When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take the field against the Atlanta Falcons tonight, of course they will have some players that can trace their roots to the gridiron in Texas. Here is who we have this week.
Russell Shepard – Wide Receiver
Shepard made his way to Tampa Bay after being released by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013, but his work ethic and ability to be a leader on the field helped him find him a place on the Buccaneers. He was named a special teams captain in 2015. Shepard was a quarterback in high school for Cypress Ridge where he was recruited heavily by Texas and garnered interest from the likes of Florida and USC.
Shepard would play in the 2009 Under Armour All-America Game after posting 1946 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns while throwing for 1843 passing yards and twenty touchdowns. Shepard lead Cypress Ridge to a District 17-5A championship and be named a First-Team selection to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team.
Jacquizz Rodgers – Running Back
Rodgers was a star for Rosenberg Lamar Consolidated during his high school days. As a sophomore he rushed for 2278 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns. Rodgers would only get better his junior year when he ran for 2592 yards and 50 touchdowns. He would cap of his high school career by rushing for 2890 yards and 37 touchdowns and helping his team capture the 2007 Division I 4A State Title.
He was named the 4A Region III Offensive Player of the Year, a First-Team All-Conference selection and the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Year in the 4A classification.
Caleb Benenoch – Offensive Lineman
The former UCLA Bruin was a four-star recruit at Katy Seven Lakes and also a PrepStar All-Midlands Region selection. He was constantly ranked as one of the top high school offensive guards and would go on to start nine games his freshman year at UCLA and be the routine starter till he was drafted this year by Tampa Bay.
Mike Evans – Wide Receiver
One of the bright rising stars in the NFL, the former Texas A&M All-American was also a standout athlete at Galveston Ball High School. Evans played basketball and ran track but did not actually play football until his senior year. In that year he earned Second-Team District 24-4A honors after nabbing 25 receptions for 648 yards and seven touchdowns. Even with only one year under his belt, A&M recruited him and the rest is history.
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