Jeff Byers, of Loveland, Colo., was named
National Player of the Year and Tom Knotts (Independence, Charlotte, N.C.) was
named the National Coach of the Year as part of the EA SPORTS High School
All-America Football Team, announced today.† The All-America team consists of 30
players from varying positions and features the best prep football talent from
across the nation.
Experts from Student Sports, the nationís
only national high school sports media network that produces Student Sports
Magazine (the nationís only high school sports monthly), evaluated thousands of
high school football players to determine the EA SPORTS High School Football
All-America team.† EA SPORTS, the leading interactive software brand and makers
of such popular video games as NCAA Football and Madden NFL Football, teamed up
with Student Sports to provide recognition to these standout athletes.
2003 EA SPORTS
HIGH SCHOOL ALL-AMERICAN FOOTBALL TEAM
The Texas recruit
led his team to two straight state Class 3A finals and was State 3A Player
of the Year while earning all-state honors on both offense and as a
defensive back. Shipley set state career records with 264 pass receptions
for 5,421 yards, second all-time nationally, and 73 TDs, third nationally.
State Player of the Year, and four-time Class AAA All-Stater, landed 91
passes for 1,431 yards and 26 TDs this season and ended career with 253
catches for 3,708 yards and 74 TDs, second all-time nationally. The West
Virginia University recruit scored 88 career TDs, including kick and
TE -- Zach Miller (Desert
Vista,Tempe AZ) 6-4, 245, Sr.
all-state pick, Miller has won the Vic Housholder Trophy, which singled him
out as the Arizona Player of the Year. The stateís most highly-touted
player, Miller caught 46 passes for 790 yards and six TDs. He also led the
team defensively as a linebacker with 97 tackles.
Has all the tools
to excel in college and beyond. A prototype center prospect with great
strength and quickness. Is very smart and has the ability to come in and
possibly play as a true freshman next season. Was one of the first players
to commit in the class of 2004 announcing for Stanford a week after Signing
Day last February.
OL -- Leon Hart (Spring Valley,
Columbia SC) 6-5, 290, Sr.
A massive guard
prospect with surprising quickness and agility. Can really move and is one
of the few linemen in the country who is physically able to step in and play
as a true freshman in college. Regarded by many as the state's top player.
A true road
grader who has great strength and is one of the nation's most physical
players. A two-time all-state selection who played for one of the nationís
top-ranked teams. Seemed like a lock to play for the homestate Nebraska
Cornhuskers until the firing of Frank Solich, will now sign with the Iowa
second team all-state honors as a junior, the talented tackle prospect
followed it up with a first team All-State senior season. Ulatoski, who
committed early in the year to Texas, could play either tackle spot in
college although most feel he's be suited to play right tackle.
Heís a two-time
state player of the year in the Lone Star State and absolutely crushed
nearly every state passing record in the book. Harrell, who led Ennis to a
12-1 record while playing for his head coaching father, Sam, completed 332
of 505 passes for 4,804 yards (state record) and 67 TDs (state record) with
just five interceptions. For his career, Harrell will place No. 3 all-time
nationally for TD passes with 167 and No. 6 for yards with 12,511. Heís
headed to Texas Tech, but his father wonít have to look far for a
replacement. Sophomore brother Clark (6-2, 175) may be equally prolific.
recruit set three national career records by scoring 1,240 points and 203
touchdowns while rushing for 100 yards or more in 47 straight games. He
rushed for 3,497 yards this season and ended with 11,052 career yards
--second best all-time nationally. He led his team to 39 straight wins.
recruit who some rank as the nation's top player averaged over 200 rushing
yards a game the last two years with 4,360 yards and 53 touchdowns. He
gained 2,313 yards and scored 32 TDs in 11 games as a senior. Interestingly,
both Peterson and Harrell are from the Texas Class 4A division where Harrell
has been the offensive player of the year the last two seasons.
A very good pass
rusher who has emerged as the top prospect in Maryland, despite only playing
organized football for the past two seasons. Had a record-breaking senior
season, totaling 133 tackles and an eye-opening 31 sacks.
Was one of the
most dominating players in California in 2003, regardless of position.
Finished with 111 tackles and 22 sacks as a senior, winning the Glenn Davis
Award as the top player in Southern California. Committed to UCLA.
The nation's top
defensive tackle combines tremendous strength with a skill player's burst
off the line. Despite constant double and triple teams, racked up double
figure sacks for a second straight season. Is a two-time all-state selection
and was the 2003 State Player of the Year.
A do everything
two-way player who was named the 2003 Class AAA State Player of the Year in
Pennsylvania. Set what is believed to be a state-record by starting 58 games
in his four-year varsity career. Recorded 118 tackles and carried 251 times
for 1,807 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2003. Has committed to Penn State.
athlete who earned MVP honors at the Nike Camp in Miami, clocking a 4.56 in
the 40, a 4.18 in the shuttle, benching 21 reps and posting a 34-inch
vertical jump. A two-time All-American selection and a three-time all-state
player, Rivers finished as the Florida 2003 Class 6A Mr. Football runner-up. Will play his college football at USC.
all-state selection, Toal totaled over 100 tackles and 12 sacks as a senior
plus over 1,300 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns. Also was named the 2003 New
Jersey Defensive Player of the Year. Scored three touchdowns on the ground
in the U.S. Army All-American Game but will likely play linebacker in
Sunshine Stater Keith Rivers as the nation's top linebacker prospect.
Transferred to Carol City prior to his senior season and missed the first
few games with eligibility issues but came on strong once he took the field,
leading Carol City to the Class 6A title and earning MVP honors in the
championship game. A two-time first team all-state selection.
Defensive Most Valuable Player and University of Washington recruit seldom
left the field. Opposing teams rarely tested Bankhead's secondary side. On
offense, he led the state Class 4A runner-up team in all-purpose yards and
the wide receiver was a top candidate for state Offensive MVP honors.
The Ohio State
recruit returned five of eight pass interceptions for touchdowns and five
kick or punt returns for scores. The MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Game,
he returned a kickoff 98 yards to score. A quarterback on offense, he
accounted for 25 TDs (13 rushing, 12 passing).
Carolina State recruit set 10 state or national records including career
extra point kicks (350) and kicking points (428). He also booted 26 career
field goals, including a 57-yarder for a team that won three straight state
titles. He averaged 44.2 yards per punt.
recruit accounted for 52 (27 rtushing, 25 passing) of his team's 62 TDs and
his 3,921 total yards (2,673 passing and 1,248 rushing) is a state record.
The two-time all-stater led his team to a state Class 5 title and runnerup
spot in the last two years.
Football set five state career passing records by completing 544 of 993
aerials for 9,083 yards and 98 TDs while accounting for 127 scores. As a
senior, he passed for 3,183 yards and 37 scores and rushed for 607 yards and
QB/ATH -- Bobby Reid (North
Shore, Houston TX) 6-3, 220, Sr.
The Texas Class 5A Player of the Year and EA SPORTS Elite 11 participant led the FAB 50 No. 2 ranked
team to a state title while accounting for 38 TDs (22 passing, 16 rushing)
and 2,650 yards. Will play his college ball at Oklahoma State.
He broke two of
Herschel Walker's long-standing state records while leading Buford to 45
straight wins and a third consecutive state Class AA title. As a senior, he
ran for 2,406 yards and 46 TDs to better the 'other' Walker's state marks of
42 rushing TDs and 45 overall scores, which he also shared with Charles
Grant. In four seasons (58-2 record), the state Player of the Year gained
5,675 yards and scored 91TDs.
Football led his team to a 14-1 record and a state Division 3 crown to rank
No. 40 in the FAB 50. He scored 40 TDs and rushed for over 2,800 yards after
a junior season of 3,250 yards and 39 scores. His career marks: 540 points
and 7,000 rushing yards.
NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Jeff Byers (Loveland CO) It's rare when a lineman is voted National Player of the Year and even more
rare when that player is an offensive lineman. Still, Byers is a special talent
who several scouts we've talked with believe is the best offensive lineman they
have ever seen. The lineman plays center and his ability to get out and pull on
sweeps and pitch plays is like no lineman we have ever seen. Loveland didn't
keep track of offensive stats this past season but he was credited with 34
pancake blocks in one game. It was estimated that Byers delivered a pancake or
knockdown block on 25 percent of the team's running plays this season. As a
defender for the Class 4A state champions, Byersí numbers were mind boggling as
well, as he totaled 203 tackles, 56 for loss with 10 sacks and forced 14
fumbles. He committed to USC where he is expected to compete for the starting
center position from day one.
NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR:
Tom Knotts (Independence, Charlotte NC) Despite losing quarterback Chris Leak, the National Player of the Year for
the 2002 season, plus several other offensive and defensive starters, Knotts
guided the Patriots to a state record fourth consecutive state Class 4AA
title and extended their win streak to a state record 62 games, second
longest active run in the U.S. The 16-0 record team was No. 5 in the FAB 50
rankings. The Patriots crushed New Bern, 54-7, in the state finals. (Tom
Knotts photo courtesy of