NFL Football Players From Aliquippa, PA

Updated on October 7, 2016
LisaMarie724 profile image

Lisa Stover is a part-time writer that has been published on numerous sites. She hails from Pittsburgh, PA.

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This article is about Aliquippa, PA, and the many famous NFL football players that come from there. But, first let's talk about this extraordinary little town .

Aliquippa, PA is located about 29 miles outside of, the much larger city, Pittsburgh. It's a fairly small town/city. In the not so distant past Quip, the nickname given to the city by the locals, was a thriving community. That ended, however, in the early 1980's when the steel mills started moving away. With the closing of the mills, people found multiple generations of their families out of work; up until then grandfathers, fathers, and sons worked side by side in these mills. With no other jobs to be found most people moved away from the area, to find work elsewhere. This caused the city’s population to drop drastically. Those who stayed found themselves struggling just to feed their families. This hasn't changed. The struggle to eat and survive is still strong in the city of Aliquippa.

The city of today is very different from the one my grandparents knew and loved. Everything is closed downtown, and the buildings are falling apart. Homes are in disrepair. The schools are severely behind academically, and there are no jobs. The city oozes with the sense of hopelessness. Children here do not have many chances; they are more likely to end up on welfare, in jail, or dead than they are to achieve any real success in a career. For this reason, the young aspire to become drug dealers or pro athletes, and perhaps Aliquippa, PA is the only place in the world that the odds look good in both cases.

According to Neighborhood Scout, Aliquippa, PA has one of the highest violent crimes rates in the nation, regardless of city size. Think of how small of a city Aliquippa truly is, and then realize that this city is up there in terms of violent crimes with some of the biggest cities in the nation. The city holds a population of only under 10,000 people. According to the FBI your chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Aliquippa, PA is 1 in 157.

We are nearing the end of 2016, and this city has already seen numerous murders, robberies, assaults, drug cases, and the list goes on and on.

This is not to put down the people of this city. Quips are tough-skinned and resilient people. When there is no way, they will simply make a way. And, the love they have for their city is unparalleled. You will never hear someone ashamed to say they are from Aliquipp. They will speak it with a sense of pride. And, they do have a reason to speak of their home with pride. Aliquippa, PA churns out NFL players like it's a Pro-football factory.

A View of Downtown Aliquippa, PA
A View of Downtown Aliquippa, PA

In the NFL, there are currently three players from Aliquippa, PA. Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets, Jonathan Baldwin of the Kansas City Chiefs, and Tommie Campbell of the Tennessee Titans.

Aliquippa PA


That is simply amazing to have three NFL players come from the same desolate city, but that’s not even the beginning. The list of NFL players from Aliquippa, PA is long and includes some of the greatest. Tony Dorsett, Sean Gilbert, Ty Law, Carmine DePascal, Anthony Dorsett Jr., Charles Fisher, Josh Lay, Curt Singer, Paul Posluszny, Bob Liggett, and Willie Walker all grew up in the tough streets of Aliquippa. Frank Gnup, who played in the Canadian league, also grew up in the same city.

Mike Ditka has had an amazing career in the NFL. Mike Ditka learned the game in Aliquippa, and may be one of the most famous of the "Fighting Quips" as of yet. Ditka won an NFL title as a player, an assistant coach, and as a head coach. There is only one other person who has done this in the history of the NFL.

Richard Mann is the wide receivers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. If you know football, than you know that is a huge accomplishment. Currently the Steelers hold the record for the most Super Bowl wins in the NFL. He was once a "Fighting Quip", as well.

Those are just two examples of the impact individuals from Aliquippa, PA have made on the NFL. But, the question is how?


Darelle Revis

Darelle Revis New York Jets
Darelle Revis New York Jets

Aliquippa, PA and the NFL

How is it possible that a poverty-stricken city keeps producing quality NFL players? Mark Yaros (36), a native of Quip, gives this answer. “Aliquippa has heart”. During Yaros’ high school career in Aliquippa he played basketball, football, ran track, as well as starting his own hockey team. “Kids in Aliquippa aren’t playing football just for fun. They are playing for their lives, for a way out. Quip is a tough place to grow up; you learn early on to stand your ground and to protect what is yours, or it will be taken away from you. These kids don’t have a lot, most have nothing to look forward to but football, so they put all of their pride into that game, and they’ll be damned if they let you take their pride from them. Quip doesn’t play to win; they play to demolish your entire team. The whole community takes football seriously, the coaches, the players, and the parents. If you don’t show up for practice the coach will show up at your mother’s house looking for you,” states Yaros who experienced exactly that. Yaros was playing other sports and grew tired of adding football practice on to that, so he simply stopped going. He wanted to quit the team. His coach showed up at his mother’s house pleading with her to talk her son into coming back. “That’s just the way it is here; the coaches become like family. They really want you to succeed and will go out of their way to help you. It's serious, I’ve seen 18-year-old grown men cry after they lost a game, and I dare you to laugh. These are some of the hardest men you wouldn’t want to meet, and they are crying about a football game.”

Ty Law
Ty Law

 

When I ask Yaros to explain a typical football practice to me, he says one word, “Running.” “The coaches told us if we can outrun our opponent, then we got it; we‘re good. If you can’t catch, but you can run fast as hell then you’re getting on the team. Everything else can be taught. But, if you got speed on you, well that’s something that you are or aren’t. It can't be taught to you.”

On game nights, the stadiums are packed. You have to agree with Yaros; these kids play with a ‘you’re not taking this away from me’ type of attitude. From start to finish they are giving it their all, and then some. It seems the whole community comes out to support their team, and perhaps the only place in Aliquippa where you don’t see the violence the city is famous for is here in these stadiums, during the games.

Quip is a very tough town to grow up in, but the people here are tougher. The only question left is, who will be the next NFL star from Aliquippa, PA?

WPXI - Aliquippa native Darrelle Revis hosts football clinic with NFL stars

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Jeanne Miller Way 

        5 weeks ago

        My grandfather, Dr John L Miller, was the team doctor for the Aliquippa football team for many years. I'm sure he was never paid, he loved they kids and football. He took Mike Ditka and other Aliquippa football players to University of Pittsburgh football games for years hoping they would choose Pitt. He introduced some of them to Pitt coaches. Mike said on national TV a few years ago, "Doc Miller patched me up many times back in high school" My grandfather loved Aliquippa so much. He practiced medicine for 65 years and delivered hundreds of babies including Pistol Pete Maravich. He moved to West Aliquippa as a young doctor way back in 1915. His son, my dad, John "Tudy" Miller was a State Senator from 1950 until 1968. Dr Miller died in 1971 when I was 18. Both of them truly loved Aliquippa. I miss them both so much. Jeanne Miller Way, Largo, Florida jeannemway@gmail.com

      • profile image

        willy hobbs 

        8 weeks ago

        Rember pistol pete maravich the pro basketball player. He was there for a while,

      • profile image

        Tom 

        7 months ago

        Ernie Pitts from Aliquippa

      • profile image

        irishred329 

        8 months ago

        Mike Ditka graduated from Aliquippa in 1957.

      • profile image

        Swannie 

        8 months ago

        Danny Rains Bears 85 SB CHAMPS Hopewell 73

      • profile image

        Robert Oros 

        8 months ago

        Don’t forget Tom Sakal. Minnesota Vikings. Class of 64 AHS. Played against Butler’s Terry Hanratty and the Saul brothers.

      • profile image

        James Pindilli 

        8 months ago

        Tony Dorsett, Paul Posluszny and Curt Singer are from Hopewell

      • profile image

        Tom morelli 

        8 months ago

        I grew up there and played for the Quips, Best place ever , miss it every day. Go Quips !

      • profile image

        joe koss 

        14 months ago

        does anyone remember jackie cleminson, quarter back when ditka played,where is jackie now/.

      • profile image

        Sharon 

        16 months ago

        Tony Dorsett also went to Hopewell High School, not Aliquippa. Graduated in 1973, one year ahead of me. Both schools have an Aliquippa mailing address as Hopewell did not have its own post office.

      • profile image

        I was born there 

        16 months ago

        Denicea lane

      • profile image

        Donnya 

        21 months ago

        This was very very interesting.

      • profile image

        hype 

        23 months ago

        dan short played for ny giants as a def . back also from quiptown!!!

      • profile image

        Tom 

        23 months ago

        You forgot Bill Koman from Hopewell who played guard for the St. Louis cardinals for 11 seasons.

      • profile image

        Noel E Wilson 

        2 years ago

        I Travel a lot and I meet a lot of people they ask me where is Aliquippa I always say about 30 miles outside Pittsburgh I call Aliquippa The NFL Capitol Of The World lol Abd start naming

      • LisaMarie724 profile imageAUTHOR

        Lisa Stover 

        2 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

        This article is not a complete list of players. Also I am aware that not all players attended Aliquippa high school, they went to Hopewell. But, this article is about players who are from Aliquippa PA. As us locals know Hopewell has an Aliquippa mailing address which does in fact mean that the players from Hopewell are players who came from Aliquippa PA.

      • profile image

        Philip 

        2 years ago

        There are other Aliquippa NFL players we tend to forget . Bob Liggett-Kansas City Chiefs. John Tazel- San Diego Chargers ?. Richard Mann-Cleveland Browns?. All Aliquippa High grads. In not sure but Joe Catroppa might have played also.

      • profile image

        Russell Meade 

        2 years ago

        How does everyone forget Mike Dikta? Big time football player at Aliquippa High, 1958 or 59. First team All-American at Univ. Pittsburgh. All Pro Tight End for Chicago Bears. Hall of Fame Football Player and Coach. No small feats here.

      • profile image

        Lorraine Gilbert 

        3 years ago

        Tony Dorsett and Curt Singer did not graduate from Aliquippa High School, they graduated from Hopewell High School which actually is an Aliquippa address, but everyone never gives Hopewell the credit. Just once I would love for people today they went to Hopewell High School!

      • profile image

        Douglas pnut motton 

        3 years ago

        Grew up In the tough tough town but got a break I was street ball legion got caught up with those streets and decided to drop out of school as a spoh but continue to wrk on my game and played summer league with my team and truly was a ballet they did quite well but the question always was ask what if you guys had pnut motton like you guy had in the summer and we all know the answer uniontown in 81 would have never happen ended up going to college out in Cali and plYed with all American earl ray minor who total took it to the quips but he knows also the truth but it thank Fod everyday for mark banks and my wonderful mother rest in peace mommy u were right he'll to the quips

      • profile image

        mike roberts 

        4 years ago

        There is no town better ANYWHERE

      • profile image

        Canuck 

        4 years ago

        how about Paul Posluszny LB from the Jags? isn't he from Aliquippa?

      • profile image

        Beth H 

        4 years ago

        Actually, Curt Singer is from Aliquippa in mailing address only...He went to Hopewell H.S.

      • LisaMarie724 profile imageAUTHOR

        Lisa Stover 

        6 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

        Thanks for reading Tamara :)

      • profile image

        Tamara 

        6 years ago

        Interesting. Three seems like a lot from one small town.

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