Texas high school football has produced some of the game's greatest players, especially at the quarterback position. Two of those will be in action Monday night during a NFL doubleheader as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs face Buffalo and Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals meet Dallas.
Not just a football player, reigning Super Bowl MVP Mahomes was named the MaxPreps Male Athlete of the Year in 2013-14. He was also a standout basketball at baseball player at Whitehouse High School.
Murray is the only two-time MaxPreps National Player of the Year, winning that award in 2013 and 2014. He led Allen High School to 43 consecutive wins and three straight state titles. The Eagles were the first team to win three consecutive championships in the state's largest classification.
Sammy Baugh, Drew Brees, Andy Dalton, Nick Foles, Andrew Luck and Johnny Manziel are other notable signal callers from the Lone Star State. See our list of the 25 best below.
Highland Park (Dallas), Lake Travis (Austin) and Westlake (Austin) were the only schools to have more than one quarterback selected.
High school, college and NFL success were all part of the criteria used to formulate the list. It only includes quarterbacks who played high school in Texas.
Top 25 Quarterbacks From Texas
25. King Hill, Brazosport (Freeport), 1954
A three-sport standout in high
school and college, Hill was all-state second team as a senior. He
attended Rice and was an All-American in 1957. He was the No. 1 overall
pick in the 1958 NFL draft by the Cardinals and he played 12 seasons in
the NFL, mostly as a backup.
24. Doyle Traylor, Temple, 1953
A Wigwam Wiseman first team
All-American and regarded by Texas coaches and sportswriters in a January 1953 AP story as the greatest quarterback in state history, Traylor
finished his Temple career as the state's all-time leader with 5,908
career yards. He held the record until Ty Detmer broke it in 1986.
Multiple injuries while at Baylor (as documented in a Sports Illustrated
article in 1957) prematurely ended his football career.
23. Andy Dalton, Katy, 2006
A full-time starter for only one season,
Dalton led Katy to the state finals before losing to Southlake Carroll. He was the Offensive Player of the Year on the All-Greater
Houston team. At Texas Christian, Dalton set multiple team records and
was a second round NFL draft pick. During his 10 seasons in the NFL,
Dalton has played in three Pro Bowls.
22. Don Meredith, Mount Vernon, 1956
A broken collarbone midway
through his senior season relegated him to honorable mention all-state,
but he was all-state as a junior and twice all-state in basketball while
at Mount Vernon. A two-time All-American at Southern Methodist,
Meredith played nine seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and was a three-time
Pro Bowl pick.
21. Garrett Gilbert, Lake Travis (Austin), 2009
Gilbert led the Cavaliers to
two straight state titles and set the state record for career passing
yardage with 12,534 yards. He was named the national player of the year
by MaxPreps, Parade, Gatorade, USA Today and EA Sports. He started at
Texas, but finished at SMU where he set nine school records. He has
played for several NFL teams and was the leading passer in the lone
season of the Alliance of American Football.
20. Graham Harrell, Ennis, 2004
Harrell finished his four-year
career with 12,532 to set a new state record. He also set the state
record for touchdown passes with 167. He also had a record-setting
career at Texas Tech and he still holds eight NCAA marks. At one time he
held the NCAA career for career TD passes and he was second in career
passing yards. He played briefly in the NFL.
19. Chase Daniel, Carroll (Southlake), 2005
With a 31-1 record
and 8,378 yards in his two-year career, Daniel led Carroll to a state
championship and a No. 1 national ranking. He threw for over 12,000
yards at Missouri and was a Heisman Trophy finalist while in college. He
has been a career backup in the NFL over the past 12 seasons.
18. Colt McCoy, Jim Ned (Tuscola), 2005
One of the all-time greats at the
University of Texas, McCoy was a two-time All-American and won the Davey
O'Brien Award in 2009. In high school at Jim Ned, McCoy threw for 9,344
career yards and was an all-state selection. He is in his 11th season
in the NFL.
17. Nick Foles, Westlake (Austin), 2007
In two seasons as the starting
quarterback, Foles broke Brees's career passing record with 5,649 yards.
He led Westlake to the state finals in 2006, losing to Carroll
(Southlake). A third-round pick out of Arizona, Foles has been a backup
quarterback most of his career, but he did lead the Philadelphia Eagles
to a Super Bowl championship in 2018, earning game MVP honors.
16. Robert Griffin III, Copperas Cove, 2008
A football and track
standout, Griffin III led Copperas Cove to a pair of state championship
games as a dual-threat quarterback. He also ranked as one of the
nation's top hurdlers and was named to the All-USA Today Track and Field
team. At Baylor, Griffin III earned the Heisman Trophy and the Davey
O'Brien Award in 2011. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in
2012, but injuries have slowed him during his nine-year NFL career.
15. Case Keenum, Wylie (Abilene), 2006
Keenum threw for 6,783 yards, led Wylie
to a Class 3A state championship and was second team all-state. At
Houston, Keenum twice won the Sammy Baugh trophy and finished with an
NCAA record 19,217 passing yards, a mark he still holds. In the NFL,
Keenum has played for seven different teams over eight seasons.
14. Johnny Manziel, Tivy (Kerrville), 2011
A Class 4A all-state
player as a senior, Manziel finished his prep career with 7,571 yards
and he was a Parade All-American. At Texas A&M, Manziel won the
Heisman Trophy and the Davey O'Brien Award, becoming the first freshman
to ever win both awards. At the professional level, Manziel has played
in the NFL, the CFL and the AAF.
13. Tommy Kramer, Lee (San Antonio), 1973
A Parade All-American in
1972, Kramer posted a 27-1-1 record at Lee with a state 4A championship
as a junior. He passed for 5,489 yards in his career, which ranked only
behind Traylor when he graduated. After earning All-American honors at
Rice, Kramer played 14 seasons in the NFL including an All-Pro season in
1986.12. Ty Detmer, Southwest (San Antonio), 1987
The Texas state player of the
year as a senior, Detmer held the career passing yardage record with
8,005 yards. At BYU, Detmer twice won the Davey O'Brien Award and was
the Heisman Trophy winner in 1990. He finished his career as the NCAA's
all-time yardage leader (15,031 yards). He spent 14 seasons in the NFL
as mostly a backup.
11. Baker Mayfield, Lake Travis (Austin), 2013
Mayfield earned all-state
honors and led Lake Travis to a state championship in 2011 and was 25-2
in his career with the Cavaliers. At Oklahoma, Mayfield won the Heisman
Trophy and the Davey O'Brien Award and he was the No. 1 overall pick in
the 2018 draft. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in his first year
with the Cleveland Browns.
10. Vince Young, Madison (Houston), 2002
The Parade National
Player of the Year as a senior, Young had 12,987 yards of total offense
in his career. He won the Davey O'Brien Award while at Texas, leading
the Longhorns to the National Title in 2005. He was a two-time Pro Bowl
selection during his nine-year NFL career and he was the NFC Offensive
Rookie of the Year.
9. Andrew Luck, Stratford (Houston), 2008
The son of former NFL quarterback
Oliver Luck, Andrew threw for 7,139 yards in high school. He was a
two-time All-American at Stanford and he was the No. 1 overall pick in
the 2012 NFL draft. Before unexpectedly retiring prior to the 2019
season, Luck had been selected to four Pro Bowls in a seven-year career
with the Colts.
8. Matthew Stafford, Highland Park (Dallas), 2006
A Parade All-American,
Stafford threw for 8,958 yards in his three-year varsity career. He also
earned All-American honors at Georgia and was the No. 1 pick in the
2009 NFL draft. In his 12th season in the league, Stafford ranks 18th on
the NFL's all-time career yardage list.
7. Davey O'Brien, Woodrow Wilson (Dallas), 1934
A second-team all-state
selection, O'Brien led Wilson to a district title as a junior. He went
to Texas Christian, where he became the first player to win the Heismann
Trophy and the Maxwell Award in 1938. After two NFL seasons with the
Eagles where he led the league in passing yardage, O'Brien retired in
order to become an FBI agent. The Davey O'Brien Award is given annually
to college football's top quarterback. 6. Kyle Murray, Allen, 2015
One of the most successful high
school quarterbacks ever, Murray went 42-0 as a starter, led the team to
three state championships and was part of a 43-game win streak. He was
the MaxPreps National Player of the Year as a senior and finished his
career with 10,429 yards. While at Oklahoma, Murray won the Heisman
Trophy in 2018. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Murray was
the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019.5. Patrick Mahomes, Whitehouse, 2014
The MaxPreps Male Athlete of the
Year, Mahomes was a Parade All-American in football (8,458 career
yards) as a senior while also earning all-district in basketball and
all-state honors in baseball. The winner of the Sammy Baugh Trophy as a
senior at Texas Tech, Mahomes is in his fourth year in the NFL. He was
the NFL MVP in 2018 and the Super Bowl MVP last year while leading the
Chiefs to the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
4. Y.A. Tittle, Marshall, 1944
A halfback in Marshall's single wing
offense, Tittle did most of the passing, including 14 touchdown passes
during an all-state senior season. After two All-SEC seasons at LSU,
Tittle played 17 seasons in professional football and finished his
career in 1964 as the NFL's all-time leading passer with 33,070 yards.
3. Bobby Layne, Highland Park (Dallas), 1944
Layne led Highland Park to the
state championship two years in a row, finishing twice both times. He
earned all-state first team honors twice (ahead of Tittle who was second
team), and was an All-American at the University of Texas. He had a
Hall of Fame career, earning All-Pro seven times and winning three NFL
2. Sammy Baugh, Sweetwater, 1933
Baugh preceded O'Brien at TCU,
finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1936. In high school,
he led Sweetwater to a 15-4 record and two district championships over
his final two seasons. In the NFL, Baugh was a seven-time All-Pro and
finished his career in 1952 as the league's all-time leading passer with
1. Drew Brees, Westlake (Austin), 1997
Westlake went 28-0-1 in his two seasons as a starter (he tore his ACL in the playoffs as a junior and did not play in Westlake's quarterfinal loss), led Westlake to a state title as a senior and was a USA Today All-American while throwing for 5,464 career yards. A two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year at Purdue, Brees is in his 20th season in the NFL and is the league's all-time leading passing leader with 77,756 yards.