Kurt Warner is widely considered the greatest undrafted player in the NFL history. He is the first quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl title during his first season as a starter.
He went on to play for 12 seasons, leading two teams to three Super Bowls. Even after retiring in 2010, he still holds NFL passing records. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
Warner and his wife of 25 years, Brenda, have seven children. Two of their boys have followed in his footsteps and currently play football at an elite level.
Kurt Warner’s NFL Origins
In 1994, Warner’s NFL dreams were dashed after he tanked a tryout for the Green Bay Packers. He stocked shelves at a grocery store until turning to the Arena Football League, where he was a breakout star during the 1996 and 1997 seasons.
He got a second shot at the NFL when he signed with the St. Louis Rams as a third-string quarterback in 1998. Warner was upgraded to starter in 1999, after the then-first string quarterback Trent Green tore his ACL during a preseason game.
Warner’s season was so impressive that he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. He was even named Super Bowl MVP after leading the Rams to their first ever Super Bowl win. His story is considered one of the greatest in NFL history, inspiring the film American Underdog.
American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Movie
In the 2021 film, American Underdog, Shazam! hero Zachary Levi and True Blood lead Anna Paquin star as Kurt and Brenda Warner. The film chronicles Warner’s meteoric rise from undrafted obscurity to NFL superstardom. It also explores the early years of the couple’s relationship.
Kurt met Brenda, a nursing student and ex-Marine, who was discharged from the service for hardship: her ex-husband had accidentally dropped their son, leaving him blind and brain damaged.
The divorced mother of two was reluctant to date the doggedly persistent fifth year Northern Iowa senior, but he instantly bonded with her children, and they decided to give a relationship a shot.
Warner moved into Brenda’s parents’ basement and picked up a job at a grocery store before joining the AFL. Their relationship was strained by his new career, but they got back together after her parents were both killed in a tornado.
Kurt and Brenda got married in 1997, and he adopted her two children. After an impressive season in the AFL, he was invited to try out for the St. Louis Rams. He was soon signed as a backup quarterback.
The movie shows Warner lead the Rams to a 27-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens during his first game as a starter. It concludes with the Rams’ Super Bowl XXXIV win over the Tennessee Titans.
Kurt Warner’s Children
The NFL Hall of Famer adopted Brenda’s two children, Zachary Taylor and Jesse Jo. The couple went on to have five more children, three girls and two boys. Both of his youngest sons play football.
Elijah Warner followed in his father’s footsteps and became a quarterback. The 19 year-old is a senior at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona. He will graduate in the spring of 2022. He is nationally ranked 1,776th out of 2,183 top college football recruits.
Elijah received offers to play from Connecticut, Ball State, Colorado State, Eastern Kentucky, and seven other colleges, though he signed with Temple University on February 2, 2022.
Kurt Warner’s Son Kade Warner
Kade Warner stunned at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona during his three seasons as a varsity player, earning almost 3,000 receiving yards and 35 touchdowns.
He joined the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2018, where he started seven games and had 17 receptions. The following year, he had only five starts due to an injury, but he still managed to rack up 101 receiving yards.
He was voted team captain in 2020 and played in all eight games. However, he only caught five passes for 40 yards, as the team has declined over the last few seasons.
In January of 2021, Warner, along with teammates Luke McCaffrey, Wan’dale Robinson, and Will Farnoik, announced his intention to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal with two years of eligibility left.
Kade was picked up by Big 12 team Kansas State, where he played all 13 games and hit a career high with 14 catches for 166 yards. He will finish out his final NCAA season as a Wildcat in 2023.