Three multi-sport standouts, one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history and the best college wrestler ever highlight MaxPreps' list of the most dominant high school athletes to come from Utah.
Five most dominant high school athletes in Utah history
Merlin Olsen, Logan, 1957
The only Utah player honored on the 1957 Wigwam Wiseman All-America team, Olsen made the sixth team as an offensive lineman. In college at Utah State, Olsen was twice a first team All-American and won the Outland Trophy in 1961. He went on to a stellar career in the NFL, making a then record 14 Pro Bowl and earning first team All-Pro six times. He is a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame and is a member of the NFL's All-1970s and All-1960s teams.Cael Sanderson, Wasatch (Heber City), 1997
Few wrestlers can match Sanderson's high school wrestling career and none can match his college performance at Iowa State. While at Wasatch, Sanderson won four state titles and had a 127-3 career record. In college, he went 159-0 with four NCAA championships. He was also honored as the NCAA Wrestler of the Year three times. He won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and has become a highly successful college coach, winning seven national championships.Natalie Williams, Taylorsville, 1989
A three-sport star at Taylorsville, Williams was twice named to the Parade Magazine All-American team, including first team as a senior. She also led Taylorsville to a state title in volleyball and was named state MVP. In track, Williams set state records in the long jump. She played both volleyball and basketball at UCLA, earning All-American honors in both sports. She also led the Bruins to a pair of NCAA titles in volleyball. In basketball, Williams won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics and went on to a 10-year professional career, earning WNBA All-star honors four times.Jim McMahon, Roy, 1977
Before becoming a Super Bowl winning quarterback with the Chicago Bears in 1986, McMahon was a three-sport star at Roy. He twice earned All-State honors in football and was an All-American selection as a senior. In basketball, McMahon was one of the leading scorers in the region and was an All-State second team pick. He was also one of the top pitchers in the state, earning All-Area honors as a junior and senior. He earned All-American honors at BYU, setting 32 NCAA records in the process. He played 15 seasons in the NFL with seven teams, making the Pro Bowl in 1986.Bruce Hardy, Bingham (South Jordan), 1974
As a senior at Bingham, Hardy graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, proclaimed the best high school athlete in the country. He earned All-State in football, basketball and a baseball as a junior and a senior and helped Bingham win back-to-back state championships in basketball and baseball. He went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL as a tight end, mostly with the Miami Dolphins.Also considered:
Rex Berry, Carbon, football; Mac Speedie, South, football; Frank Christensen, Granite, football; Arnie Ferrin, Ogden, basketball; Phil Olsen, Logan, football; Fred Gehrke, South, football; Vance Law, Provo, baseball; Fred Roberts, Bingham, basketball; Rulon Jones, Weber, football; Vernon Law, baseball; Gifford Nielsen, Provo, football; Bruce Hurst, Dixie, baseball; Lori Parrish Salvo, Davis, basketball; Scott Mitchell, Springville, football; Logan Tom, Highland, volleyball; Shawn Bradley, Emery, basketball.