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Texas High Schoolers Integral to Super Bowl L

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Super Bowl L pitting the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers kicks off on Sunday, February 7.  Several former Texas high school football players have made key contributions to their teams’ road to gridiron glory.

Denver slots three Texans in their starting lineups.  The Broncos utilized DeSoto’s Von Miller at linebacker and Richardson Berkner’s Aqib Talib at cornerback to rise to the summit among NFL defenses.

Miller collected 30 tackles and 11.5 sacks this season, while Talib totaled 45 tackles and three interceptions.  Both played stellar games in the AFC championship game with the DeSoto alum finishing with 2.5 sacks, 5 tackles, 4 quarterback hits, a pass deflection, and an interception.  Talib made a clutch play on New England’s last-second two-point conversion, batting the ball to Bradley Roby for an interception.


“DeSoto’s hometown boy is in the biggest game of his life, in the biggest game in the world,” Eagles linebacker coach Brian Stansberry commented to NBCDFW.com.  “You knew Von always had potential.  He controls his attitude.  He controls his effort on what he does everyday.”

Corsicana’s Louis Vasquez anchors the Broncos offensive line at right guard.  Vasquez earned All-Pro honors this season, protecting quarterback Peyton Manning, who threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns.

“He was a real good kid, good academically, and a good football player,” Corsicana athletic director Billy Harlan told the Corsicana Daily Sun.  “You see a lot of guys in college, 6-8, 330, big guys who never make it to the NFL.  Once he figured out there was something out there for him he turned himself into a workhorse.”

In addition to Miller, the Broncos have another Texan in their linebacking corps.  Second-year player Corey Nelson from Dallas Skyline serves as a backup and contributes on special teams.

The Panthers also sport four Texans on their active roster, but none of their Lone Star natives appear in starting lineup.  However, the quartet all make key contributions as reserves or special teamers.

Colin Jones, a Bridgeport native and TCU alum, serves a backup safety.  In 2015, he collected 21 tackles and grabbed his first NFL interception.

“He had the speed and dimensions of an NFL player,” Bridgeport head coach and AD Danny Henson told the Wise County Messenger.  “His senior year, he developed into a Division I college talent.  But you look at the kids that go Division I and how few make it to the NFL.  The odds are slim.”

Tyler John Tyler’s Teddy Williams also makes his mark on special teams and plays backup cornerback.  In the AFC championship game, he recovered Patrick Peterson’s muff punt which led to Carolina’s third touchdown.

“A lot of people have been asking me if it’s hit me yet, if it seems real,” Williams, who never played college football and ran track at UTSA, told KHOU. “Sure, it gets surreal. But you don’t want to get too caught up in that because you have to prepare for the game and focus on what you’ve got to do.

Pearland’s Fozzy Whittaker, who played collegiately at Texas, sees spot duty at running back and kick returner.  In 2015, he rushed for 108 yards on 25 carries, scoring a touchdown, caught 12 passes for 64 yards, and returned nine kickoffs for 209 yards.

Daryl Williams from Lake Dallas gets a Super Bowl appearance in his rookie season.  The backup offensive lineman who went to Oklahoma has taken 94 snaps this season.

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