Lone Star Gridiron

Texas Players Highlight NFL Draft

The NFL draft is here and Texas once again looks like the top place to get talent. As many as five former Texas high school players could go in the top 10 picks. These top players are QB Matthew Stafford, OL Jason Smith, WR Michael Crabtree, DE Brian Orakpo, TE Brandon Pettigrew and a sleeper pick of QB Rhett Bomar.

Jason Smith is an Offensive Tackle from Baylor. He was only a two star recruit coming out of W.T. White in Dallas. Smith just shows you that its not always the 5 star and 4 star recruits that make it big. He was a standout performer at White where he was named to The Dallas Morning News Top 100 Area List as a senior. After earning first-team All-District honors as a sophomore and junior at offensive tackle, he moved to tight end, serving as team captain during his senior season. That year, he caught seven passes for 101 yards and one touchdown en route to 2003 All-District 10-5A honors. The two-time team Most Valuable Player also competed in the 2004 Coca-Cola High School Football All-Star Game.

Michael Crabtree is a Wide Reciever from Texas Tech. He was a four star recruit out of Dallas Carter. He was listed as the #16 athlete. He played QuarterBack for the Cowboys but he always knew he was supposed to be a wide out. He was a member of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Fab 44 team. He earned All-Area accolades from the Dallas Morning News after throwing for 870 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior year.

Brian Orakpo is a Defensive End who played for Texas. He was a four-star recruit ranked #12 amongst the defensive ends from Houston Lamar. He lettered three times at defensive end at Lamar. He was a two-time first-team All-District choice and helped his team to a 29-8 mark in those three seasons. He also saw action at tight end. In his senior season, he was tabbed second-team All-Greater Houston and All-District 18-5A, despite missing one-third of his year with an injury. He still managed to register 36 tackles, nine quarterback sacks and 12 stops for losses in 2003. While compiling those stats it helped his team compile an 11-2 record to reach the state quarterfinals.

Brandon Pettigrew is a Tight End from Oklahoma State. He was another one of those two-star recruits that made it big from Tyler Lee. In his senior season, Pettigrew earned All-State honors. Despite playing primarily as a blocker, he was rated as the best tight end in Texas by numerous recruiting services. He was All-District and All-East Texas choice and he also played on the defensive line.

Matthew Stafford is a QuarterBack from Georgia by way of Dallas Highland Park. Highland Park is the alma mater of other greats like Bobby Layne and Doak Walker. He was a Five Star recruit listed as the #1 Quarterback and #6 Overall. He was widely considered to be one of the best high school quarterbacks in the United States in the class of 2006. Stafford announced he would forgo his senior year of college and declare for the 2009 NFL Draft. It was announced on April 22, 2009 that he was negotiating a deal with the Detroit Lions to be the #1 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. In high school, he injured his knee during summer workouts and had to miss the first two games of the season. After coming back from his injury, Stafford led his team to a 15-0 record and threw for 3,991 yards, 38 touchdowns and 6 interception en route to the Texas UIL 4-A Division 1 state football championship, This was Highland Park's first state football championship in 48 years. Stafford is the only quarterback in Highland Park history to lead his team to a 15-0 season.

The sleeper pick might be Rhett Bomar from Sam Houston State. Bomar is a Quarterback from Grand Prairie. He threw for 6,097 yards and 58 touchdowns, completing 62.1 percent of his pass attempts during his high school career. He also rushed for 1,623 yards with 33 scores and averaged 286.0 yards per game in total offense while appearing in 27 contests.

It will sure be fun watching these stars play on Sundays. We send out a big Lone Star Gridiron salute to these players and the many other Texas players that will be going to the NFL.

By: Michael Wright
Lone Star Gridiron

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