This year's look at where players in the Super Bowl went to high school reveals an amazing Florida connection to the Florida team that is that state's first Super Bowl entry in 18 years.
No less than 12 players off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pre-NFC title game roster are from Florida high schools, including standouts like Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks. Three Oakland Raiders also are from Florida, giving the Sunshine State 15 alums in this year's game. That's four more than are from Texas and five more than are from California.
The only high school with two graduates in this year's game is Thornton High of Harvey, Ill., and both are linebackers. Rookie Napoleon Harris of the Raiders is a former Wildcat, and so is Jack Golden of the Buccaneers, a third-year player who was on the roster of the New York Giants when they were in the Super Bowl two years ago. Thornton currently claims eight NFL players, more than any other school in the nation, including wideout Tai Streets of the San Francisco 49ers, linebacker Barry Gardner of the Philadelphia Eagles and a former prep teammate of Napoleon Harris, versatile receiver-kick returner Antwan Randle El of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Here's some more trivial tidbits about the players in this year's game and the high schools they went to:
- Madre Hill, running back for the Raiders, is from the same Arkansas high school as actor/director Billy Bob Thornton.
- Regan Upshaw, defensive end of the Raiders, was a junior on the 1991 Pittsburg High (Calif.) team that was the last to hand a defeat to current national No. 1 Concord De La Salle. Since Regan's team won that game, De La Salle has won 138 in a row.
- Matt Stinchcomb, offensive lineman of the Raiders, is from the same school that was No. 2 in this year's final Student Sports FAB 50 national rankings and has won the last three Georgia largest class state championships.
- Simeon Rice, defensive end of the Buccaneers, is from the same Illinois school as Eagles' QB Donovan McNabb.
- Rod Coleman, defensive lineman of the Raiders, is from the same Philadelphia school as NBA star Rasheed Wallace.
- Ronde Barber, defensive back of the Buccaneers, is from the same school as current Duke freshman basketball sensation J.J. Redick.
- We tried to find out if running back Aaron Stecker of the Buccaneers is the first player from a Green Bay high school to play in the Super Bowl, but were unsuccessful. Stecker is from Ashwaubenon High of the famed football city, whose Packers won the first two Super Bowls.
SUPER BOWL ALUMNI
Based on rosters for the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as published prior to the two teams playing in their respective conference championship games.
Reggie Barlow WR (Lanier, Montgomery); Kerry Jenkins OT (Holt); Tim Johnson LB (Fairfield); Marcus Knight WR-KR (Comer, Sylacauga).
Eric Johnson LB/S (Alhambra, Phoenix).
Madre Hill RB (Malverne).
Kenyon Coleman DT (Alta Loma); DeLawrence Grant DE (Centennial, Compton); Keyshawn Johnson WR (Dorsey, Los Angeles); Rob Johnson QB (El Toro); Lincoln Kennedy OT (Morse, San Diego); John Lynch DB (Torrey Pines, San Diego); Michael Pittman RB (Mira Mesa, San Diego); Regan Upshaw DE (Pittsburg); Langston Walker OT (Bishop O¹Dowd, Oakland); Marcus Williams TE (Berkeley).
Brian Kelly DB (Overland, Aurora).
Bill Romanowski LB (Rockville, Vernon).
District of Columbia (2)
Jerry Porter WR (Coolidge); Roman Oben OT (Gonzaga).
Ryan Benjamin C (River Ridge, New Port Richey); Lomas Brown OT (Miami Springs); Jameel Cook DB (Southridge, Miami); Derrick Brooks LB (Washington, Pensacola); Zack Crockett RB (Ely, Pompano Beach); Derrick Gibson DB (Killian, Miami); Martin Gramatica K (La Belle); Cornell Green OL (Lakewood, St. Petersberg); Buck Gurley DT (Godby, Tallahassee FL); Dexter Jackson DB (Shanks, Quincy); Sebastian Janikowski K (Seabreeze, Daytona Beach); Shaun King QB (Gibbs, St. Petersburg); Warren Sapp DT (Apopka); Greg Spires DE (Mariner, Cape Coral); Nate Webster LB (Northwestern, Miami).
Cosey Coleman OG (DeKalb, Clarkston); Keyon Nash DB (Miller County, Colquitt); Jermaine Phillips DB (Roswell); Matt Stinchcomb OG-OT (Parkview, Lilburn); Tim Wansley DB (Buford); Daniel Wilcox TE (Decatur).
Mike Alstott FB (Joliet Catholic); Jack Golden LB (Thornton, Harvey); Napoleon Harris LB (Thornton, Harvey); Simeon Rice DE (Mt. Carmel, Chicago).
Ken Dilger TE (Heritage Hills, Lincoln City); Rick Mirer QB (Goshen); Justin Smith LB (Warren Central, Indianapolis); Rod Woodson DB (Snider, Fort Wayne); Todd Yoder TE (New Palestine).
Ron Warner DE (Independence).
Tory James DB (Archbishop Shaw, Marrero).
Clarence Love DB (Jackson); Dwight Smith DB (Central, Detroit); Tyrone Wheatley RB (Robichaud, Dearborn Heights).
WR Jerry Rice (Moor, Crawford); Kenyatta Walker OT (Meridian); Ellis Wyms DE (Gentry, Indianola).
New Jersey (2)
Darian Barnes FB (Tom's River North, Tom's River); Alshermond Singleton LB (Irvington).
Chris Cooper DE (Southeast, Lincoln); John Howell DB (Mullen); John Parrella DT (Central Catholic, Grand Island); Adam Treu C (Pius X, Lincoln).
North Carolina (4)
Mo Collins OG (West Charlotte); Brad Johnson QB (Charles Owen, Black Mountain); Randy Jordan RB (Warren County, Warrenton); Alvis Whitted WR (Orange, Hillsborough).
Dan Goodspeed OT (Lake, Hartsville); Joe Jurevicius WR (Lake Catholic, Mentor); Tom Tupa P (Brecksville, Broadmoor Heights); Charles Woodson DB (Ross, Fremont).
Brandon Christenson TE (Clinton); Darrien Gordon DB (Shawnee); Corey Ivy DB (Moore).
Brad Badger OT (Corvallis).
Jeff Christy C (Freeport); Rod Coleman DT (Simon Gratz, Philadelphia); Rich Gannon QB (St. Joseph's Prep, Philadelphia); Jon Ritchie FB (Cumberland Valley, Mechanicsburg).
South Carolina (1)
Chartric Darby DT (North).
Shelton Quarles LB (Whites Creek).
Sam Adams DT (Cypress Creek, Houston); Tim Brown WR (Wilson, Dallas); Anthony Dorsett DB (J.J. Pearce, Richardson); Rickey Dudley TE (Henderson); Shane Lechler P (East Bernard); Keenan McCardell WR (Waltrip, Houston); Frank Middleton OG (Westbrook, Beaumont); Barrett Robbins C (Sharpstown, Houston); Chad Slaughter OT (Kimball, Dallas); Travian Smith LB (Tatum); Karl Williams WR (Garland).
Junior Ioane DT (North Sanpete, Mount Pleasant); Doug Jolley TE (Dixie, St. George); Barry Sims OT (Park City).
Ronde Barber DB (Cave Spring, Roanoke); Eric Barton LB (Edison, Alexandria); DeVone Claybrooks DT (Bassett); Casey Crawford TE (Bishop O'Connell, Arlington); Charlie Garner RB (Jeb Stuart, Falls Church); Todd Washington OL (Nenua, Onsley).
Marques Tuiasosopo QB (Woodinville).
West Virginia (1)
WR James Jett (Jefferson, Shenendoah Junction).
Aaron Stecker RB (Ashwaubenon, Green Bay).