High school rankings aren’t everything, but sometimes top players continue to excel into adulthood. Super Bowl LIII features 5 players who made an ALL-USA team while in high school. Let’s take a look at the player who blossomed into an NFL-caliber talent and his high school accomplishments leading up to it.
2005 ALL-USA WR Sam Shields
High School: Booker High School (Sarasota, Fla.)
In Sam Shields’ junior year, Booker went 3-7.
The next year, Shields caught 67 passes for 1,201 yards and 22 touchdowns. His team went 13-2, getting to the championship game.
He inserted himself into the elite wide receiver conversation in high school, and the majority of his catches were at high-stake times. Of the 67 receptions, 44 resulted in either a touchdown or first down, according to his Los Angeles Rams bio.
He’s no longer a wide receiver, though he did have a reception in the NFC Championship game. In Shields’ senior season at the University of Miami, he converted to full-time cornerback. But his ultra-versatility was apparent even in high school, as he lettered twice in a baseball and track and field, according to the bio.
Sam Shields was one of the top wide receiver recruits in the nation in 2005 after leading Brooker High School in Sarasota, FL to the Class 3A State Championship. After amassing just 75 catches and less than 1,000 yards over three seasons in Coral Gables, Shields was moved to cornerback for his senior year and was voted the Canes’ most improved player.
A rookie corner out of the University of Miami was considered a bust in college, but not on the defensive side of the ball.
Despite his gains, when the NFL draft rolled around Shields was still considered raw. He was the fastest prospect under draft consideration after running a 4.2 40-yard dash at his pro day. But no team saw fit to “waste” even a seventh-round pick on such a project.
Shields was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers, winning a Super Bowl with the team in 2011. After concussions derailed his career and almost lead to his retirement, he signed with the Rams this offseason.
We’ll be cheering for you, Sam Shields!