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100 Greatest Players of the First 100 Years

Bemanuel_2 The list of the 100 greatest players in the state's history was released this afternoon.

As a member of the selection committee, I take great pride in this list. I'm sure there will be those who challenge individual members or ask why someone was not selected.

Trust me, this was an exhaustive process and there was great discussion on every person selected and on many who were bypassed. There were hours of conference calls, e-mails, research, etc. that went into this.

Please read over the list and comment on what you think.

QB: Danny Wuerffel, Fort Walton Beach; Daunte Culpepper Ocala Vanguard; David Bowden, Lakeland Kathleen; Eddie McAshan, Gainesville; George Mira, Key West; Jimmy Jordan, Tallahassee Leon; John Reaves, Tampa Robinson; Tim Tebow, Ponte Vedra Beach Nease.

Fb_100_c_2RB: Antone Smith, Pahokee; C.J. Spiller, Lake Butler Union County; Edgerrin James, Immokalee; Emmitt Smith, Pensacola Escambia; Earnest Graham, Cape Coral Mariner; Frank Gore, Coral Gables; Fred Taylor, Belle Glade Glades Central; James Massey, Jefferson County; John L. Williams, Palatka; Larry Smith, Tampa Robinson; Marquette Smith, Winter Park Lake Howell; Ottis Anderson, West Palm Beach Forest Hills; Rick Casares, Tampa Jefferson; Travis Henry, Frostproof; Tucker Frederickson, Hollywood South Broward; Tyrone Moss, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely; Willie Galimore, St. Augustine Murray.

WR: Andre Johnson, Miami Senior; Anthony Carter, Riviera Beach Suncoast; Darrell Jackson, Tampa Catholic; Harold Carmichael, Jacksonville Northwestern/Raines; Jesse Hester, Glades Central; Joe Goldsmith, Lakeland Kathleen; Kenny Burrough, Jacksonville Raines; Matt Frier, Live Oak Suwannee; Michael Irvin, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas; Ron Sellers, Jacksonville Paxon. TE Claude Moorman, Miami Senior.

OL: Burton Lawless, Punta Gorda Charlotte County; David Williams, Lakeland; Forest Blue, Tampa Chamberlain; Henry Lawrence, Palmetto Lincoln; Jeff Faine, Sanford Seminole; Larry Brown, Starke Bradford County; Larry Gagner, Daytona Beach Seabreeze; Larry Little, Miami Washington; Lomas Brown, Miami Norland; Noah Jackson, Jacksonville Beach Fletcher; Stefan Humphries, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas; Steve Hutchinson, Coral Springs; Williams Roberts, Miami Carol City.

DL: Corey Simon, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely; David "Deacon" Jones, Eatonville Hungerford; Don Latimer, Fort Pierce Central; Eddie Edwards, Fort Pierce Central; Eddie Weaver, Haines City; Gerard Warren, Lake Butler Union County; Jack Youngblood, Monticello Jefferson County; Jerome Brown, Brooksville Hernando County; Jim Osborne, Fort Lauderdale Dillard; Marty Lyons, St. Petersburg Catholic; Ted Hendricks, Hialeah; Ted Washington, Tampa Bay Tech; Vince Wilfork, Lantana Santaluces.

LB: Barry Krauss, Pompano Beach; Derrick Brooks, Pensacola Washington; Lamont Green, Miami Southridge; Marvin Jones, Miami Northwestern; Ralph Ortega, Coral Gables; Ray Lewis, Lakeland Kathleen; Ricky Jackson, Pahokee; Scot Brantley, Ocala Forest; Steve Kiner, Tampa Hillsborough; Wilber Marshall, Titusville Astronaut.

DB: Barry Hill, Delray Beach Carver; Bennie Blades, Sunrise Piper; Bobby Butler, Delray Beach Atlantic; Brian Dawkins, Jacksonville Raines; Deion Sanders, North Fort Myers; Ken Riley, Bartow Union Academy; Lemar Parrish, Riviera Beach Kennedy; Leroy Butler, Jacksonville Lee; Lito Sheppard, Jacksonville Raines; Reggie Nelson, Palm Bay; Sam Madison, Tallahassee FAMU; Samari Rolle, Miami Beach; Sean Taylor, Miami Gulliver Prep; Steve Tannen, Southwest Miami.

KS/ATH: Pat Summerall, Lake CityColumbia; John Carney, West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman.

ATH: Anquan Boldin, Pahokee (QB/WR/DB); Arnold Tucker, Miami Senior (QB/DB); Cyril Pinder, Hollywood Crispus Attucks; Devin Hester, Riviera Beach Suncoast; James Jones, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely (TE/LB/KR); Jammi German, Fort Myers (WR/DB/KR); Leon Bright, Merritt Island; Michael Timpson, Hialeah Miami Lakes (RB/WR/KR); Tommie Frazier, Bradenton Manatee (QB/KR); Warren Sapp, Apopka (TE/LB/DL); Wes Chandler, New Smyrna Beach (RB/WR/KR); Dale Van Sickel, Gainesville.

Bios on each player


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You guys don't know crap. There was a running-back at Miami Springs whose last name was Miles, he ran over everyone he played. I can't believe you don't have him on your list of best RBs. If the player didn't make it in college, you don't know him. You guys are fly by nighters.

Bob Emanuel Jr.

Yes, and you don't even remember his name...

Miami Guy

You left out a Heisman Trophy finalist and NFL great: Lorenzo White of Dillard High School.


what about chad johnson

rene hernandez

His name is Fred Miles grduated about 1979 or 80 i remeber he was great.

rene hernandez

His name is Fred Miles grduated about 1979 or 80 i remeber he was great.


jonathan vilma???


Greg Allen - RB - Milton High - (77'-80')...Florida State University All Time Leading Rusher from (1984 - 1996), Hiesman Trophey Finalist in 1984


Are you kidding me??? What a lack of respect guys - You also forgot:

Rodney Bellinger - DB- Coral Gables (tremendous DB and kick returner - had 10 int's and 6 TD's off kickoffs and punts - in one season)

Al DelGreco - K - Coral Gables (had FG's over 50yds and consistent 100% PK's and only missed 1 FG senior year)

Neal Colzie - DB - Coral Gables (unbelievable player - possibly best to play the position in Dade - only Sean Taylor came close)

Glen Cameron - FB - Coral Gables ( a motor for the 68' and 69' National Championship teams)

Gerald Tinker - WR - Coral Gables (can you say fast? a WR with speed not seen in those times, he was one of the motors of the National Championships 67' and 68').

Ralph Larry Rentz - DB - Coral Gables (big and tough DB - another stud for Nick Koyts National Champions '64)

Tom Bailey - RB - Coral Gables (a bruiser of a RB for the great Gables teams of mid 60's)

Gary Dunn - DT/NT - Coral Gables (a very big man and solid defensive lineman in early 60's Gables team)

Jonathan Vilma - LB - Coral Gables ( a real linebacker that put a hurting on many players that can still remember the pain to this day)

Kevin Gibbs - RB - Coral Gables (he set the standard at Gables before Frank Gore)

Craig Curry - QB - Coral Gables (led the offense for the Championship teams 67' and 68' - named all state QB)

Paul Johnstone - LB - Coral Gables (tremendous athlete on 67' team)

Roger Peace - ATL - Coral Gables (named Dade County Athlete of the year 1967)

Van Waiters - LB/WR - Coral Gables (solid player on both sides for early 80's team)

Mitch Berger - Coral Gables 1970
Mike Harrison - Coral Gables 1957
Ted Saussele - Coral Gables 1959
Billy Williamson - Coral Gables 1958

Faud Reveiz - k -Sunset (both he and Del Greco were best ever in Florida)

Freddy Miles - RB - Miami Springs - 1980

Lester Williams - DT - Carol City - 1978

Dennis McKinnon - South Miami - 1979

We are spoiled in Miami-Dade county with so many gifted players that have played here.


There are too many guys on the list who are there because of their pro and college careers. For example, William Roberts wasn't even All-Dade at Carol City. Larry Little was a lightly regarded fullback in high school. In fact Larry's brother, David Little, was a better high school player and he's not on the list.

Also, there are some great oldtimers missing from your list who accomplished great things. Just because you never saw them play, doesn't mean they didn't exist.

Where are these guys?

Larry Rentz - Coral Gables...He led Coral Gables to back-to-back state titles in 1963 and 1964. Former Miami Herald writer Neil Amdur once wrote a poem about him called "No Defense For Larry Rentz".

Pete Williams - Miami High...Back in the 1940s, Williams was the best player in the state on Stingaree teams that won mythical national titles.

David Little - Jackson...He was better than his more famous brother Larry Little in high school. David Little was a Parade All American.

Vernon Carey - Northwestern...the most powerful offensive lineman to ever come out of Dade. He was the leader and anchor of the 1998 Northwestern 6A championship team and a Parade and USA Today All American.

Lester Williams - Carol City...Parade Magazine Lineman of the Year in 1977 and led Carol City to the 4A title that year. He was also Dade Athlete of the Year. Greatest defensive lineman in Dade history.

I could go on and on. But the criteria should be to include the best high school players--not just big names from the NFL and college.

Charvas Coley

RB's From Miami Southridge

Darren Davis
Troy Davis
Sederic Ervin


Bob Emanuel Jr.

Of course there are deserving guys who got left out. The list is only 100 strong. Trust me, we could have easily selected 1,000 players. Florida is just that loaded.

You've got to remember, you can't have too many guys from one area or the list would be meaningless. It's got to be spread around.

One of the players I'm quite fond of (and have a minor friendship with) is LB Jon Beason (Chaminade, UMiami, Carolina Panthers). He did not make the list.

It's not about playing favorites. I would have loved to have gotten more people on, but it was all done by a committee and we tried to spread it around by era and area.


I understand the difficult make such a list. But why are there guys listed who didn't do much in high school? Larry Little was a great Miami Dolphin. But if you really research his high school career, it was sketchy at best. There were guys from Little's era were actually better--much better.

Michael Irvin only played one year at St. Thomas Aquinas. If you look up the St. Thomas record books, you'll find receivers who had better numbers than Irvin. Irvin is there because of his years with the Canes and Cowboys.

Chris S.

Bob, this is a flawed and misguided project because there are so many great players that it is an impossible and unrealistic task to identify the top 100 guys.

What you should now do is create Dade's Top 100 in the past 100 years. Probably a more realistic goal.

Chris S.

Bob, It's also tremendously unfair to those who were missed by the committee due to oversight, which in this case would have been all too easy.


These lists are all in good fun. But realistically, it's impossible to identify the 100 best in the state of all time. It takes some serious research to make that kind of list.

I'd like mention some names not listed:

Derek Brown - Merritt Island...This guy was a phenomenal tight end in the late 1980s. He was Parade Magazine's National Player of the Year.

Wally Woodham - Tallhassee Leon...For many years he held the state career passing records and led his team to the 4A state title in 1974.

Corey Sawyer - Key West...Awesome athlete who played QB, DB and returned kicks. He was Parade All American and led Key West to a state title game.

Willie McClendon - Jacksonville University Christian....Only Emmitt Smith put up better rushing numbers in state history. McClendon led his team to a pair of state titles.

Troy Davis - Miami Southridge...First Dade County player to rush for over 2,000 yards and led Southridge to the 6A title in 1993. USA Today Florida Player of the Year.

Again, I could go on and on. I was a little surprised none of them made the list.


Whom did anyone ask here in the South Florida area to help out...because this is a slap in the face to a project that had some merritt.

Bob Emanuel Jr.

Baller and Chris,

Thank you for realizing how impossible this was. Like I said earlier, there were 600-700 guys who could have easily made it. It was impossible to cut it to 100. You try to represent the eras and areas as best as possible. You take a sampling.

you try to judge high school accomplishments with college and professional ones as well. You try to examine the body of a player's work.

The funny thing is all the names you guys bring up were under consideration at one point.

Just wait until next week's top 33 is released. That one will be even more shocking.

Just realize there was not a personal agenda here. It was trying to get as many deserving candidates honored as possible. If the committee was five different people, the team would likely have 30-40 different names. If you got five people together, you'd have that type of a difference.

Do me a favor, and I'm serious here... Ask four buddies to vote on the top 10 players in the NFL right now, regardless of position. Do it in secret. Then compare your lists. I guarantee, there will be differences. Now ask them to identify the top 20 players in the NFL's history. See how impossible the task is?

Unfortunately, there will never be a perfect way to pick. We're flawed as people, and we make flawed choices. The committee gave its best effort to recognize who it thought, through a lengthy process, was the most deserving. Yes, it is not perfect. It is, however, our best effort in recognizing those who deserved the honor.

Cane fan in Atlanta

I don't know why Jackie Ford from South Broward class of 1977 isn't on here. There should be more players from the late 60s early 70s Hollywood Hills teams and mid-late 70s South Broward teams. I agree with some that say that pro and college career were counted too much....


Derek Thomas
Marvin Jones
Rufus Ferguson
Jackie Holmes
Nat Moore
John Williams
Neil Colzie or any of the other Gables kids
Larry Brinson
Buky Dent
Freddie Miles
Elvis Peacock
Buster Rhymes
Demetrius Brown
Samari Rolle
Jose Rios
Nate Webster
Godfrey Myles
Tim Paulk
Darrin Smith
Greg Jackson
Mike Barrow

The trouble, in a nutshell, is the list is those who are NFL recognized. People who voted totally forgot that South Florida has always ruled the roost when it comes to high school football talent.

Shame on them for not having someone here in this area to at least school them. Great idea....bad results!


Why wouldnt Sean Taylor be on the list also as a RB? He only holds the record for most TDs scored in a single season in Florida, while playing RB for Gulliver. And i also believe that he should be higher up in the DB list. He was one of the best in the league at his position and had the talent to be one of the best ever at the position. He destroyed people in high school, saw it with my own eyes. It was bad.

RIP Sean, i love you....and i hope those 4 idiots suffer in the worst way possible for the rest of their piece of [CRAP] lives.

Editor's note: Please refrain from cursing. Even though it may be warranted there, it is a family newspaper and we cannot tolerate vulgarity. -- BOB


Ben Hanks out of Miami High!! This man played all the key positions at that Miami high, c/0 91. Was a star at Florida. Stacy Moore out of Edison c/o89 , one of that best Qb's out of Dade county!!!


Bob, I don't have to remember his name, you do.

Bob Emanuel Jr.


There is no pecking order on the list. It doesn't mean anything where a person is listed.

Next week, the top 33 will be announced. The listing on the top 100 was random so no clues were given.

Also, if a player was a great RB and DB, they are listed once. In Sean's bio, it talks about both.


Peter Warrick - Bradenton Southeast High??

Jeremi Rudolph - Apopka High??

Kenard Lang - Evans High??

Leon Searcy - Evans High??

Sebastion Janikowski - Seabreeze??

Hacksaw 85

Man, the best ATH of the 80's - Eddie Brown from Miami High!!!


Teako Brown Safety Miami Carol City. All SEC Florida Gators.


I just got a good laugh at the guy who rolled off the entire Coral Gables rosters of the last 25 years as viable candidates.

Something that might blow your skirt up, and forgive me if I do not remember which exact name it was that I saw. But he was picked as one of the 100 greatest, and played in the 1920's


If you are going off Highschool, then Willie Williams of Carol City/Pace has to be considered.


Rod Baker from Blanche Ely was the state's best football player ever.

Football Guy

WOW no Mike Barrow, Courtland Bullard, or even Rohan Davey. Damn if it is for high school career why no James Smith OL Homestead 94-97.


Orson Mobley, TE, Miami Palmetto, this guy was once the Herald Athlete of the Year and started in a few Super Bowls for the Broncos.


Just for the record - if we're going on College and Pro - then these Gables + greats make a huge difference.....

*Frank Gore - UM, San Francisco 49r's
*Ralph Ortega, UF, Atlanta Flacons, Dolphins
*Rodney Bellinger - UM, Buffalo Bills
*Al DelGreco - Auburn, Green Bay Packers, Phoenix Cardinals
*Neal Colzie - Ohio State, Oakland Raiders, Bucs and Dolphins
*Glen Cameron - UF, Cincinnati Bengals
*Gerald Tinker - Memphis/Kent State, Atlanta Falcons - Olympics
*Ralph Larry Rentz - UF, San Diego Chargers
*Tom Bailey - FSU, Philadelphia Eagles
*Gary Dunn - UM, Pittsburgh Steelers
*Jonathan Vilma - UM, New York Jets
*Van Waiters - Indiana, Cleveland Browns
*Faud Reveiz - Tennessee, Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings
*Dennis McKinnon - FSU, Chicago Bears, Cowboys


The list is not complete without Lorenzo White. He ran me over and it really hurt.


Derrick Thomas!!!!! Big Miss.

I don't think Sean Taylor played DB in Gulliver. Didn't he play RB and LB?

Big Perm

Great list! I learned a lot about the players on the list. Here a few that you have gotten:
"Touchdown" Tyrone Carter ( went on to win the Thrope award at U of Minn) - Ely
Henri Crockett or Zach Crockett - Ely

Note: Currently on your list there are 3 Ely tigers!





Hassan Jones WR Clearwater High School, he played for FSU and the Vikings. He was also on the state basketball championship team.


The best backs that I saw were Darren and Troy Davis. Sedric Irvin also played with them and he was probably better than them. You need to look at career rushing lists to see who did it for more than one year.


Larry Rentz was the greatest HS quarterback I have seen in more than 50 years of watching HS football. I am not a Coral Gables graduate;lived in Hialeah and went to Curley. I went to the Gables vs. Hialeah game (Hendricks on defense) in Municipal Stadium (now Milander)to see one of the best games I can recall. Unfortunately, Larry reached his peak in HS. He went on to UF, but never was able to reach the stardom he had in HS.


What about Mike Moore-UGA and Dexter Davidson-Pitt

one of the best QB WR duo's

rick c

I watched and coached football in Dade for 40 years and the three players who dominated a footbball game from beginning to end were Ted Hendricks,DE, Hialeah. Frank Lasky, Coral Gables,DT, and Rick Zeller, WR, Coral Park. Hendricks and Lasky were number one draft choices, and I once saw Rick Zeller score 3 TD's in less then two minutes against South Dade. Nobody could cover him.


Are you guys serious with this list, if so i should be a sports writer/reporter as well, all the great players we have had come out of MIAMI DADE county and that's the list you come up with??? what about



what about;



Alonzo Highsmith, Columbus. He couldn't be stopped as a RB and on defense.


Guys ! You obviously don't know football - hell - sports period ! You are missing a few consensus All-Americans here:
1. Kenny Phillips - #1 player in the Nation
2. Nate Webster - USA Today & Parade AA
3. Keith Rivers - USA Today & Parade AA
4. Sedric Irvin - USA Today & Parade AA
5. Vernon Carey - USA Today & Parade AA
6. Willis Mc Gahee - Parade AA
7. Sabastion Janikowski - USA Today & Parade
8. David Little - Parade AA
9. Jacory Harris - USA Today & Parade AA
10.Demetrius Morely - USA Today & Parade AA
11.Antrell Role - USA Today & Parade AA
12.Jaime German - #1 Player in the Nation


Can't argue with the list but there does seem to be a South Florida bias. What about Central Florida? Sammy Smith (Apk), Brent Fulwood and Tiger McMillan(St Cloud) Kenard Lang, Brandon Siler, and Horace Coupland (Evans), Bobby Cipio (Osceola) and Palph Santana (Col)check the carreer leader board in recptions. Gotta show central florida a little more love!! The case could be made for another 100 players..this is Florida. A couple come to mind off the top of my head... Clifford Charlton, Phillip Riley, Ridell Anthony and how does McGahee get left off

John Quinn

what about antrell rolle he was a prade all-american at south dade senior high as a db and a kick returner not to mentetion an all american at miami and the number 8 pick in the draft no respect for south dade

Bob Emanuel Jr.


You are so right. There could easily be another 100 or 200 players mentioned. Unfortunately, there project called for 100. Like I said earlier, there are probably 50-60 slam dunks that everyone would have and the remainder that would be up for debate.

Bob Emanuel Jr.


We love you too. And your comment was deleted. Thanks for playing.

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