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Florida vs. Texas: A look back at the all-time greatest prep players

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Tue. September 14, 2010 | Eduardo A. Encina

Florida vs. Texas: A look back at the all-time greatest prep players

Florida meets Texas this week when Plant travels to Abilene for a nationally-televised matchup Thursday. And that got us to thinking about the best prep players of all time to come out of these two football powerhouses. We’d like to see what might happen if Emmitt Smith met Mike Singletary between the tackles, or even a race between Deion Sanders and Darrell Green. Here’s our top 10 lists of the best players to come from each state and a look at year’s top seniors from the Lone Star and Sunshine states.

Top 10 Florida players (all-time)
1. Emmitt Smith (Pensacola Escambia): NFL’s all-time rushing leader still owns the state career rushing record of 8,804 yards
2. Tim Tebow (Ponte Vedra Beach Nease): Owns the state’s career total offense record of 13,042 yards (9,922 passing, 3,120 rushing)
3. Rick Casares (Jefferson): Some believed he could have gone from preps to the pros. Owns Bears career-rushing record before Walter Payton.
4. Deion Sanders (North Fort Myers): Prime Time was an amazing option quarterback, played three sports in HS
5. Derrick Brooks (Pensacola Washington): Best Buc ever was USA Today Defensive Player of the Year in 1990
6. Wilber Marshall (Titusville Astronaut): Future all-pro LB was Parade All-American as a senior
7. Daunte Culpepper (Ocala Vanguard): Created new mold of quarterback, tallied 3,672 total offense yards as a senior
8. Anquan Boldin (Pahokee): As a HS quarterback, he was first player in state history to surpass 11,000 career yards total offense
9. Darrell Jackson (Tampa Catholic): In the mid 1990s set a national HS record for career receiving yards with 4,594
10. Tommie Frazier (Bradenton Manatee): Perhaps one of the best college players ever, came to Nebraska as No. 2 ranked recruit and won back-to-back national titles

Top 10 Texas players (all-time)
1. Sammy Baugh (Sweetwater): One of the game’s all-time greats, he was a QB and punter and a three-sport star in HS in the early 1930s, was eventually named third best pro player of 20th century
2. Earl Campbell (John Tyler): Averaged 225 rushing yards a game as a senior — after being converted from linebacker. A true Texas, played at Texas in college and the NFL’s Oilers
3. Vince Young (Houston Madison): The Sporting News’ top prospect as a senior in 2001, he was just as good as a swingman and sprinter
4. Eric Dickerson (Sealy): Ran for 296 yards and four TDs in state championship game his senior year and won state track titles in the 100 and 200
5. Mike Singletary (Houston Worthing): Didn’t play football until middle school, but became two-time NFL defensive player of the year
6. Darrell Green (Houston Jones): Didn’t make the his varsity team until his senior year, went to tiny Texas A&I, but is still known as one of fastest men to play the game
7. Gene Upshaw (Robstown): Undersized out of high school, he was all-conference 11 straight years; eventual Hall of Famer
8. Mean Joe Greene (Temple Dunbar): Anchor of the Steel Curtain was timid as a youth, but football brought out an edge that led to a Hall of Fame career
9. Roy Williams (Odessa Permian): Was all-state at school that was the subject of Friday Night Lights;” also shined in track, basketball and baseball
10. Raymond Berry (Paris)
Six-time Pro Bowler didn’t start until his senior year, even though his father was the coach

Top five Florida recruits
1. James Wilder Jr. (Plant): Physically, the Florida State commit RB already would fit the part at an NFL combine.
2. Tony Steward (St. Augustine Menendez): Nation’s No. 1 ranked LB prospect by Rivals can play any of the three LB positions
3. Jeff Driskel (Oviedo Hagerty): Florida QB commit has great size (6-3, 225) and strong arm
4. Karlos Williams (Davenport Ridge): Florida State commit could be the best safety in the nation, or an outstanding linebacker.
5. Nick O’Leary (Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer): Jack Nicklaus’ grandson is a rare vertical weapon from the TE position

Top five Texas recruits
1. Malcolm Brown (Cibolo Steele): Texas commit is a bulldozer (6-0, 220) with ability to accelerate downfield; ranked No. 2 RB in nation by ESPN
2. Steve Edmond (Daingerfield): Texas commit can make plays all over the field, believed to be an early contributor; ranked No.16 overall by Rivals
3. Aaron Green (San Antonio Madison): ESPN’s No. 3 ranked RB has excellent open-field moves
4. Desmond Jackson (Houston Westfield): Yet another Longhorns commit, he is ranked the nation’s No. 2 DT prospect by ESPN
5. Herschel Sims (Abilene): Oklahoma State commit ran for 2,200 yards in Abilene’s 5A state championship season
 

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