by Jeff Fisher
Last week we started a new Monday feature called Now & Then, which is a look back at Sunday’s top NFL performers through the lens of what they did in high school.
Today we start with the Green Bay Packers‘ Aaron Rodgers, who played his high school football at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, California. Rodgers threw for a league high 346 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Pack from an 18 point deficit to beat the New York Jets 31-24 on Sunday. Rodgers passed Hall of Famer Bart Starr on the team’s all-time passing yardage list. He now has 24,732 yards.
At Pleasant Valley High School, Rodgers was a two-year starter, passing for 4,421 yards in his prep career. He set a single-season school record with 2,466 yards in 2001. He also set single-game school records with six TD passes and 440 all-purpose yards.
Rodgers #1 receiver yesterday, Jordy Nelson, was also the top dog in the league with 209 yards. Nelson played his high school ball at Riley County High School in Kansas. Nelson became the first Packer in 10 years to top the 200 yard mark in a game.
Nelson, who was all-state in football and basketball in high school, played quarterback at Riley County. During his senior season he accounted for over 2,600 yards in total offense – 1,029 passing and 1,527 yards rushing. In the passing department, Nelson completed 62 percent of his throws with eight touchdowns. As a dual-threat QB, he averaged 9.8 yards per carry with 25 touchdowns.
DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys was the league’s leading rusher with 167 yards on 29 carries. Murray, who played at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Nevada, helped the Cowboys win their first game of the season 26-10 over the Tennessee Titans.
Murray, who played in the 2005 U.S. Army All-American Game, rushed for 1,947 yards during his senior season with 27 touchdowns. He also caught 22 passes for 624 yards and seven scores while being named the 2005 Sunset Region Offensive Player of the Year.
On the defensive side of the ball, Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan had a big day with four sacks to help lead the Redskins to a 41-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kerrigan, who played at Muncie Central High School in Muncie, Indiana played his college ball at Purdue.
In high school at Muncie Central, Kerrigan was a two-way starter at tight end and defensive end. He was an all-state selection as a senior when he had 19 sacks and 90 tackles. On offense, he caught 40 balls for 789 yards and six touchdowns.