Video: NFL's High School Football Factories
See which schools have produced the most NFL talent over the past decade.
Not to get too cliché here, but several Nebraska prep football players over the past decade have been rewarded for sticking to their game plan, executing it and because of it – earned the Big Daddy of them all, being selected in the NFL Draft.
From Beatrice to Schuyler and from North Platte to Omaha, 16 former Nebraska prep football players paid their dues over the life of their football careers and have earned the privilege to join the grind that is today's NFL.
While the nation's top football prospects have been grinding it out and putting their bodies through workout after workout, here at MaxPreps we've been crunching numbers and researching from one end of the world wide web to the other in an attempt to break down the draft in our respective states.
As you read through the 10 facts listed below, please remember that the tidbits listed pertain to high school athletes that came out of Nebraska.
Ten NFL Draft facts that come out of Nebraska
1. Of the 24 positions on a standard football team, NFL teams have utilized the draft and football players out of Nebraska to fill holes at 13 different positions. Defensive end, kicker and tight end are the only positions that filled more than one NFL spot over the course of the last decade.
2. Of the three kicking specialists drafted out of Nebraska over the last 11 years, only Pius X (Lincoln)
kicker Greg Zuerlein and Seward
punter Sam Koch hold spots on NFL rosters to date.
3. Having had 16 players chosen in the draft over the last 11 years, Nebraska prep athletes have been drafted every year since 2006 except for 2010 and 2013. As far as Nebraska goes, 2011 and 2012 produced a bumper crop with three athletes headed to the NFL via the draft in each of those two seasons.
4. Kyle Emanuel
(Chargers 2015), Spencer Long
(Redskins 2014), Zuerlein (Rams 2012), Niles Paul
of Millard North (Omaha)
(Redskins 2011), Koch (Ravens 2006) and Andy Janovich
(Broncos 2016) are all still with the teams that drafted them.
5. Jared Crick
began his NFL career with the Texans after getting drafted in 2012, but now he resides on the Broncos roster. Zach Miller of Bishop Neumann (Wahoo)
is now with the Bears after getting drafted by the Jaguars in 2009. Of the 16 players drafted in recent history, only eight of them could be found on an NFL roster heading into the 2017 season.
6. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln was the college of choice for nine of Nebraska's NFL draftees. Iowa sent two Cornhusker State athletes to the pros, while North Dakota State, Missouri Western, Idaho, Nebraska-Omaha and Northwest Missouri State all sent one each.
7. While Nebraska has had a long history of sending plenty of athletes to the NFL via the first round of the draft, it's been at least 12 years since a Nebraskan has gone that early. Of Nebraska's athletes that have been drafted over the past 11 years, only Elkhorn's Long has gone in the Top 100 picks at No. 78 in the third round in 2014. Crick, Alex Henery of Burke (Omaha)
, Millard North's Seth Olsen and Moore all went in the fourth round, with Moore going the earliest at 104.
8. Omaha and Lincoln have produced plenty of NFL talent over the years, and still do. But don't think for a moment that the rest of the state has been barren in that regard, especially as of late. Of the 16 athletes that have been invited by NFL franchises to continue their football careers, nine of them were produced outside of the borders of Omaha and Lincoln. Eight of the above athletes were produced by schools with enrollments below Class A.
9. Elkhorn and Millard North are the Cornhusker State NFL factories over the last decade or so, having produced a couple of Big League football players each. Schuyler, Omaha Central
, Cozad, Lincoln Pius X, North Platte
, Omaha Burke, Bishop Neumann, Beatrice
, Lincoln Southeast
, Seward, Creighton Prep (Omaha)
and Gretna are all on the hook for an NFL athlete each.
10. Of this year's crop of NFL prospects coming out of Nebraska, two players competed at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium after completing their prep eligibility at Lincoln Southwest
. Outside linebacker Josh Banderas
and Brandon Reilly
, a wide receiver, competed at the prep level for the Silver Hawks.