SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — With the National Football League conference championship games set for this weekend, there are several Northern California natives who are just one win away from playing in the Super Bowl.
The Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs for the American Football Conference championship Sunday at 12 p.m.
Chidobe Awuzie, cornerback (San Jose, CA — Oak Grove High School, Class of 2012)
Awuzie grew up in San Jose to Nigerian immigrant parents.
At Oak Grove High School, Awuzie played running back and recorded six 100-yard games and two 200-yard games as a senior.
Awuzie is in his first season with the Bengals after joining the team as an unrestricted free agent in March.
Joe Mixon, running back (Oakley, CA — Freedom High School, Class of 2014)
Selected by the Bengals in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft (48th overall) and in Sept. 2020 signed a four-year contract extension worth $48 million.
Attended Freedom High School, where he rushed for 1,704 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior and was selected to play in the 2014 U.S. Army High School All-American game.
Mixon was one of three Bengals selected to the Pro Bowl in 2021.
Jonah Williams, offensive tackle (Folsom, CA — Folsom High School, Class of 2016)
As a junior at Folsom High School, Williams helped the team win a California Division 1 state championship in 2014.
Selected by the Bengals in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft (11th overall).
Jake Browning, quarterback (Folsom, CA — Folsom High School, Class of 2015)
Browning is currently on the Bengals practice squad.
He spent the last two seasons on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad after signing as a free agent in 2019.
According to Max Preps, as a senior Browning recorded 5,790 yards and 91 touchdown passes.
In 46 starts at Folsom, Browning led the Bulldogs to a 44-2 record — including a perfect 16-0 his senior year while winning the CIF Division 1 state title.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers will travel south to face its NFC West rival the Los Angeles Rams Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Arik Armstead, defensive tackle (Elk Grove, CA — Pleasant Grove High School, Class of 2012)
Armstead attended Pleasant Grove High School where he was a two-way standout on the defensive and offensive lines.
As a senior at Pleasant Grove High School, Armstead recorded 42 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Drafted by the 49ers in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft (17th overall), signed a five-year contract extension through 2024 in 2020.
Aaron Banks, guard (Alameda, CA — El Cerrito High School, Class of 2017)
At El Cerrito High School, Banks helped the team reach the second round of the 2016 CIF-North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs.
As a senior in 2017, Banks was ranked as one of the top offensive line prospects out of Northern California.
Banks was drafted by the 49ers in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft (48th overall).
Although fans have not seen much of the second-round draft pick, Banks did suit up for the 49er’s last five regular-season games on special teams.