Txprepsfootball.com All Time Team
Selection Criteria: It was not a requirement that the players on our team be the greatest high school players, or for that matter, the greatest college or NFL players. The selections were based on the fact that they were some of the finest to ever play the game at some level in their career, whether it be high school, college or professional football and on the fact that they spent most or all of their time attending Texas high schools. Some players were the best in their field at all levels, while others excelled so much at one level that they could not justifiably be left off the team.
Sammy Baugh, Sweetwater, 1932
“Slingin Sammy” Baugh and his family moved to Sweetwater when he was sixteen. Upon graduation from high school, Baugh attended Texas Christian University where he was a consensus All-American his senior year and finished 4th in the Heisman Trophy voting. A multi sport athlete, he originally signed with the St. Louis Cardinals to play baseball, but soon turned to football where he led the NFL in passing his rookie season with the Washington Redskins. Baugh stayed with Washington through the 1952 season, playing for 16 seasons, a record at that time. He led the NFL in passing six times, punting average four times, and interceptions once. He is the only player to lead the league in an offensive, defensive, and special teams category. He was named All-Pro nine times and was named to the NFL 75th anniverary all-time team as well being named as the 3rd greatest player of the 20th century by the Associated Press (1999). He was an inagural member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
Y.A. Tittle, Marshall, 1943
After leaving Marshall High School, Tittle attended LSU where he led the Tigers to a 9-1 ranking and #8 ranking in his most prolific college season. Title began his NFL career in 1948 with the Baltimore Colts, then he played 10 seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, before moving to the New York Giants in 1960, where he enjoyed some of his best seasons. In his 17 year career, Tittle passed for 33,070 yards and 242 touchdowns, while twice receiving the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. Tittle was the first and one of only seven quarterbacks in NFL history to have achieved consecutive 30-touchdown passing seasons. The others are Steve Bartkowski, Brett Favre, Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Jeff Garcia and Peyton Manning. Tittle’s 36 touchdown passes in the 1963 season would remain an NFL record until Marino threw 48 touchdown passes in 1984. In 1971, he was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and had his #14 jersey retired by the New York Giants.
Vince Young, Houston Madison, 2001
Young’s unique size (6-5) and speed (all-state in track) helped make him a tremendous all-around high school athlete. In basketball he played as a guard/forward and averaged more than 25 points per game over his career. In track and field he was a three-year letterman and member of two district champion 400-meter relay squads. In baseball he played for two seasons, spending time as both an outfielder and pitcher. He was named the national high school football player of the year his senior season by Parade Magazine and Student Sports, while being named the top high school prospect by The Sporting News. Young attended The University of Texas after high school and led the Horns to a 30-2 record during his time as the starting QB while establishIing a school record for completion percentage (60.8%). He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting his junior year (behind Reggie Bush), while leading Texas to a national title. Young turned pro after his junior season and was the number three selection in the 2006 draft by the Tennessee Titans. The pick immediately payed huge dividends as he was selected the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in his inaugural season.
Earl Campbell, John Tyler, 1973
Campbell was truly a “man among boys” in high school and former OU coach Barry Switzer stated that he was the only player he ever saw who could have gone directly from high school to the pros and had immediate success. Few could have projected Campbell’s success at running back in his junior year of 1972 however, as he was an All-American linebacker for the John Tyler Lions. His prowess at running back became evident however and when he became a full time running back in 1973, all he did was average 225 yards per game and lead his team to an unblemished 15-0 record and a state championship, running for more than 200 yards in the title game. Playing for the University of Texas, he led the nation in rushing his senior year and was named winner of the Heisman Trophy. Campbell was the first pick overall in the 1978 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers, and in the same year was named Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press as well as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. He played in five Pro Bowls and finished his career with 9,407 yards and 74 touchdowns rushing along with 806 yards on 121 receptions and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.
Ken Hall, Sugarland, 1953
Though Bear Bryant admittedly misused Hall at Texas A&M and he suffered an injury which ended his pro career early, there is no denying that Hall was one of the greatest high school football players in history. Standing 6’1 and running the 100 yard dash in 9.3 seconds, he was simply bigger, stronger and faster than most anyone to step on the field during his time. He broke and set 17 national football records, many of which still stand today after 55 years. A triple threat, Hall also won state championships in track and field and led his team to a basketball state championship. Hall remains a legend today and his career football rushing record of 11,232 yards (1950-53) and 32.9 points per game (1953/12) are still national records. The Kenneth Hall Trophy (molded in Hall’s likeness) is presented annually to the most outstanding high school football player in the nation.
Eric Dickerson, Sealy, 1978
Dickerson was a phenomenal athlete. During his senior year in 1978, he led Sealy to an unbeaten season at 15-0 and rushed for 296 yards and four touchdowns in the state championship game. He won two state titles in track in 1977, running the 100 meters in 10.3 seconds and the 200 meters in 20.9 seconds. At SMU, he was named offensive player of the year in the Southwest Conference his junior and senior seasons and broke the conference yardage and rushing attempt records of Earl Campbell. In April, 1983, Dickerson was the first-round pick for the Los Angeles Rams and the second pick overall, after John Elway. In his inaugural season, Dickerson scored a career-high 20 touchdowns, while running for 1,808 yards and was named NFL Rookie of the Year, NFC Rookie of the Year, and Offensive Rookie of the year. He set rookie records in yardage gained, rushing attempts (390), and touchdowns (18). During the 1984 season, he ran for 2,105 yards, setting a single-season record. During his 11-year career, Dickerson gained 13,259 yards rushing, which was second all-time at the time of his retirement, and rushed for 90 touchdowns. In his first year of elgibility, he was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Billy Sims, Hooks, 1975
In three years of varsity football at Hooks High School, Sims rushed 1,128 times (a state record at the time, currently second behind Robert Strait) for 7,738 yards, including 441 carries in 1973 (another state record at the time, currently tied for second behind Ketric Sanford). He continues to hold the state and national record for most consecutive games with 100 yards or more, 38 (1972-1974). After leaving Hooks he moved on to the University of Oklahoma where he won the Heisman trophy his junior year and finished second his senior year. He averaged over seven yards-per-carry and became the first running back in Big 8 Conference (now the Big 12 Conference) history to rush for 300 yards in three consecutive games. He was the first pick of the 1980 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions and played in three pro bowls before a serious knee injury in 1984 ended what would have undoubtedly been a Hall of Fame career. Billy Sims career average yards per game (rushing and receiving combined) is 119.6, and only 3 running backs with over 5,000 yards in a career have averaged higher during their playing career; LaDainian Tomlinson, Jim Brown, and Edgerrin James.
Raymond Berry, Paris, 1951
Frankly, Berry’s high school career was less than impressive, as he didn’t become the full time starter until his senior year, even though his dad was the head coach. After high school he attended SMU and caught a total of 33 passes, hardly a precursor to one of the greatest NFL careers ever turned in by a wide receiver. Despite the fact that Berry wore a special shoe because one leg was shorter than the other, and was slow afoot, the Baltimore Colts thought enough of him to select him in the 20th round. He used a tireless work ethic and precise route running to become the starter by his second year and he never looked back. Berry was selected to the Pro Bowl six times and ended his NFL career in 1967 with an NFL record 631 receptions for 9,275 yards and 68 touchdowns (14.7 yards per catch). In 1973, Berry was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was ranked No. 40 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players in 1999.
Don Maynard, Colorado City, 1952
Maynard was a good athlete in high school, making his mark at tailback, wingback and defensive back for the Colorado City Wolves. He made an even greater impact in track, winning the high and low hurdles and helping the Wolves finish third in the Class 1A state meet. Maynard attended Rice briefly and then transferred to Texas Western (now Texas-El Paso), where he played from 1955-57, claiming All-America honors his final season. Don Maynard began his career when he was drafted by the New York Giants in 1957, but his best years were spent as the favorite target of New York Jet QB Joe Namath. Over his 17 year career Maynard was four times named an AFL All-Star and accumulated a record setting 633 career catches for 11,834 yards. At the time of his retirement, Maynard was one of only five players to record more than 50 receptions and more than 1,000 receiving yards in five different seasons. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
Charley Taylor, Dalworth High (Grand Prairie), 1959
Taylor was an excellent all-around athlete who played football and ran the high hurdles, threw the discus and shot put, competed in the long jump for the track team and played baseball during the summer as the high school had no team. As a result of his success on the playing field, he was named All-State in both track and football. After high school, Taylor attended Arizona State, where he was an All-American two years in a row. He was selected by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 1964 NFL draft and retired as the NFL’s all time leading receiver (at that time) with 649 catches for 9,110 yards and 79 touchdowns, while also playing in eight Pro Bowls over his career. He had 50 or more receptions seven times during a 13 year career and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984.
Roy Williams, Odessa Permian, 1999
Williams was all-state in both football and track at Odessa Permian where he played both receiver and safety while also returning kicks. He set 20 school records and earned three letters in both track and basketball. He won the long jump, finished second in the high jump and third in the 100 meters in track during his senior year. After enrolling at the University of Texas he established school records for receiving in a career with 241 receptions for 3,866 yards and 36 touchdowns, while being the only player in school history to have over 1,000 yards receiving in a season twice in a career. Williams went to the Detroit Lions as the seventh pick in the 2004 draft and paid immediate dividends as his 181 receptions and 2,814 receiving yards are the most by a Lions’ receiver in franchise history during the player’s first three NFL seasons. He set several Lion rookie receiving records and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2007.
Gene Upshaw, Robstown, 1963
At 5’10, 180 lbs. in high school, Upshaw had yet to grow into the role of NFL pro bowler. Instead, he preferred baseball in high school and only played one year of varsity football. Threatened by his father Eugene Sr. that he would be kicked out of the house if he signed a minor league baseball contract instead of going to college, Upshaw reluctantly agreed to attend Texas A&I, where he parlayed his athletic ability into a scholarship despite his disdain for the violence and contact of football. By this time Upshaw had grown to an imposing 6’5′ and 265 lbs. He was named First Team All-Lone Star Conference and received honorable mention Little All-America from the Associated Press in his senior year and the Oakland Raiders made him the 17th pick of the 1967 NFL draft. Upshaw was All League or All Conference 11 consecutive years and was inducted into the NFL Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
E.J. Holub, Lubbock, 1957
After graduating from Lubbock High, Holub attended Texas Tech where he was an All-American center in 1959 and 1960, becoming the first Tech player in history to have his jersey retired. He was drafted by the Dallas Texans (who became the Kansas City Chiefs the next year) in 1961 and he would earn AFL All-Star honors in five different seasons with the club. In addition to center, he also started at linebacker and was the only player to start two Super Bowls at different positions. Nine knee surgeries eventually took their toll on Holub and he retired after the 1970 season. He is a member of the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame.
Forrest Gregg, Sulpher Springs 1951
Upon graduation from Sulpher Springs, Gregg starred at Southern Methodist and became the second pick of the Green Bay Packers in 1956, where he played in a then league record of 188 consecutive games. He was called “the finest player I ever coached” by Vince Lombardi and was a nine time All-Pro selection as well as being a member of the 1960s All-Decade Team and a member of the 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977 and had a successful coaching career after his playing days were over.
Jerry Sizemore, Plainview, 1969
After leaving Planview High School, Sizemore attended the University of Texas where he became a consensus All-American in 1971 and 72. From there, Sizemore was drafted in the first round of the 1973 draft (No. 3 overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles and would go on to earn recognition as one of the game’s premier offensive tackles as he was the cornerstone of an elite Eagle offensive line, starting 127 consecutive games and being named to the Pro Bowl in 1979 and 1981. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Eagles Honor Roll in 1991.
Leonard Davis, Wortham, 1996
Davis was an all around athlete in high school, as he lettered in track (shot put, discus) and helped lead Wortham to a title in class 1A basketball, as well as being named 1st team All-State on offense and defense in football, in addition to being named Parade Magazine and USA Today All-America first-team selections. At the University of Texas he was a first team All-American his senior year and a finalist for the Outland Trophy. He was the second overall selection by the Cardinals in the 2001 draft and played in the Pro Bowl in 2007 after being traded to the Dallas Cowboys.
Mark Mosely, Livingston, 1966
Upon finishing high school in Livingston, Mosely attended Texas A&M and Stephen F. Austin. From there, he was drafted by the Philadelphis Eagles in 1970, but he landed with the Washington Redskins in 1974 and that is where he would make his mark. Mosely became the last of the straight on kickers in 1982 with the retirement of the Vikings Rick Danmeier, in a career that spanned sixteen years. He is the Redskins all-time leading scorer with 1,207 points, was named to three Pro Bowls and is the only placekicker in the history of the NFL to win an MVP award (during the strike shortened 1982 season).
Bob Lilly, Throckmorton, 1956
Although Lilly moved to Oregon his senior year in high school, he was a Texan through and through, having attended Throckmorton High School and spending his college and pro career in the Dallas area, as he attended TCU in college and played for the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL. He was an All-American at TCU and the number one draft choice of the Cowboys in 1961. He was a member of the All-Decade teams of the 60′s and 70′s, a member of the NFL’s 75th anniversary team, an eleven time Pro Bowler and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980. In 1999, he was ranked number 10 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the highest-ranking defensive lineman and the highest-ranking Cowboy. The only two other defensive players ahead of him were Dick Butkus and Lawrence Taylor. Sports Illustrated named him one of the 10 most revolutionary defensive players.
“Mean” Joe Green, Dunbar HS (Temple), 1965
After leaving Temple High School, Green attended North Texas University where he picked up his moniker “Mean” Joe Green. The “Mean Green” fashioned a 23-5-1 record during Green’s time, and held opposing offenses to less than two yards per rush. Green was a consensus All-American in 1968 and was the fourth pick of the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers the following year. Green became the mainstay of the defense on a team that went on to win four Super Bowls and was labeled as one of the greatest NFL teams of all-time. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1969, All-Pro eleven times, and was selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary Team, while being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
John Randle, Hearne HS, 1984
After leaving Hearne High School Randle attended Trinity Valley Junior College before moving on to Texas A&I. Selected as a first team All-American in 1988, Randle was twice named the Lone Star Conference’s Lineman of the Year, amassing 105 tackles and 34 career sacks in leading the Javelinas to back-to-back conference championships in 1988 and ’89 along with two trips to the NCAA Division II playoffs. Although he went undrafted, Randle played 14 years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, including a stretch of 176 consecutive games, and the Seattle Seahawks. Named an All-Pro seven times, he recorded double-digit sacks during eight different seasons, including a career-high and league-leading 15.5 sacks in 1997. He retired as the league’s all-time leader in sacks by a defensive tackle (137.5). A member of the 1990s All-Decade Team and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008, as well as being inducted in to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2010.
Michael Strahan, Houston Westbury, 1988
Strahan followed his father, who was in the military, to Germany and returned to play only one season of high school football. Although he was given a football scholarship at Texas Southern, he became disillusioned and nearly quit. With his father’s guidance he returned with a new resolve and by the time he was finished with college he had set a school record of 41.5 sacks, with 19 quarterback takedowns in his senior season alone. He was named Black College Defensive Player of the Year after his junior and senior seasons, and was an Associated Press All-American in 1992. Strahan was selected by the New York Giants after college. Despite a slow start professionally, due in big part to injuries, he came into his own to become one of the most dominant defensive players of his era. During the 2001 season Strahan broke an 18-year-old mark by setting a single-season record in the National Football League (NFL) with 22.5 sacks. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001; named Pro Bowl alternate in 2000 and named Defensive Player of the Year in 2001.
Tommy Nobis, San Antonio Jefferson, 1961
Nobis was an All-State offensive end and linebacker at San Antonio Jefferson. He attended the University of Texas where he became one of college football’s greatest linebackers, averaging nearly 20 tackles per game. He was a two time All-American, a three time All Southwest Conference selection, played as interior lineman and linebacker, and won the Knute Rockne Award (best lineman), the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) and the Maxwell Trophy (best college player) his senior season. He was the first pick in the 1966 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons and amassed an amazing 294 combined tackles his rookie season, which still stands as a Falcon record. He was a five time Pro Bowl selection, a member of the 1960s All-Decade team and a member of the Texas and Georgia Sports Hall of Fames.
Jack Pardee, Christoval, 1952
Pardee excelled in six-man football at Christoval and is the only six-man player to have played and coached in the NFL. He attended Texas A&M after high school and became an All-American linebacker and fullback for the Aggies and was a member of the famed “Junction Boys” coached by Paul “Bear” Bryant. He was a second round draft choice of the Los Angeles Rams and played for them from 1957-1970, sitting out 1965 while battling Melanoma cancer. He played his final two years for the Washington Redskins and later went on to a successful coaching career in college and in the Pros. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame (1986).
Jessie Armstead, Dallas Carter, 1988
Armstead was considered the top high school player in the state and the nation his senior year at Dallas Carter, leading the Cowboys to the 1988 state championship (which was later forfeited due to an ineligible player). A college standout at the University of Miami, he lasted until the eighth round of the 1993 NFL draft due to tearing an anterior cruciate ligament his sophomore year. He was selected by the New York Giants and would go on to be a five time Pro Bowl selection, amassing 752 career tackles, 40 sacks and 12 interceptions.
Mike Singletary, Worthing HS (Houston), 1977
Singletary showed enough at Worthing High School in Houston to be offered a scholarship to Baylor University where he averaged 15 tackles per game and was an All-American his junior and senior seasons. After being drafted by the Chicago Bears he gained the starting role in the seventh game of his rookie season and went on to earn an all-rookie selection. He went on to start 172 games for the Bears in his 12 year career, earning 10 pro bowl selections and twice being the NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1985, 1988). In addition, he was named to the 1980s all-decade team and enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
Dick “Night Train” Lane, L.C. Anderson (Austin), 1946
After finishing high school in Austin, Lane spent one year in junior college, before serving in the Army the next four years. At age 24 he showed up at the Los Angeles Rams training camp and not only earned a place on the team, but went on to start and set an NFL record with 14 interceptions. He was traded to the Chicago Cardinals in 1954 and to the Detroit Lions in 1960. Lane, who earned his nickname from a song during his era and was a ferocious hitter, was named the best cornerback in the first 50 years of pro football in 1969 and was ranked number 19 on the Sporting News list of 100 greatest football players in 1999. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.
Darrell Green, Jessie Jones (Houston), 1978
After playing high school football on the JV his junior year, Green turned in to an all-state track star and all-city defensive back his senior year. Because of his diminutive size (5-8, 180), he drew little interest in college and ended up attending Texas A&I. There he would go on to showcase his blazing speed (only Olympic legend Carl Lewis clocked a faster 100 meters his senior year) and prowess as a defensive back as he earned All-American honors and a first draft pick by the Washington Redskins in 1983. He is the 4-time winner of the NFL’s Fastest Man competition, and the only undefeated multiple winner in NFL history. In 20 NFL seasons, Green recorded 54 interceptions, which he returned for 631 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also returned 51 punts for 611 yards and recovered 10 fumbles, returning them for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was a seven time pro bowler, elected to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and a first ballot entry in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
Yale Lary, Northside (Fort Worth), 1948
After attending Northside High School in Fort Worth, Lary attended Texas A&M, where he excelled at both football and baseball. He was a third round draft choice of the Detroit Lions in 1952 and went on to star at right safety (now free safety), intercepting 50 passes in his career, an impressive total during that era, especially considering teams rarely threw to his side and the fact that he spent the 54-55′ seasons in the military. He was a Pro Bowl selection nine times and was selected to the 1950′s NFL All-Decade team. An outstanding punter as well, Lary was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
Ken Houston, Dunbar HS (Lufkin), 1962
Houston was a good athlete at Dunbar High School in Lufkin, but drew little interest from colleges and ended up at Prairie State College where Houston ran track and was on the swim team in addition to playing linebacker, where he was selected as an All-American. Houston was selected in the 1967 NFL draft by the Houston Oilers, who moved him to defensive back, where he played for six seasons before being traded to the Washington Redskins, where he spent the remainder of his career. Houston was selected to 12 Pro Bowls and intercepted 49 passes, recovered 21 fumbles, gained 1,498 return yards (on interception, fumble, blocked field goal, kickoff, and punt returns), while scoring 12 touchdowns. He was on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Sammy Baugh, Sweetwater, 1932
In addition to being selected as a quarterback on our all-time team, Sammy Baugh is also our punter. This multi talented athlete’s numbers are simply too great to ignore as he was one of the greatest punters in pro football history. He holds the record for the highest career average (45.1) and has the best (51.4 in 1940) and third best ( 48.7 in 1941) season marks in NFL history.