Now & Then

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by Jeff Fisher

We all know that less than 1% of the 1-million plus high school football student-athletes get to play on Sundays.

Today we start a new segment called Now & Then that will look back at Sunday’s top NFL performances through the lens of what the players did in high school.

Hope you enjoy and props to my partner Trisha Hoffman, who came-up with the great name – Now & Then.

NFL Week 1

Knowshon Moreno (Middletown South HS, New Jersey) rushed for a league high 134 yards in his first game with the Miami Dolphins, leading the team to a season opening win over the New England Patriots.

At Middletown South High School, Moreno led his school to three New Jersey Group III Central championships.  Moreno, who began his NFL career with the Denver Broncos, is second on New Jersey’s all-time rushing list with 6,268 yards. He found the end zone 128 times in his career.  His 728 points makes him the state’s all-time leading scorer. He was also an excellent sprint and jumper on the school’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams.

Matt Ryan (William Penn Charter, Pennsylvania) set an Atlanta Falcons‘ team record with 448 yards passing Sunday in the team’s 37-34 overtime win over the Saints. His 448 yards Sunday was the most in the NFL during Week 1.

In high school, Ryan was a three-year starter at William Penn Charter in southeastern Pennsylvania. During his senior year Ryan, who went-on to Boston College, tossed for 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns. He completed 52% of his passes during his three years as the team’s quarterback.  Ryan also played baseball and basketball in high school.

A.J. Green (Summerville HS, South Carolina) of the Cincinnati Bengals led the league in receiving yards Sunday with 131 yards and one TD on six catches. The Bengals opened the season with a win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Green played at Summerville High School under legendary head coach John McKissick, who is America’s all-time winningest head coach.  Green earned all-state honors during his four years at Summerville.  His 5,373 yards receiving ranked him second on the national all-time receiving yards list compiled by the National Federation of High School Associations. Green’s 279 career receptions puts him fourth on America’s all-time list.

On the other side of the ball, Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (Creekside HS, Georgia) and Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow (Concord HS, Delaware) led the league in tackles with 15 each.

Berry played cornerback and quarterback in high school, going 37-5 as a starter for Creekside High School in Fairburn, Georgia.  He played in the 2007 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.  Berry was also an outstanding athlete in track and field, setting school records in the long jump and in the 200 meters.

Worrilow led Concord High School to the 2006 Delaware Division II championship.  That year he made the 2006 First Team All-State Team on both offense and defense. In 2007, Worrilow was named Delaware’s 2007 Defensive Player of the Year.  Worrilow was never offered a Division I scholarship, instead he played in-state at Division I-AA Delaware.


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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.