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Greatest High School Football Players You Played On The Field With


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Borrowing from the Greatest High School Football Players You Have Seen Play (In Person) thread, I figured I'd give this one a little twist.

 

Who are the greatest players you have been on the field with...in person...the both of you wearing pads? Can be guys who played on your team, or guys you played against on opposing teams.

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Artie Steinmetz (Covington Catholic)

Dude was a force. He was D1 defensive lineman, recruited by Nick Saban at Michigan State, and was double and triple teamed by every team we played his senior year...yet he still managed to be one of the top two tacklers on our team. I was a sophomore is senior year, and I won't ever forget getting launched airborne by Artie during two-a-days when we were running special teams practice. He was a wedge-breaker on the starting kickoff team, and I was playing on the scout team kick-return squad as part of the wedge. Artie came barreling down the field, walloped me, and the whole world was an interesting tint of green when I opened my eyes back up after hitting the ground on my back. He walked up to me, pulled me to my feet, gave me a swat on the backside and said, "Good hit." I spent the rest of practice being observed by the trainer to make sure I wasn't concussed.

 

Artose Pinner (Hopkinsville)

Artose "The Duece" was the starting running back for the Hoptown Tigers when we played them in the 1997 AAA state finals. He could juke just about anyone out of their jock. Ended up playing at UK, and then in the NFL for the Lions, Vikings, Falcons, and Saints.

 

Justin Frisk & Scott Kuhnhein (Highlands)

I guess I might say these two are technicalities...we were all on the field in pads, but I was by no means a starter as a sophomore - their senior year. Frisk was a helluva ball carrier. Tied for 28th on the KHSAA's season rushing touchdowns leader board (35), and went on to play at Thomas More College. Kuhnhein was a man-child, who went on to play for Jim Tressel at Ohio State and won a 2002 National Championship ring.

 

Jared Lorenzen (Highlands)

Took the field against him several times. I still remember the first time I saw him throw a pass. 60 yards. Crazy arm on him. Played at UK, and then in the NFL for the Giants. Lorenzen is on several KHSAA record leader boards: tied for 18th place on the career touchdown pass board (89), tied for 14th place on the single season touchdown pass board (45), 29th place on the career completion percentage (59.7%), 49th on career passing yards (6,821), 37th on the single season passing yards board (3,392), and tied for the longest touchdown pass, with a 99 yarder thrown against Campbell County in 1996.

 

Derek Smith (Highlands)

At 6'-4" with arms that seemed to add another 6 feet onto him, it was tough to stop Derek from catching anything Lorenzen threw his way on the field. Went on to play tight end at UK, and play on three NFL practice squads. Derek is still tied in 12th place on the KHSAA's all-time touchdown receptions leader board (36), tied for second on the KHSAA's single game touchdown receptions leader board (5), is 43rd on the KHSAA's career receiving yards leader board (2,304), and 3rd on the KHSAA's single game receiving yards leader board (304).

 

Michael Munoz (Moeller)

Apple didn't fall from the tree. Michael Munoz, son of NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, was huge, incredibly talented on the field, and an incredibly good person off the field as well. I've still got a shoulder prone to dislocation resulting from meeting with him on the field in the inaugural Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown. Went on to play at Tennessee, and make appearances in two Peach Bowls and two Cotton Bowls.

Edited by Colonels_Wear_Blue
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I will give it a try.

 

Gus Parks

Harrodsburg. Great RB. Later starred for the EKU National Champions in '82.

 

Wilbur Dunn

Garrard County. Not large but fast and powerful. A threat every time he touched the ball. Had a great career at Kentucky State University.

 

Jeff Smith

Actually played FB at Washington County at 6'5". Great punter. Tough runner and blocker for the Commanders. Would go on to start at DT for UK. His younger brother Larry Smith was even better but he was only a soph when I played against him and our OLine pretty much controlled him in that game.

 

Jackie Jewell

WR and RB for Somerset. Heck of an athlete that could do a lot for the Jumpers. If memory serves he went to Morehead but was injured.

 

Roger Turner

LB and OLineman for the Admirals. He was tough as nails and had a great nose for the ball. Really blossomed his Senior year and again, if memory serves, received a Scholarship to Villanova but they dropped the program after he got there. I think they honored the scholly. I really felt he was the best LB I ever played against.

 

Pernell Donehy

Pernell was a thorn in my side back to Little League. He QB Danville from '78 to '80. Very quick. Ran the veer until his Senior year when Duffy came to town and put him in the Bone. The Ads were one of the best teams I ever played against in '80. They peaked at the end and if not for that OT loss to Woodford Co taking them out of the playoffs I believe they would have challenged for the AAA title that year. Pernell always played his best against us. Never played outside of HS but he was a heck of a HS player.

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Miguel Merriett-(RB/LB/WR;Hop-Twn) Athlete that played all over the field. Went to Alabama after playing Juco ball. Chad Spencer-(WR/TE;Franklin Simpson) Big Receiver that ended up on the All SEC FR team at UK. Antwan Floyd(RB;Apollo) Big strong RB that was recovering from a torn ACL. Had he not been injured he was a major recruit IMO. Ended up at WKU where he set the one time rushing record. Deontae Kenner-(QB;Hop-Twn) Long athlete with a strong arm. Ended up being one of the best QB's to ever play at the University of Cincinnati. Tyrone Hopson-(OL/DL;Daviess Co.) Big lineman that was a load on both sides of the ball. Went to EKU(I-AA All American) then the NFL .

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Juan Thomas - Ashland

Juan played RB/DE and could have played virtually any position on the field. Probably the best "All-Around" Athlete I ever played against. Ashland won the 4A State Championship his senior year and Juan was a big reason why. He went on to have an outstanding AAA Baseball career, but he could have played DI football, baseball or possible DII/NAIA Basketball. He was just a great athlete.

 

DeAnthony Honicker - Pikeville

Myself and DeAthony were across from each other all night, me as a Guard and him as a DT. We battled all night, I never hit him higher then the waist. He was massively strong and I was average strength at best. But, I was faster then him and gave him all I had. After the game, he shook my hand and told me, "You were the best offensive lineman I've went against". I felt good about that. DeAnthony went on to play DL at UK.

 

Anthony Sharpey - Hazard

Sharpey was on the level of Juan Thomas as a RB. He was big, strong and fast. He delivered the hit on defenders and ran down hill with a force with his size.

 

J.J. Bailey - Pikeville

The way I understand it, Bailey only practiced with Pikeville a few weeks prior to us playing them and he didn't seem to know the playbook very well yet, so what it looked like to us was they had "JJ Bailey Right" and "JJ Bailey Left" and he was so fast that was all they needed. He was, more then likely, the fastest player I ever played against.

 

An Unknown NT - Newport Central Catholic

I had to play center my senior year because our center broke his thumb, and in the playoffs we played NCC. Their NT was a "mountain" and went on to play at Notre Dame. He was good and huge. I was average size and, as a center, started every play with one hand between my legs. I had a pretty good game against him, but after the game I honestly could barely walk. I was sore and so tired the next day I couldn't do much. Not tooting my own horn, but I left everything I had on the field that night. He was on the same level as DeAnthony Honicker above. The former line coach at Raceland still talks about that game and frequently asks me, "Do you remember that NT from NCC that you went against your senior year". I just say "Yay, I remember him". Then he says, "I don't know how you blocked him".

 

Chris Hutt - Ashland

Chris was a RB at Ashland and in the same class as myself, we played against year other in all sports all the way though school. Chris was a great athlete, not as big as many "Big time athletes", but a great athlete. He was the All-Time Leading Rusher at Ashland until Arliss Beach broke his record. Our senior year ('91) was the first time Raceland ever beat Ashland. Ashland was coming of their State Championship in '90. Chris was their big returning player from that team, so we focused on him pretty strongly and shut him down. Great athlete.

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Nathan McPeek, OT - Russell

6'4", 300lbs of mostly muscle. He was a mountain of a young man with quick feet. Very good athlete for his size. Started all four years at Marshall including a couple protecting Byron Leftwitch.

 

Eric Day, WR/RB - Russell

Maybe my memories of him are a little distorted due to being in constant awe of his physical ability, but I consider Eric to be the best athlete I ever played with/against. He set single season receiving records at Russell in '98 that still stand. I can't recall exact numbers but his stats looked something like this - 1,100yds and 15tds receiving, 700-800yds and 17tds rushing. His 32 total touchdowns were a school record at the time but has since been eclipsed. He was also a stand out in track and field as well. Tremendous agility and acceleration.

 

Jason Michael, QB - Lawrence Co.

He may not have been the flashiest or put up the biggest numbers, but he's one of the best pure football players I ever stepped on the field with. He was smart, tough, and a good athlete. Did everything possible to put his team in the best position to win. Starting QB for WKU's 2002 1-AA National Champions. Has been an assistant coach in the NFL with the 49ers and Chargers and is currently the Offensive Coordinator for the Tennessee Titans.

 

John Ortega, RB/DB - Prestonsburg

I don't really have any stats on Ortega, but he deserves to be mentioned. Generally considered one of the best to come out of the mountains in the last 25 years. Maybe the most versatile player I ever played against. Impacted the game all over the field on both sides of the ball.

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An Unknown NT - Newport Central Catholic

I had to play center my senior year because our center broke his thumb, and in the playoffs we played NCC. Their NT was a "mountain" and went on to play at Notre Dame. He was good and huge. I was average size and, as a center, started every play with one hand between my legs. I had a pretty good game against him, but after the game I honestly could barely walk. I was sore and so tired the next day I couldn't do much. Not tooting my own horn, but I left everything I had on the field that night. He was on the same level as DeAnthony Honicker above. The former line coach at Raceland still talks about that game and frequently asks me, "Do you remember that NT from NCC that you went against your senior year". I just say "Yay, I remember him". Then he says, "I don't know how you blocked him".

 

 

If they played at NewCath and went to Notre Dame... 1981 was Mike Kiernan, then later in the decade Frank Jacobs went to Notre Dame and caught the winning TD in the Fiesta bowl in 1988. I don't think there was a NewCath Player who went on to play at ND from the 1990 or 1991 squad. May have been a heckuva player but didn't go on to ND

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For me the best High School player I played with was Billy Vogt from NewCath, he graduate in 1979. Billy wasn't very big, but was the best open field runner I ever saw. He wasn't big enough to play RB in college, he played DB for Morehead in the early 80's. He averaged over 9 yards a carry his Senior year. Sadly he was never given the ball more than 15 times in any game.

 

The best I played against was "Fast Freddie" Jacobs from Wyoming, who went on I believe to Penn St.

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