As we embark on a new decade of Texas high school football, we reflect on the previous 10 years and the top players that have come out of the Lone Star State.
Some talent had 5 stars, while others emerged from zero stars, but the 2010s saw a great set of years that produced some of the most amazing talent that electrified fans.
So, here’s a look look at the top defensive players of the decade.
DL – Myles Garrett, Arlington Martin (Texas A&M)
Garrett has been a beast, and it goes all the way back to his days at Arlington Martin High School. During his senior year at Martin, Garrett totaled 19.5 sacks and went on to be a dominant player for the Aggies as he was a leader in the SEC in sacks, tackles and tackles for loss. Eventually, Garrett was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns.
DL – Kerry Hyder, Austin LBJ (Texas Tech)
Hyder is one of these athletes that has had a steady rise to the top as a playmaker in the NFL. Coming out of high school, Hyder was only considered to be a 3-star athlete by Rivals.com. During his time in college Hyder was a two time Big 12 All-Conference Team and recorded 65 tackles his senior year. Currently, Hyder is with the Dallas Cowboys.
DL – Malcom Brown, Brenham (Texas)
Brown has been consistently disruptive his entire career. During high school Brown recorded 125 tackles and 24 sacks for Brenham and went into college as a Rivals.com 5-star recruit. Brown attended the University of Texas where he was a finalist for the Outland Trophy as a senior and was the leader in sacks, tackles for loss, and forced fumbles. Drafted in the first round by the Patriots, Brown currently plays for the New Orleans Saints.
DL – Marcus Davenport, San Antonio Stevens (UTSA)
Davenport is another kid that was hardly recruited in high school. Turning to UTSA as his choice to continue playing football, he played three seasons from 2014-2017. During his senior season at UTSA he recorded 55 tackles and 8.5 sacks and was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. By the way, this non-recruited, zero-star athlete in high school was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft.
LB – Jordyn Brooks, Houston Stratford (Texas Tech)
Brooks was a two time all-district player in high school during his junior and senior seasons. Despite multiple Division I offers, he decided to stay in state and play college ball for the Red Raiders. For some inside Texas Tech circles, Brooks is the best thing to happen since Zach Thomas. According to wreckemred.com, His 346 career tackles are good for ninth most in program history. As a senior Brooks was a finalist for the Butkus award, which is awarded to the nations top linebacker.
LB – Tank Carder, Sweeney (TCU)
Carder is a unique story, and another unlikely all-decade team member. Coming out of high school where he accounted for 1,200 yards of offense and 116 tackles on defense during his senior year, Rivals.com had him rated as a 2-star player. Best noted for his pass deflection in the 2011 Rose Bowl where he was awarded the defensive MVP, Carder will always be loved and remembered for that moment in the Rose Bowl.
LB – Paul Dawson, Dallas Skyline (TCU)
Another TCU standout, Dawson has a bit of a unique story. Coming out of high school, he was actually a WR for Skyline where he led them to a 9-3 overall record, and 7-0 in district during his senior year. That year, Dawson was a top receiver in the Dallas area, and won all-district honors, but received zero offers for his position. After attending a JUCO his freshman year, Dawson converted himself to linebacker and signed with TCU. During his senior year as a Horned Frog, Dawson recorded 140 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, four interceptions, and five sacks on his way to being named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. All of this as a converted high school receiver.
DB – Deionte Thompson, West Orange-Stark (Alabama)
Thompson had an impressive 15 interceptions during his high school career for the Mustangs. These totals drew attention from multiple Division I programs, but ultimately he settled on Alabama. At Bama, Thompson was apart of two national championship teams, two SEC championship teams, he was named first team All-SEC and was a consensus all-american. Currently, Thompson plays for the Arizona Cardinals, who drafted him in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
DB – P.J. Locke III, Beaumont Central (Texas)
As a senior in high school, Lock was an all-state player. During his four years at Texas, he played 47 career games with 31 starts for the Horns. During his senior year in 2018, Locke was third on the team with 77 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, one interception and two forced fumbles.
DB – Jamal Adams, Hebron (LSU)
Adams has been dominating opposing offenses going all the way back to high school. During his junior and senior years for Hebron, he had 138 tackles and seven interceptions on defense and 20 touchdowns on offense. The New York Jets selected Adams sixth overall in the 2017 NFL draft where he currently plays safety.
DB – Antwuan Davis, Bastrop (Texas)
Davis recorded 23 tackles, three interceptions and one fumble recovery as a senior for the Bears. Coming out of high school Davis was the No. 9 ranked defensive back by Rivals.com. After the offers came in, he attended the University of Texas where played in 44 career games.