Cream of the Crop: The best of 30 years
01/28/2012 01:07:21 PM PST
01/28/2012 01:52:00 PM PST
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Marshawn Lynch (2004), Oakland Tech/Cal/Seahawks: Rushed for career-high 1,204 yards this past season and scored only rushing touchdown allowed by 49ers all season. (Sean Connelley/Staff)
The Cream of the Crop is celebrating its 30th birthday, and through the years there have been enough top-notch recruits to put together an NFL team -- not sayin' it would be a good one -- and a college team that would be tough on defense but a little light on offense.
Following is the best of the Cream of the Crop, with players chose for what they did during their entire careers, not just in high school. Many of these players were on more than one NFL team. They will be listed with their current teams if they are still playing or the team they played the most games with if they are retired.
Quarterback Gino Torretta (1988), Pinole Valley/Miami/Seahawks: Led 'Canes to co-national title in 1991 and won Heisman in 1992. Depth chart: Dennis Dixon (2003), San Leandro/Oregon/Steelers; Ken Dorsey (1999), Miramonte/Miami/49ers
Running back Marshawn Lynch (2004), Oakland Tech/Cal/Seahawks: Rushed for career-high 1,204 yards this past season and scored only rushing touchdown allowed by 49ers all season. Maurice Jones-Drew (2003), De La Salle/UCLA/Jaguars: Led the NFL in rushing this past season with 1,606 yards. Accounted for almost 50 percent of Jacksonville's total yardage in 2011. Depth chart: Jahvid Best (2007), Salesian/Cal/Lions; Roy Helu (2007), San Ramon Valley/Nebraska/Redskins.
Wide receiver Amani Toomer (1992), De La Salle/Michigan/Giants: Giants' all-time leader in receptions (668), yards (9497) and touchdown catches (54). Chris Walsh (1987), Ygnacio Valley/Stanford/Vikings: Tied with Ken Margerum and Glyn Milburn for 10th on Stanford's all-time receiving list with 141 catches. Depth chart: Will Blackwell (1993), Skyline/San Diego State/Steelers; Demetrius Williams (2001), De La Salle/Oregon/Ravens
Tight end Eric Bjornson (1990), Bishop O'Dowd/Washington/Cowboys: Told the Dallas Morning News that receiver Michael Irvin was the best teammate he ever had. Depth chart: Justin Peelle (1997), Dublin/Oregon/49ers
Offensive line Tarik Glenn (1993), Bishop O'Dowd/Cal/Colts: Started all 154 games he played in during eight-year NFL career. Jeremy Newberry (1994), Antioch/Cal/49ers: Played right tackle, right guard and center during his 10 seasons with the 49ers. Marvel Smith (1996), Skyline/Arizona State/Steelers: Spent nine seasons with Steelers, starting all but four of the 112 regular season games he played in. Aaron Taylor (1990), De La Salle/Notre Dame/Packers: Started in two Super Bowls in his four years with Packers. Considered one of the greatest offensive linemen in Notre Dame history. Langston Walker (1997), Bishop O'Dowd/Cal/Raiders: Has spent eight of his 10 NFL seasons with Raiders. Depth chart; David Bakhtiari (2009), Serra/Colorado; Frank Beede (1991), Antioch/Panhandle State (Okla)/Seahawks; Thomas Byrd (2007), McClymonds/Boise State; Scott Sanderson (1992), Clayton Valley/Washington State/Titans
Place-kicker Justin Medlock (2002), Mission San Jose/UCLA/Chiefs: All-American kicker as senior at UCLA made 49 of 55 FG this past season for Hamilton Tiger-Cats of CFL. Long was 57 yards.
Defensive line Lorenzo Alexander (2001), St. Mary's-Berkeley/Cal/Redskins: Switched from DL to OLB by Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. Washington's special teams captain. D'Marco Farr (1989), Kennedy-Richmond/Washington/Rams: Had 36.5 sacks during his seven years with Rams. Now a color analyst for the team. Derek Landri (2002), De La Salle/Notre Dame/Eagles: Had his best success with Carolina in 2010, starting 15 of 16 games. Was a reserve for Philadelphia in 2011 after signing as free agent. Regan Upshaw (1993), Pittsburg/Cal/Bucs: Had nine-year NFL career, spending four years in Tampa Bay and three seasons with Raiders. Was 12th overall pick in NFL draft in 1996. Depth chart: DeWayne Patterson (1990), McClymonds/Washington State; Joe Tafoya (1996), Pittsburg/Arizona/Bears
Linebacker Jamir Miller (1991), El Cerrito/UCLA/Cardinals: All-Pro in 2001, when he had 13 sacks for the Browns. Eight years in NFL, five with Arizona, three with Cleveland. Kirk Morrison (2000), Bishop O'Dowd/San Diego State/Bills: Had at least 116 tackles in each of his five seasons with the Raiders. Was a reserve for Buffalo in 2011. Hannibal Navies (1995), Berkeley/Colorado/Panthers: Drafted by Carolina, spent two seasons as a starter for the Packers in 2003-04. D.J. Williams (2000), De La Salle/Miami/Broncos: Was 17th overall pick in 2004 draft. Has spent entire career with Denver. Started first seven seasons with Broncos. Depth chart: Marcus Cotton (1984), Castlemont/USC/Falcons; Gerris Wilkinson (2001), Skyline/Georgia Tech/Giants; Jeff Kopp (1990), San Ramon Valley/USC/Jaguars; Sam Williams (1998), Clayton Valley/Fresno State/Raiders
Defensive backs Thomas DeCoud (2003), Pinole Valley/Cal/Falcons: Fourth-year pro has started last three seasons in Atlanta secondary. Jarrad Page (2002), San Leandro/UCLA/Chiefs: Spent four seasons in Kansas City, started for two of them. Split time between Vikings and Eagles in 2011. Lamont Thompson (1997), El Cerrito/Washington State/Titans: Spent six years in NFL; was Titans starting free safety for three seasons. Roy Williams (1998), James Logan/Oklahoma/Cowboys: Five-time Pro Bowler with Dallas. Cowboys first pick in 2002 draft, taken eighth overall. Retired at end of 2010 season and is member of Sooners' broadcast team. Depth chart: Je'Rod Cherry (1991), Berkeley/Cal/Saints; Terrell Roberts (1999), El Cerrito/Oregon State/Bengals; Marviel Underwood (2000), San Leandro/San Diego State/Packers
Punter Jackson Rice (2009), Campolindo/Oregon: Ducks' kicker was one of three finalists for Ray Guy Award, given to top punter in country. He finished second.
Coach David Shaw (1990), James Logan/Stanford: Former Cardinal wideout led Stanford to 11-2 record in first season as Jim Harbaugh's successor.
-- Compiled by Mike Lefkow