Best-ever HS football players in Guilford County

Keenan Allen may ready to claim this crown, but this week he has received competition from Josh Morehead in discussions here at the site and that has been mainly talk about what it going on this year(2009).

When you go back a few years, we are starting to get a strong list of names/candidates and here are a few that we have been hearing about and let’s add another big Guilford County name to that list and that would be Ted Brown out of High Point Andrews….

#23 RB had a great run in high school and he went on to start as a freshman at N.C. State where he was All-ACC and later he added All-Pro honors to his credits when he was with the Minnesota Vikings as their top runningback.

We may also need to add Jeff Davis to the list. He was the LB from Dudley who went on to star at Clemson and in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Some of the many names that are making the list this week from Guilford County as we look at their HS work, on to what they did later in college and then on to the NFL….

Would you rank Ted Brown #1, or Charlie Sanders, or Joe Bostic, or Reuben Davis, or Jeff Davis, or Bobby Hedrick or Keenan Allen or David Amerson or others……

And how about another guy that never gets mentioned, Brian Williams from Southwest Guilford and N.C. State, who is still in the NFL/pros with the Atlanta Falcons as a starting DB…….

1)Charlie Sanders
2)Ted Brown
3)Jeff Davis
4)Tripp Welborne
5)Keenan Allen
6)Toney Baker
7)Haywood Jeffries
8 Joe Bostic
9)Ethan Albright
10)Reuben Davis(Lineman Grimsley)
11)Todd Ellis
12)Tory Holt
13)Jeff Bostic
14)Johnny Evans
15)Dino Hackett
16)Brian Williams
17)Mark Dixon
18)Delton Hall
19)Rusty LaRue
20)Jeff Dunn
21)Bobby Hedrick(Runningback Eastern Guilford)
22)Ricky Adams(Runningback Ragsdale)
23)Terrence Holt
24)Joey Hackett
25)Ernie Woods(Runningback Southeast Guilford)

A very impressive list of names and it is certainly is open for discussion.


  1. Proehl was out of New Jersey and was roomates at Wake Forest with Stafford Moser out of Page and caught the ball from another HS phenom, QB Mike Elkins from Grimsley….

    Stafford Moser married Proehl’s sister Deborah and in high school at Page Moser was rotating at QB with Todd Ellis until they moved him to WR and he got a ride to Wake Forest and now he’s Proehl’s brother-in-law….

    A little more on Proehl from Wikipedia:
    Proehl attended Hillsborough High School in Hillsborough, New Jersey, where he starred in both football and baseball. During his senior year in football, he caught 42 passes for 900+ yards and 13 touchdowns. For his efforts that year, he was named a New York All-Metro selection, the Somerset County Player of the Year, and an All-State pick.

  2. I came up with a list of players that we could use in our Friday Football Fever promo. Some names that you could add to the list above are

    *Adrian Wilson, HP Andrews, NC State and Arizona Cardinals
    *Vince Evans, Smith, USC and Oakland Raiders

  3. A very good call from Brian H. Evans is going back a few too, but he was the game winner of the Rose Bowl while at Southern Cal and I believe he was in at QB for the Raiders in one of their Super Bowls and he also spent some time with the Chicago Bears.

    I do believe that Wilson and Williams were teammates at State and at Arizona…..

    Call from the hall…..

  4. Tripp Welbourne Led Page to State championship, 2 time all-american at Michigan before blowing his knee out his senior year.

  5. In 1983 Grimsley had Rueben Davis (UNC-NFL), Delton Hall(NFL) and Mike Elkins (Starting QB at Wake) and won 3 games. Not sure I have a point, just stating a fact.

  6. Based on what he’s done in the NFL you would have to put Tory Holt at the top of the list. As to high school acheivements you have to put Baker right up there. Over 10,000 yards? Over 130 TDs? That’s ridiculously good.

    And I almost missed Ricky Adams on your list. Back to back 2,000 yard seasons and back to back state titles. I was in junior high then and went to all the Ragsdale games. He was unstoppable.

  7. I have to agree on the Baker comment. All time leading rusher in high school football. I think that speaks for itself. Keep on truckin’ Toney Baker the touchdown maker.

  8. Wow!!! No Anthony Saunders from Western Guilford? Over 7000 yrds and 100 td’s? And Ron Kimber from the early 80’s( 2 time all metro player of the year)? Are you basing this on what they did after high school?

  9. Tim Gillespie played alongside the Bostics and went on to NC State
    Curtis Johnson, Smith and UNC

  10. I know this post is open for discussion, but what is the clear topic? Are we basing this off of the total careers (after high school), or are we basing this on just what they did in Guilford County?..If so, then Toney Baker needs to be higher…Keenan may be a great player, but the production does not compare to Baker…

    Now, who did / does more for their team should also take into accountability… I hear a lot of people say that without Keenan, then NG wouldn’t be no where near as good…I’m really sure the NG players love hearing that though…

  11. Stahle Vincent,Dudley(68′) Rice University,Pittsburgh Steelers; Ike Oglesby, Smith (69′) , UNC ; Maurice Spencer,Page (70′),North Carolina Central,New Orleans Saints

  12. I think we have to look at this list in some ways as a projection with a player like Keenan Allen and also look back at what many of these men did in relation to overall high school achievements and to what they went on to do in college and in the pros….

    You look at Toney Baker and he was great in high school, solid in college with many injury battles and who knows about the pros. Kudos to Toney for battling back from the injuries, if he doesn’t, then he is only a high school memory…….

    Tory Holt was steady in HS, getting warmer in college and lights out in the pros…..Similar deal with a guy like Haywood Jeffries he just kept on getting warmer/better….

    Jeff Bostic did more than Joe Bostic in the pros. Jeff a bit undersized in high school, got bigger and stronger in college and then exploded with a great team (Redskins) in the pros….

    This has created an eye-opening discussion and let’s keep it going….Anthony Saunders is another interesting case in study…Record-breaking numbers in high school, worked through many postion changes in college(UNC) and no pros… He has to be on the list somewhere though, based on the those HS rushing/TD numbers…..

    This has become a ground-breaking topic and let’s keep on sowing the seeds…

    Anyone ever hear of a kid, Billy Wilson out of High Point Central????? I hear he put up some huge numbers in high school……

    Some of the older players, Porter etc. were before my time, but we welcome them to the discussion…….

  13. Desmond “Tick” Gadsen (Dudley) S.C.State University,the late Tony Mckee(Dudley) Virginia Tech,Dallas Cowboys,Lawrence “Stick” Williams (Dudley), UCLA

  14. Andy, your logic is flawed. We can not look at projection. We dont know how well Keenan Allen will do. Plus
    Keenan only had one really dominating year, which is this year. You can not create a list like this and use your logic.
    The headline said “BEST EVER PLAYERS IN GUILFORD COUNTY”. Keenan Allen should be low on the list. Or am
    I wrong about the list. Is it a list of players, or the have you ranked these players? If it is just a list and not ranked, then Iwil lundwerstand.

  15. If you put up what Keenan Allen has done in high school so far against what Toney Baker did in HS and what he has done in college.. Baker without a doubt.. without thinking twice.. has accomplished more and should be higher then Allen..

  16. TD’s in one game
    7, Anthony Saunders (Western Guilford) , Western 59, Eastern Guilford 0, 1996

    Yards in one season
    7,782, Anthony Saunders (Western Guilford) 1996

    Individual rushing in one game
    424 Anthony Saunders W. Guilford vs. Clayton 1996 (56-12)

    Rushing TD’s
    100, Anthony Saunders (Asheboro/Western Guilford) 1993-96

    Rushing yards in a season
    2,780 Anthony Saunders (Western Guilford), 1996
    2,326 Anthony Saunders (Western Guilford), 1995
    2,155 Anthony Saunders (Western Guilford), 1994

    This guy is all over the record books.. how could we pass him up?

  17. the 7,782 number was supposed to be yards in career.. not yards in a season.. haha, sorry.

  18. This is pretty much just a list of names and a good one at that. There is some projection involved and it would change the list completely if went with what the guys did only when they were in high school.

    Since we have this list out now in 2009 and after seeing the evidence on players like Tory Holt, Haywood Jeffries and even a Jeff Bostic and a Joey Hackett our judgement can not help but be skewed. All very good in HS and they blew up later on as they headed past college and on to the pros…..We have seen all the evidence we can’t help but be influenced…

    We spoke about what he did yesterday after he didn’t make round one of the list and Anthony Saunders put up the huge high school numbers and Coach Charlie Griffin now deceased, God rest his soul, had a lot to do with that. I was there the night that Saunders tied Herbert Pressley for most TD’s in a game(7) for Western Guilford and Coach Griffin was sending Saunders after that record that night…..Teamwas up by bundle and it was late and Coach Griffin left Anthony in to get the record. Great runner and Coach Griffin loved to run him.

    This is a one excellent discussion and since all we have to go by is what Keenan is doing this year with the Big, Big numbers then we have to do some projecting. Kennan put up Big numbers last year, but they were against lesser known, non-Guilford County teams and the two years before that he was putting up above average numbers for Grimsley. He didn’t get the pub listings prior to this year and he probably deserved more coverage.

    High School-wise, Toney Baker may well be our man based on pure numbers, #2 All-Time nationally behind the guy from Sugarland, Texas, but Keenan may well be the best all-around football player/athlete that we have ever seen.

    The players are changing too. It used to be that guys would use power and run over you and now we see more players that fly by you and kill you on that first step, that first move off of the line…..These days speed and finese kills….

    Allen and Baker, two entirely different players, but both will long be remembered in Guilford County as will Anthony Saunders. Not trying to take anything away from Anthony at all……

  19. Just reading these post and I have to say, Keennan is for sure a great player and the reason this whole conversation being started is becuase of him. I’m a few years yonger than Tripp and played against Page at that time before going on to play in college. I saw Keenan play for the first time when he was thirteen years old and have seen him a few times in high school for Grimsley and Northern. Alot of people say Tripp Welborne and he would get my vote. Tripp was a two time all-american at Michigan. There were three or four defense backs selected in the first round that year and Tripp Welborne was projected to be the first DB taken in that NFL draft that year before blowing out his knee returning a punt against Ohio State at the end of the regular season. Tripp was a monster on the highschool and college levels. As for high school football in Guilford Co., Keenan Allen is the closest thing to Tripp Welborne that I have seen. Just my thoughts.. remenber, Keenan’s game is what started this conversation….

    P.S. I wasn’t bad myself

  20. Torry Holt has to be at or near the top of the list. He is the only super bowl MVP listed. He is the most talented player I’ve seen in about 40 years of coaching
    in Guilford County.
    Also, Anthony Flack who played at Smith in the early 80’s and was a free safety at Georgia deserves some rcognition.
    Everyone on this list deserves the recognition they are getting, but there are several that have been omitted. It’s just hard to put a cap on all the great Guilford County Football Players.

  21. if we are talking high school, Todd Ellis and Jeff Dunn were player of the year for the state of N.C. their respective senior years. How many others were the best player in the state, when they were in high school?

  22. Andy, remember the 1977 Western Guilford Hornets coached by the legendary Doug Henderson. Aaron Stewart was the quareteback and went on to play at Duke. There were real no superstars on that team, just a group of kids who worked hard to reach a goal instilled by the coaching staff. Aaron should be recognized as leading that team to the 3A State Championship. He was a great leader and human being.

  23. What about Ricky Lewis?

    22-0 as a starting QB, two time state title game MVP, two state titles
    over 2ooo yards rushing last year over, completed over 70% of his passes 1300 yards passsing, 1st team AP all state.

    Pretty impressive numbers. Not sure where he should be in the list but he deserves to be in the mix. This is a question but how many QB’s went undefeated as a starter in Guilford County?

  24. Johnny, another player off of that 1977 WG Hornet team that people ought to remember/should have seen play, was Glenn Morris. All-State linebacker that year along with Darrell Nicholson at North Forsyth and Glenn went on to play and start at ECU for Ed Emory and Art Baker and then later Glenn played for Jim Mora and the Philadelphia Stars in the USFL.

    Another WG guy that was one of the best athletes in the history of the County was QB, PG, SS Mark Guenther. He’s in the Guiford College Hall of Fame for baseball.

    Jones and Henderson knew how to turn out the players……..

  25. Anthony Saunders was headed towards a good college career until he was afflicted with severe arthritis before his junior season.

  26. I played against Tripp Welborne and he was great! Keenan Allan is by far the best high school football player I have ever seen! He is almost freakish scary good!

  27. A couple of Northeast Guilford guys that might deserve some HS consideration:
    Jimmy Wommack
    Jimmy Walden

  28. toney baker is well ahead of keenan allen at this level…..baker was 4 time all state and the NC all time leading rusher i think baker may be #2 on the list

  29. The best player ever in this area name was “SPKANKY LEGS JONES”. In one game he had 4 interceptions, 3 touchdown catches, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 touchdowns running, 4 touchdwon passing, 9 strike outs, three field goals, 14 free throws all on the same day and in the same game. He would have went straight to the pros if he had not spanked his legs. He attended 9 highschools in one quarter before going overseas.


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