This weekend in Nashville, childhood dreams came to fruition as NFL hopefuls packed the staging area at First & Broadway in hopes of hearing their name called.
Among those are players who first made their impact in Texas HS Football. These college stars are the former Texans who repped the Lone Star State on the big stage.
Kyler Murray | QB | Allen — Oklahoma
Bio: Replacing a Heisman Trophy winner is a tall task, but Murray proved to be up to the challenge. He repeated Baker Mayfield’s accomplishment in 2018, winning the same trophy after an outstanding junior season. The first-team Associated Press All-American and Player of the Year, Davey O’Brien Award winner, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and finalist for the Maxwell Award played in all 14 games with 13 starts. He ranked in the top five nationally in passing efficiency (199.2), passing yardage (4,361), passing touchdowns (42, against just seven interceptions), and rushing yardage by a quarterback (123-1,001-7.3, 12 TD). He became the second quarterback in FBS history (Deshaun Watson, 2015) to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards. Kyler was a five-star recruit and top 50 overall prospect from Allen High School, going 43-0 as a starter, totaled 14,500 yards of offense.
HS Accolades: 2014 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year, Two-Time Mr. Texas Football (2013, 2014), Two-Time USA Today All-American (2013, 2014), 2014 USA Today Offensive Player of the Year
College Accolades: 2018 Heisman Trophy, 2018 Davey O’Brien Trophy, 2018 AP Player of the Year, 2018 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, 2018 First Team All-American, 2018 First Team All-Big 12
Ed Oliver | DT | Westfield — Houston
Bio: Many people were surprised when Oliver became one of the first five-star recruits to sign with a non-Power Five conference program. The Cougars had signed his brother (Marcus, a two-year starter at right guard) and former high school coach, however, so E.J. (short for Ed Jr.) signed to play near his hometown of Westfield. He was a second-team All-American and top-5 overall recruit who eschewed Alabama to play for UH.
HS Accolades: 2015 USA Today All-American, 2016 Under Armour All-American, 2014 District 15-6A MVP, 2013 District 13-5A Defensive Newcomer of the Year
College Accolades: Three-Time First Team All-American (2016, 2017, 2018), 2017 AAC Defensive Player of the Year, 2017 Outland Trophy
Greg Little | Offensive Tackle | Allen — Ole Miss
Bio: Little and Oklahoma junior LT Bobby Evans (along with QB Kyler Murray) were on the same high school team in Allen, Texas, and both now have NFL futures. Little was a top five recruit regardless of position in 2016 and a second-team All-American after his senior season at Allen, which won a mythical national title in 2014.
HS Accolades: Five-star prospect, Under Armour All-American, first team USA Today and Maxpreps All-American. Named first team All-State by USA Today and the Associated Press as a senior and junior … Second team USA Today All-American and MaxPreps All-American as a junior. Went 46-1 as a three year starter at Allen. Appeared in three straight state titles, winning back-to-back titles in 2013 & 2014
College Accolades: Freshman All-American and SEC All-Freshman honoree as a true freshman in 2016. Voted second-team All-SEC in 2017. First-team All-SEC in 2018
Erik McCoy | C | Lufkin — Texas A&M
Bio: McCoy was not highly recruited despite earning second-team all-state honors at Lufkin High School in Texas. Aggies coaches saw enough to give him a scholarship, however, and he worked himself into a three-year starter.
HS Accolades: Three Star Prospect, 2013 First Team All-District, 2013 Second Team All-State
College Accolades: Played three seasons at Texas A&M before entering early after a successful junior season
Hakeem Butler | WR | Fort Bend Travis — Iowa State
Bio: Butler lost his mother to cancer early in his life, then moved to Texas to live with his cousins, who happened to be a couple of top basketball recruits in Kentucky — twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison. He was not a major recruit at Travis High School, and his grades nearly cost him a shot at college football. However, Iowa State offered him a scholarship.
HS Accolades: Two-star recruit. Earned all-conference honors in 2014, catching 28 passes for 378 yards and five TDs
College Accolades: All-Conference in 2017. In 2018 he was nominated to Second-Team All-American by The Athletic and College Football News, First-Team All-Big 12 by ESPN and a second-team selection by the Coaches and AP. He was also a member of the Biletnikoff Award watch list and a semifinalist for the Tyler Rose Award. Following his performance in Iowa State’s bowl game against All-Bowl Team by USA Today. Broke school record for receiving yards in a season with 1,318 yards in 2018.
Maxx Crosby | DE | Colleyville Heritage — Eastern Michigan
Kendall Sheffield | CB | FB Marshall — Ohio State
Deionte Thompson | S | West Orange-Stark — Alabama
Bio: Alabama is probably the only school in the country with the secondary depth to sign a four-star recruit rated among the top-five safeties in the country and redshirt him. That’s what head coach Nick Saban did with Thompson in 2015. The next year, the team’s talent at safety forced Thompson into a special teams role. He started twice as a sophomore but mostly played special teams in his 14 appearances, making 25 tackles, intercepting one pass and breaking up one other. With the NFL taking away the Tide’s starting secondary before the 2018 season, Thompson got his chance to play — and took full advantage.
HS Accolades: 4-star recruit. 15 INTs in senior year.
College Accolades: First-Team All-American, First Team All-SEC as a junior.
Jarrett Stidham | QB | Stephenville — Baylor
Isaiah Johnson | WR | Rudder — Houston
Kingsley Keke | DE | Cinco Ranch — Texas A&M
Charles Omenihu | DE | Rowlett — Texas
Bio: Omenihu (pronounced oh-MEN-uh-hoo) was considered one of the top 15 defensive ends and top 50 overall prospects in the country after an All-District career at Rowlett (Texas) High School.
HS Accolades: Two time all-district honoree. Named first-team All-District 11-6A in 2014. Helped Rowlett to an appearance in the 5A Division 2 bi-district playoffs in 2013.
College Accolades: Played in all 12 games as a true freshman. Started seven out of 12 as a sophomore. Started 12 of 13 in 2017. Started 14 games in 2018 and earned honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades.
Daylon Mack | DT | Gladewater — Texas A&M
Kaden Smith | TE | Flower Mound Marcus — Stanford
Trayveon Williams | RB | CE King — Texas A&M
Rodney Anderson | RB | Katy — Oklahoma
Kris Boyd | CB | Gilmer — Texas
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
Lil’Jordan Humphrey | WR | Southlake Carroll — Texas / Signed with New Orleans Saints
Demarkus Lodge | WR | Cedar Hill — Ole Miss / Signed with Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Devine Ozigbo | RB | Sachse — Nebraska / Signed with New Orleans Saints
Antoine Wesley | WR | Cibolo Steele — Texas Tech / Signed with Baltimore Ravens