DARON DEAN - 96751 QUARTERBACKS/ The best: Highland Park/ Bobby Layne and Matthew Stafford are arguably the top two quarterbacks to ever play for a Dallas-area high school, and both attended Highland Park. Layne starred at Texas, was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, won three NFL titles with the Detroit Lions in the 1950s and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In between, Highland Park had several quarterbacks go on to play in college, including Scott Smith (Baylor), Lance McIlhenny (SMU), Rob Moerschell (Texas), John Stollenwerck (SMU, Missouri), Alexander Webb (Northwestern) and Bill Foran (Princeton).
Tom Fox - Staff Photographer RUNNING BACKS/ The best: DeSoto/ Byron Hanspard, Tatum Bell, Cyrus Gray and Dontre Wilson rushed for a combined 7,181 yards in their senior seasons at DeSoto. Hanspard went on to become a Doak Walker Award winner at Texas Tech, Bell played five seasons with the Denver Broncos, and Gray starred at Texas A&M before being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012. Wilson, an Ohio State signee, was one of the top recruits in the nation last year and led DeSoto to the state semifinals.
Michael Ainsworth - Staff Photographer WIDE RECEIVERS/ The best: Cedar Hill/ The Longhorns didn’t rise to prominence until 2006, but Cedar Hill has been fertile ground for receivers since then. The state championship team of 2006 featured receivers Romie Blaylock, who played for Baylor, and Dezmon Briscoe, who starred at Kansas and has played three seasons in the NFL. The Longhorns’ star quarterback that season, William Cole, was also a receiver until taking over at QB because of an injury. Cole played wide receiver briefly at Oklahoma State The Longhorns have produced more than a half dozen college receivers since then, and their Class of 2013 WR signing class was huge. Quincy Adeboyejo signed with Mississippi, Brandon Harris signed with Iowa State and Travis Wilson signed with Nevada. Laquvionte Gonzalez, an RB/WR hybrid, signed with Texas A&M.
Christian Randolph - Staff Photographer OFFENSIVE LINE/ The best: Euless Trinity/ Largely drawing from a population of rugby-playing Tongans and Samoans, Trinity’s “Hawgs” are the engine behind the program’s grind-’em-up offense. In seven of the last eight seasons, Trinity has produced at least one FBS or FCS signee. There are at least two FBS pledges on this season’s team: senior Lem Galea’i (Oklahoma State) and junior Patrick Vahe (Texas).
DAVID MINTON - Denton Record Chronicle DENTON R DEFENSIVE LINE/ The best: Denton Ryan/ When Joey Florence took over the Ryan program in 2000, he told his father — longtime Rockwall coach and athletic director Mickey Florence — that he believed he had five Division I defensive linemen. All five made college rosters, with Jarvis Moss and Brian Smith eventually drafted by NFL teams. Derek Lokey made the NFL with Kansas City in 2008. Josh Williams recently signed a three-year contract with Chicago. The most recent prospect, five-star Florida State signee Mario Edwards Jr., is expected to have a breakout sophomore season in the ACC.
Ricky Moon/Special Contributor - 143241 LINEBACKERS/ The best: Skyline/ In just the last six years, Skyline has had nine linebackers who were ranked among SportsDay’s top 100 area recruits. The linebacker riches were most notable when the 2010 signing class of Domonique Patterson (Texas A&M) and Corey Nelson (Oklahoma) was followed by the 2011 class of Anthony Wallace (Oregon) and Mike Moore (Kansas State). Peter Jinkens signed with Texas in 2012, and Isaiah Williams signed with Kansas State earlier this year. Skyline has also had some NFL linebackers. Dante Jones, a 1983 Skyline graduate, played eight seasons in the pros, and Antonio Wilson, a 1995 grad, spent three seasons in the league.
Vernon Bryant - Staff Photographer DEFENSIVE BACKS/ The best: South Oak Cliff/ Michael Lynn Downs went undrafted in 1981 because scouts didn’t think he was a good enough tackler. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cowboys and proceeded to start the next eight seasons as a free safety. Joe King was a fleet-footed quarterback at South Oak Cliff in the mid-1980s, and he later spent four seasons as a DB in the NFL. Two of the four defensive backs named to SportsDay’s all-time all-area team in 1984 came from South Oak Cliff: Alcy Jackson (1972) and Egypt Allen (1964). Danny Colbert was an honorable mention. South Oak Cliff has continued to produce scholarship DBs in the last decade, including Kevin Brent (Oklahoma), Anthony Webb (Kansas), Melvinson Hartfield (Arkansas) and Frankie Solomon (New Mexico). Jyaz Jones, a 2014 Iowa pledge, is the 53rd-ranked recruit in the area.
Ben Torres - Special Contributor KICKERS/ The best: Lake Highlands/ Lake Highlands has produced Pro Bowl kickers Matt Stover and Phil Dawson. Stover, who played in the NFL from 1991-2009, ranks fifth in league history in field goals made and points scored in a career. He kicked for a Super Bowl winner with the Ravens. Dawson, who now kicks for the 49ers, is 21st on the all-time field goals list. He was a third-team selection on the UIL’s all-century team. Lake Highlands also had kickers Bobby Renkes, Jason Dann and Mitchell Henton go on to college football programs. Renkes was a kickoff specialist at Notre Dame, and Dann had the same job at Texas State last year. Henton is a freshman at Midwestern State.
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