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.
2005 ALL-USA WR Sam Shields
High school: Booker High School (Sarasota, Fla.)
In Sam Shields’ junior year, Booker went 3-7.
The next year, Shields caught 67 passes for 1,201 yards and 22 touchdowns. His team went 13-2, getting to the championship game.
He inserted himself into the elite wide receiver conversation in high school, and the majority of his catches were at high-stake times. Of the 67 receptions, 44 resulted in either a touchdown or first down, according to his Los Angeles Rams bio.
He’s no longer a wide receiver, though he did have a reception in the NFC Championship game. In Shields’ senior season at the University of Miami, he converted to full-time cornerback. But his ultra-versatility was apparent even in high school, as he lettered twice in a baseball and track and field, according to the bio.
Shields was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers, winning a Super Bowl with the team in 2011. After concussions derailed his career and almost lead to his retirement, he signed with the Rams this offseason.
Tomorrow: 2009 ALL-USA DB Lamarcus Joyner, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)