High school rankings aren’t everything, but sometimes top players continue to excel into adulthood. Super Bowl LIII will feature five players who made an ALL-USA team while in high school. Let’s take a look at the players who blossomed into NFL-caliber talent and their high school accomplishments leading up to it.
The list doesn’t include Los Angeles Rams RB Malcolm Brown (Injured Reserve), DB Steven Parker (practice squad) or New England Patriots RB Jeremy Hill (Injured Reserve), none of whom will play in the game.
The 2019 Super Bowl between the Rams and Patriots will take place Feb. 2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. It can be viewed on CBS.
2009 ALL-USA DB Lamarcus Joyner
High school: St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
“Everybody has a plan until they get hit.”
That’s the mantra of Los Angeles Rams DB Lamarcus Joyner. He’s typically the one doing the hitting.
It’s been that way since high school, when he emerged as a star at Southwest High School (Miami, Fla.) and then transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) for his senior year, which, according to Sports Illustrated, was a move in part to help his grades reach college eligibility.
That season, he was the ALL-USA Defensive Player of the Year. He prevented the players he covered from even catching the ball, racking up only 10 tackles, according to MaxPreps. Quarterbacks would look the other way or be punished.
Joyner was also a contributor on offense and special teams. This includes one kickoff return he returned through calf cramps for a touchdown, the SI piece describes. “We call that Automatic Six,” Joyner told the outlet. “It’s just an automatic with Lamarcus Joyner back there.”
He went on to attend Florida State, where he became a unanimous All-American and helped the Seminoles win the 2014 BCS Championship Game.
Joyner was drafted in the second round, No. 41 overall, to the Rams.
Tomorrow: 2009 ALL-USA wide receiver Robert Woods, Junipero Serra HS (Gardena, Calif.)