Top 10 All-Time Greatest Texas High School Football Players Include Kyler Murray, Earl Campbell

    Texas has its fair share of great high school football players, but who are the top 10 all-time greatest Texas high school football players?

    The lore of the Texas high school football Friday night lights is one of the Lone Star State’s most prestigious attributes. Some of the greatest players to grace the gridiron started their football careers under those lights, from future Pro Football Hall of Famers to former stars who faded before they could shine their brightest.

    Let’s look at an extremely subjective list of the top 10 all-time greatest Texas high school football players, followed by an even longer list of honorable mentions in no particular order.

    Best All-Time Texas High School Football Players

    10) Patrick Mahomes, QB, Whitehouse

    Before setting the NFL ablaze with no-look lasers, Patrick Mahomes was a three-sport star at Whitehouse High School, playing football, baseball, and basketball. Mahomes passed for 4,619 yards and 50 touchdowns, while rushing in another 15 scores as a senior.

    He was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB, but he opted to take his talents to Texas Tech to play football.

    9) Drew Brees, QB, Westlake High School

    Although Drew Brees didn’t play tackle football until high school and then missed his junior year with a torn ACL, the future HOFer went 28-0-1 in two years as a starter at Westlake.

    He led the Chaparrals to an undefeated (16-0) state championship his senior year in 1996, throwing for 5,461 yards and 50 touchdowns in his two seasons as a starter.

    8) Cedric Benson, RB, Lee High School

    Cedric Benson won three consecutive state championships at Lee, rushing for 8,423 yards from 1997-2000. As a junior, he amassed over 3,500 yards with 51 touchdowns en route to a state and national championship.

    He stayed in-state and played college football at Texas, where he won the Doak Walker Award in 2004 before being drafted No. 4 overall.

    7) Jonathan Gray, RB, Aledo High School

    Two torn Achilles in college derailed Jonathan Gray’s football career, but what he did before cemented him as one of the greatest Texas high school football players. His 65 touchdowns in 2011 is a state record, beating the record he set the year prior at 59.

    He led Aledo to three consecutive state championships while rushing for 2,798 yards (7.5 per carry) in 2009, 3,223 yards (9.2 per carry) in 2010, and 3,891 yards (11.2 per carry) in 2011. His 10,889 career rushing yards are second only to Ken Hall.

    6) Ken Hall, ATH, Sugar Land High School

    Hall still holds numerous Texas records over 70 years after his playing days ended. Hall’s career rushing record of 11,232 yards (1950-1953), single-season rushing record of 4,045 yards (1953), single-game average of 337.1 yards in 12 games (1953), and points-per-game average of 32.9 (1953) all still stand.

    Playing a hybrid QB/RB position, Hall’s success didn’t translate at the next level but he remains a legend in Texas decades later.

    5) Eric Dickerson, RB, Sealy High School

    Before he became the NFL’s single-season rushing leader (2,105 yards, 1984), Eric Dickerson was a force on the field at Sealy High School.

    In his junior year in 1977, he rushed for 2,970 yards and 37 touchdowns while racking up another 2,457 yards and 45 touchdowns as a senior. In the NFL, he was the fastest player to reach 10,000 yards rushing, eclipsing the mark after 91 games.

    4) Vince Young, QB, Madison High School

    A four-sport high school athlete in football, baseball, basketball, and track and field, Vince Young truly excelled on the football field, ultimately winning a 2005 BCS National Championship at Texas.

    At Madison, Young finished with 12,987 career total yards, including 3,819 yards passing and 59 TD throws his senior year in 2001.

    3) Adrian Peterson, RB, Palestine High

    Former NFL MVP, Adrian Peterson first burst onto the scene during his junior year at Palestine, when he racked up 2,051 yards and 22 touchdowns.

    He further cemented himself as the nation’s top running back in his senior year, picking up 2,960 yards and 32 scores.

    2) Earl Campbell, RB, Tyler High School

    Earl Campbell, “The Tyler Rose,” was known for using his 36-inch thighs to inflict pain upon poor defenders attempting to tackle him. Before he embarked on a College and Pro HOF career, he averaged 11 yards per carry as a junior in high school while also playing linebacker.

    He switched to offense full-time as a senior and never looked back, racking up 2,036 yards and 28 TDs, including 852 yards and 11 scores in five playoff games en route to a state championship.

    1) Kyler Murray, QB, Allen High School

    The only player to be named Mr. Texas twice, Kyler Murray stands alone atop the list of greatest Texas high school football players. In three seasons (2012-2014), Murray won three state championships without losing a game (42-0).

    He tossed for 10,386 yards and 117 touchdowns while rushing for another 4,139 yards and 69 touchdowns. The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner accounted for 79 touchdowns his senior year, throwing for 4,713 yards and 54 scores while rushing for 1,495 yards and 25 touchdowns.

    Honorable Mention Greatest Players in TXHSFB History

    • Odell James, QB, MacArthur
    • Bobby Layne, QB, Highland Park
    • Johnny Manziel, QB, Tivy
    • Roshaaud Paul, QB, Bremond
    • Baker Mayfield, QB, Lake Travis
    • Robert Griffin III, QB, Copperas Cove
    • Ryan Tannehill, QB, Big Spring
    • Jalen Hurts, QB, Channelview
    • Colt McCoy, QB, Jim Ned
    • Andrew Luck, QB, Stratford
    • Andy Dalton, QB, Katy
    • Kliff Kingsbury, QB, New Braunfels
    • Nick Foles, QB, Westlake
    • G.J. Kinne, QB, Canton/Gilmer
    • Garrett Gilbert, QB, Lake Travis
    • Greg McElroy, QB, Southlake
    • Chase Daniel, QB, Southlake
    • Matthew Stafford, QB, Highland Park
    • Sammy Baugh, QB, Sweetwater
    • Travis Quintanilla, QB, Refugio
    • Jordan Shipley, WR, Burnet
    • Marvin Mims, WR, Lone Star
    • Jackson Smith-Njigba, WR, Rockwall
    • Raymond Berry, WR, Paris
    • Tren’Davian Dickson, WR, Navasota
    • Cliff Branch, WR, Worthing
    • Roy Williams, WR, Odessa
    • Jason Bird, WR, Lake Travis
    • Garrett Wilson, WR, Lake Travis

    KEEP READING: FHSAA Approves NIL for High School Student Athletes

    • Warren McVae, RB, Brackenridge
    • Linus Baer, RB, Lee
    • Doak Walker, RB, Highland Park
    • LaDanian Tomilson, RB, University
    • Thurman Thomas, RB, Willowridge
    • Billy Sims, RB, Hooks
    • Robert Straight, RB, Cuero
    • Jamaal Charles, RB, Memorial
    • Jaquizz Rodgers, RB, Consolidated
    • D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas City
    • Traylon Shead, RB, Cayuga
    • Wes Danaher, RB, Calallen
    • Chris Pryor, RB, Judson
    • Craig James, RB, Stratford
    • Priest Holmes, RB, Marshall

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

    EA Sports College Football: Everything You Need For the Game’s Historic Return

    After a decade-long hiatus, EA Sports College Football has made its return to glory. The popular college football video game is here to stay, radically changing the video game landscape forever.

    Related Articles