Picking the greatest South Carolina high school football players of all-time is a difficult task. One has to consider changes in football strategy, the evolution of the game and physical training of the athletes through many decades of football.
One thing that must be understood is that when selecting these players, only their high school careers were considered.
So, this is a list of the best “high school players,” not necessarily the players who might have gone on to stardom in college or the NFL.
THE TOP 10
1. DEMETRIS SUMMERS, LEXINGTON RB
This selection will cause the most debate, but the bottom line is, Summers was a lethal offensive weapon. He set national records from 1999-2002, and is still ranked among the best nationally. He compiled a four-year varsity career of 9,076 yards rushing and 120 touchdowns, while seldom playing the whole game. His rushing yards and TDs still rank 13 nationally all-time.
2. FREDDIE SOLOMON, SUMTER WR
Solomon played quarterback on the 1970 Sumter team. He rushed for 1,969 yards and scored 28 touchdowns on 208 carries, averaging 9.5 yards per carry. He passed for 10 touchdowns and scored 182 points in helping lead the Gamecocks to a 10-2 record. Prior to his senior year at Sumter, he played end and guard for Lincoln High.
3. JADEVEON CLOWNEY, SOUTH POINTE DE
A nightmare defensive end for opposing ball carriers, Clowney finished his three-year varsity career at South Pointe with 69.5 sacks and was the 2010 Mr. Football.
4. PERRY CUDA, SUMMERVILLE QB
Cuda was a Parade All-American who led the Green Wave to a 52-3 record in four seasons, passing for 5,600 yards and 60 touchdowns. He won state championships in 1978 and 1979.
5. A.J. GREEN, SUMMERVILLE WR
Another four-year starter (2004-07) for the Green Wave, Green’s 5,373 career receiving yards and 279 career receptions rank second and fourth, respectively, on the National Federation of High Schools’ football all-time career receiving records.
6. JUSTIN WORLEY, NORTHWESTERN QB
Voted National Gatorade Player of the Year, Worley finished his career at Northwestern with 13,320 yards passing and 156 passing touchdowns in three years as a starter. He led the Trojans to three consecutive 4A title appearances, winning the 2010 state title.
7. STEPHEN DAVIS, SPARTANBURG RB
Rushed for 3,984 yards and 56 touchdowns in 1990 and ’91 seasons for the Vikings, leading them to the 4A Divsion I state title in 1991.
8. BOBBY ENGRAM, CAMDEN WR
Thought of by many to be one of the most prolific receivers in state history, his legend still lives large in Camden, where he was a three-time all-state player in the late 1980s and early ’90s for the Bulldogs.
9. STAN MANNING, DILLON RB
He was one of the state’s top running backs in the mid ’90s with a brutal, physical style of running. He is thought by many to be one of the best ever from Dillon High.
10. JAMES “J.C.” CAROLINE, BOOKER T. WASHINGTON RB
Caroline was a three-sports standout at Booker T. Washington in the early 1950s and was great running the football because of his speed. Those who saw him play said he was a phenom for any era.
We list the remaining 140 top players here in an unranked, alphabetized listing.
|Robert Ayers||LB||Marlboro County|
|Charles Ben||WR||Calhoun County|
|Ryan Bethea||RB||Richland Northeast|
|Peter Bouleware||LB||Spring Valley|
|Jerry Butler||WR||Ware Shoals|
|Shon Carson||RB||Lake City|
|Adrian Dingle||DL||Holly Hill Roberts|
|Carlos Dunlap||DE||Ft Dorchester|
|Jimmy Fleming||RB||East Clarendon|
|Clifton Geathers||OL||Carvers Bay|
|Stephon Gilmore||DB||South Pointe|
|Everette Golson||QB||Myrtle Beach|
|Malliciah Goodman||DE||West Florence|
|Leon Hart||OL||Spring Valley|
|Jonathan Hefney||DB||Rock Hill|
|CoCo Hillary||QB||Strom Thurmond|
|Ira Hillary||WR||Strom Thurmond|
|Chris Hope||DB||Rock Hill|
|DeAndre Hopkins||WR||D.W. Daniel|
|Tim Jones||LB||Rock Hill|
|Vernell Jones||RB||Lake View|
|Jonathan Joseph||DB||Rock Hill|
|Erik Kimrey||QB||Dutch Fork|
|Ko Simpson||DB||Rock Hill|
|Byron Maxwell||DB||Ft Dorchester|
|Reggie Merriweather||RB||North Augusta|
|Syvelle Newton||QB||Marlboro County|
|Adam Patterson||DL||Richland Northeast|
|Jimmy Pegler||QB||Spring Valley|
|Robert Quin||DE||Ft Dorchester|
|Dorrell Scott||DL||Ridge View|
|Richard Seymour||DE||Lower Richland|
|Marty Simpson||K||Spring Valley|
|Marquese Stubbs||OL||Marlboro County|
|Bruce Taylor||LB||Myrtle Beach|
|Andre Waters||LB||Lake View|
|Charlie Waters||DB||North Augusta|
|Dakota Watson||DL||South Aiken|
|Roddy White||WR||James Island|
|Troy Williamson||RB||Silver Bluff|
|Tymere Zimmerman||WR||Marlboro County|