BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is a commentary blog from FOX6 Sports Director Rick Karle:
When you add them all up, the numbers are staggering. We've profiled hundreds of players before they were stars and dozens of them went onto superb NFL careers.
Just how many top NFL Draft picks have been on Sideline? How about eight first round picks, not to mention second-round draft picks such as DeMeco Ryans of Jess Lanier High School and Karlos Dansby of Woodlawn High School.
So then, the eight players you saw on Sideline who went onto become first-round NFL Draft picks, starting with an overall number one pick:
Sideline 2011: Jameis Winston, Hueytown High School
It was only a few months ago that the former Golden Gopher was picked number one overall by the Tampa Bay Bucs. You saw Jaboo do his thing on Sideline 2011, excelling at not only in football but baseball. Winston accounted for nearly 250 offensive yards per game his senior season in high school and averaged over 20 yards per pass completion. Winston also gave Sideline its first Heisman Trophy a few years later. Our video library is full of Jameis Winston highlights!
Sideline 2008: Dre Kirkpatrick, Gadsden City High School
The hard-hitting defensive back was a mainstay on the Gadsden City Titans team. Dre had superb senior season in high school as he chalked up 193 tackles, 17 interceptions, three returned for a touchdown, 36 pass breakups, two sacks, one punt return touchdown, one kick return touchdown and one receiving touchdown. Kirkpatrick was a first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, going 17th overall to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Sideline 2008: Dee Ford, St Clair County High School
The pride of Odenville, Alabama was seen often on FOX6 his senior year in high school, as his prep career stats were impressive. As a senior, Ford recorded 90 tackles, including 38 tackles for loss and 18 sacks, intercepted a pass and broke up three while being named to the Class 4A All-State team by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. As a junior, he posted 87 total tackles with 16 tackles for a loss and 12 sacks. Ford was the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, selected by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sideline 2007: Marcell Dareus, Huffman High School
The big defensive lineman from Birmingham was a force his senior season at Huffman High School. Dareus played football, basketball and competed in track & field as a shot putter at HHS. In football, he was an ASWA All-State honorable mention at defensive lineman. He totaled 117 tackles and 20 sacks as a senior, and also returned a fumble for a touchdown. He was teammates with Andre Smith and was the third overall pick in the 2011 draft, chosen by the Buffalo Bills.
Sideline 2006: Rolando McClain, Decatur High School
The high school linebacker and tight end for the Decatur Red Raiders starred on Sideline 2006. As a high school junior he made 104 tackles, 11 for loss, four sacks, an interception, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery to go along with his 24 receptions for 436 yards on the offensive side of the ball. McClain's senior season ended with 106 tackles and 13 for loss, which lead to Parade All-American honors. After attending Alabama, McClain was chosen #8 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.
Sideline 2005: Andre Smith, Huffman High School
The big offensive lineman from Birmingham was often seen pancaking defensive linemen on Sideline 2005. At Huffman High School, Andre The Giant was a three-year starter, a two-time All-State selection, and Class 6A Lineman of the Year in 2005. After registering 88 pancake blocks his senior season, Smith was selected Mr. Football by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, becoming the only offensive lineman to ever win the honor in association's 23-year history. Smith was the 6th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, selected by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Sideline 2000: Carnell Williams, Etowah High School
It was evident by his sophomore year at Etowah High School that this running back would be something special. The Cadillac took his talents to Auburn where he quickly climbed the career records list. Today, Carnell is an assistant football coach a Henderson State in Tennessee. Williams was the 5th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, chosen by the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Sideline 1990: Antonio Langham, Hazlewood High School
This tough defensive back from Town Creek helped carry on Hazlewood's football tradition by turning heads on Sideline 1990. He, of course, became famous for his interceptions in the 1992 Iron Bowl and the 1992 SEC Championship game. Langham was the 9th overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, selected by the Cleveland Browns.
It's been quite a thrill seeing young men develop after showing their skills on Sideline. The next NFL superstar coming from our Sideline show? Roc Thomas? AJ McCarron? Kerryon Johnson? Marlon Humphrey? Ardarius Stewart? Daron Payne? D'Runnya Wilson? They've all helped our Sideline show bring you enjoyment and excitement, and we will be proud to follow them to the NFL. Who's got next? We've got him on Sideline each and every Friday night at 10:08!