Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes is considered the best player at his position in the draft, and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon is considered one of the top two running backs available. Both should go in the first round Thursday night, and that means Bradford High in Kenosha, Wis., will become part of draft history.
That's because Gordon and Waynes were teammates at Bradford High. And, no, they did not win a state title in high school. Bradford did win a state title in 2011 -- the year after both graduated. (Former Heisman winner and NFL star running back Alan Ameche also is a Bradford High alum.)
The last time two players from the same high school went in the first round was 2010, when former Piscataway (N.J.) High stars Kyle Wilson (a cornerback from Boise State) and Anthony Davis (an offensive lineman from Rutgers) went 11th and 29th, respectively, to the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets. But Wilson graduated from high school two years before Davis.
The last time two players from the same high school's graduating class were taken in the first round in the same year? That would be 1997, with former Oceanside (Calif.) El Camino standouts Michael Booker (a cornerback at Nebraska) and Bryant Westbrook (a cornerback at Texas). Westbrooks went fifth to the Detroit Lions, and Booker went 11th to the Atlanta Falcons. Both graduated from El Camino in 1993.
Some other potential notable high school/draft achievements this year:
» As many as five alums of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas could be drafted: Miami WR Phillip Dorsett, Florida State WR Rashad Greene, Florida State G/T Bobby Hart, Purdue TE Gabe Holmes and Notre Dame DB Cody Riggs. Those five played at Aquinas (for at least one season) with, among others, Cincinnati Bengals RB Gio Bernard, St. Louis Rams DB Lamarcus Joyner, Jacksonville Jaguars guard Brandon Linder, St. Louis CB Marcus Roberson and New England Patriots RB James White. Other Aquinas alums already in the NFL include Cincinnati DT Geno Atkins, Indianapolis Colts WR Duron Carter, Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert and Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Major Wright. Aquinas alums currently playing college football include Ohio State DE Joey Bosa, Florida DE Bryan Cox Jr., South Carolina CB Al Harris Jr., Michigan QB John O'Korn and Michigan QB Jake Rudock.
» Miami's Central High also should be well-represented in the draft. Alums who likely will be selected this year are Syracuse S Durell Eskridge, Louisville CB Charles Gaines and Louisville G John Miller. Marshall QB Rakeem Cato is another Central alum who is in this draft. Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman played with each of the aforementioned quartet for at least one year in high school.
» Miami Norland has three alums who could be drafted: Miami OT Ereck Flowers, Miami RB Duke Johnson and Massachusetts TE Jean Sifrin. Flowers and Johnson were teammates for three seasons at Norland and then for three more years at Miami. Sifrin, meanwhile, dropped out of Norland as a senior in 2005 before eventually getting his GED and going back to college. One of Sifrin's teammates at Norland in 2005: Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown. Other Norland grads currently in the NFL: Cleveland Browns WR Dwayne Bowe, Minnesota Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes and San Diego Chargers OLB Tourek Williams. Rhodes and Williams were high school teammates.
» Sacramento (Calif.) Grant has two alums who could be drafted: Washington LB Shaq Thompson and Louisville S James Sample. Sample was a year ahead of Thompson at Grant, and they also were teammates at Washington for a year. Sample played for the Huskies for two seasons before moving on to a junior college and then Louisville.
» Two players who played together at Encino (Calif.) Crespi Carmelite and then for a while at Oregon could be selected: Southeastern Louisiana QB Bryan Bennett and Oregon C Hroniss Grasu. Both graduated high school in 2010 and both redshirted that fall at Oregon. Bennett played two seasons for the Ducks before transferring to the FCS school. Grasu, meanwhile, was a four-year starter for the Ducks.
» Three high schools in the Atlanta suburbs could have two players drafted. Connecticut WR Geremy Davis and Florida C Max Garcia are from Norcross High; both graduated high school in 2010. Green Bay Packers LB Adrian Hubbard is a Norcross alum, and he played with both Davis and Garcia in high school. Chattanooga DT Derrick Lott and Georgia Tech WR Darren Waller are from Kennesaw North Cobb. Lott, who had six seasons of college eligibility because of injuries, graduated from high school two years before Waller. And South Carolina RB Mike Davis and Mississippi State DE Preston Smith are from Stone Mountain Stephenson. Smith graduated from high school a year before Davis.
» Imagine this pass-catch duo: Teddy Bridgewater to Amari Cooper. They played together for two seasons at Miami Northwestern (Bridgewater is a year older), and while it's exceedingly unlikely to happen, Vikings fans can dream of a reunion. Other Northwestern grads in the NFL are Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Lavonte David, Pittsburgh Steelers LB Sean Spence, Jacksonville Jaguars WR Tommy Streeter and Oakland Raiders WR Kenbrell Thompkins; all four played together for a time in high school.