would have overshadowed his 29 touchdowns had he not amassed a total of 6,208 passing yards in his college career. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound QB was drafted by the Houston Oilers, whom he played with for four years, but his career in the NFL didn't take off until he was traded to the Green Bay Packers. There, Dickey threw for 21,369 yards and 133 touchdowns in nine seasons, leading the NFL in both passing TDs and passing yards (and interceptions) by a healthy margin in 1983. Dickey is the only K-State player, alongside Steve Grogan to have his number retired (#11).
Getty ImagesFocus On Sport
Larry Brown (1969-1976), RB
Brown falls just shy of No. 1 on the list of K-State's most successful alumni in the NFL, but he is certainly the Wildcats' most decorated pro. The tenacious 5-foot-11, 195-pound running back from Clairton, Penn., had an immediate impact on the Redskins, with whom he spent the duration of his eight-year career. The four-time Pro Bowler rushed for a team-record 888 yards in his rookie season, helping the Redskins record their first winning season in 14 years. In 1972, Brown, who known for his grit, was named NFL MVP for a career season in which he led the league in yards per game (101). Brown's career was ultimately snipped short by injuries, but he is still mentioned among the greatest players in Redskins franchise history.
Steve Grogan (1975-1990), QB
Grogan didn't have a dazzling career at K-State — due primarily to injuries, which would recur throughout his NFL career — but he went on to become a tremendously consistent quarterback in the professional ranks, where he logged 26,886 passing yards and 182 TDs over a 16-year career. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound offensive general, who grew up in Ottawa, Kan., is the only player in KSU football history to have his number retired (#11). In the beginning of his career, Grogan was known for his dual-threat versatility, which hit its apex in his second season, in which he ran for 12 TDs, then a record among NFL quarterbacks. (Walter Payton only notched one more touchdown than him that season). Injuries put a damper on his versatility, but he muscled through the setbacks and helped lead the Patriots to the Super Bowl in the 1985 season.