Last week, six players from the 2009 American Family Insurance ALL-USA high school football team were drafted by NFL teams. That would be impressive except that there are already nine players from the 2009 ALL-USA class drawing NFL paychecks because they turned pro a year early last year. A quick look at who’s doing what from the 2009 ALL-USA team:
Head of the advanced placement class: Alec Ogletree. The former Newnan, Ga., and University of Georgia player started all 16 games at outside linebacker for the St. Louis Rams, setting a team rookie record with 155 total tackles. Runner-up: Former Dwyer (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and University of Florida athlete Matt Elam had 77 tackles last season as a rookie safety for the Baltimore Ravens.
Head of the class: Jake Matthews. The former Elkins, Missouri City, Texas, offensive lineman was picked sixth overall in the 2014 draft by the Atlanta Falcons after being a consensus All-American last season at Texas A&M. Runner-up: Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, drafted in the third round by the Houston Texans, caught 30 passes for 299 yards and six touchdowns last season and should benefit from the Texans’ use of multiple tight-end sets.
Biggest risk-reward: Former Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) running back Marcus Lattimore, who sat out all of his rookie season with the San Francisco 49ers with a knee injury. Lattimore, who had a school-record 41 touchdowns in three seasons at South Carolina, is expected to be ready to play next season. Runner-up: Former Plainfield, Ind., offensive tackle James Hurst. He started a school-record 49 games for North Carolina but broke his left fibula in the Belk Bowl. He wasn’t drafted, but the Ravens took a flyer, signing the 6-5, 296-pounder as a free agent.
Free-agent steal: Former Plano (Texas) West player Jackson Jeffcoat, who was an All-American defensive end last season at Texas. Jeffcoat had 86 tackles and 13 sacks last season and was signed last week as a free agent by the Seattle Seahawks after going undrafted. Runner-up: Though his recent arrest for driving on a suspended license is a concern, James Wilder, Jr., ran for 563 yards and eight touchdowns last season for Florida State. The former Plant (Tampa) running back signed a free agent deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Triple transfer: Former Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) quarterback Phillip Sims, battling for the starting job at Division II Winston-Salem State this spring, will be playing for his third college team next fall. He started eight games in 2011 for Alabama before losing the starting job to A.J. McCarron as Alabama went on to win the national championship. The following season, Sims transferred to Virginia, but had to split playing time with Michael Rocco. After being declared academically ineligible at Virginia, Sims transferred to Winston-Salem State and sat out last season.
Most peripatetic path: Chris Martin of Grandview (Aurora, Colo.) was listed as the No. 18 prospect overall by Rivals.com his senior year. Since then, he’s been on six college campuses, but has yet to play in a Division I game. He initially signed with California in 2010 but transferred to Florida before the fall. The following January, he had an arrest for misdemeanor possession of marijuana in Gainesville and left the Gators in June. He played the 2011 season at Navarro College, a junior college in Corsicana, Texas, then the 2012 season at City College of San Francisco. In December of 2012, he transferred to Kansas. Before he could play a game with the Jayhawks, however, he was arrested for a robbery last May and was given three years’ parole following his conviction last month. He recently went through spring drills at Division II New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M.