Continuing with our efforts to add more content to this website from our massive 40 years of publishing newsletters, magazines and state record books on previous platforms, here are select all-state first team football writeups for a nine-year period beginning in 2003 and ending in 2011. Go inside to see what we wrote about first teamers such as Aric Armstead, Shaq Thompson, Marcus Peters, Robert Woods, Tyron Smith and the late Max Tuerk.
TO SEE OUR GOLD CLUB ARCHIVE OF ALL-STATE TEAMS SINCE 1980 IN FOOTBALL, BOYS BASKETBALL, GIRLS BASKETBALL, BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL, CLICK HERE.
(Thanks to managing editor Ronnie Flores for continuing to build out these all-state archive lists.)
Note: We hope you enjoy this free post on CalHiSports.com. To see all 30 first team all-state writeups for these seasons plus just added 30 first team all-state writeups for the 1994 and 1989 seasons, you need to be a Gold Club member of this site. Each all-state first team mentioned below had 30 players in all written up, including six multi-purpose. All upcoming preseason all-area, all-county or all-section football teams also will be Gold Club. You can now join for one-month rate of just $3.99. For subscription info, CLICK HERE.
2011 FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE
(30 players were chosen in all; three WRs; two RBs; 3-4-4 on defense)
WR Deontay Greenberry (Washington, Easton) 6-3, 190, Sr.
(Later played at University of Houston and in NFL)
The ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football State Player of the Year had a remarkable season with state record totals of 33 touchdown catches and 2,165 yards. Greenberry also caught 109 passes, played a ball-hawking brand of defense in the secondary and led Washington Union (14-0) to the CIF Division III state bowl championship. Greenberry has committed to Notre Dame.
OL Arik Armstead (Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove) 6-7, 285, Sr.
(Currently San Francisco 49ers)
Playing both sides of the football, Armstead finished with 42 tackles and 3.5 sacks on the defensive side of line. On offense, he was a big factor in the Eagles rushing for over 4,000 yards as they scored an average of 52 points per game. Auburn, Notre Dame, and Cal are among the leaders at getting his signature on letter of intent day next week. He is the No. 24 ranked player in the ESPNU 150 list and played his final high school football game at the U.S. Army All-American game.
OL Max Tuerk (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM)
6-6, 290, Sr.
(Died on June 20, 2020 from a heart attack while on a hike with his parents)
Johnny Stanton may have been the guy with the football to score the game-winning touchdown against Bellarmine in the CIF Division I state championship, but it was Tuerk who led the way with the block just like he did all season long. Among his postseason honors so far is being named Lineman of the Year by the Los Angeles Times. Before the season started, Tuerk gave a verbal to USC.
LB Su’a Cravens (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) 6-3, 210, Jr.
(Played for two NFL seasons but then retired due to concerns about concussions)
A finalist for Mr. Football State Player of the Year, he was named our Junior Player of the Year over fellow first-teamer Johnny Stanton after an impressive season on both sides of the ball. Known more for his play on the defense, Cravens recorded 96 tackles and 11 sacks while making three interceptions. On offense, he rushed for 673 yards and 15 touchdowns while also catching 20 passes for four touchdowns. Cravens already has also been chosen as Player of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and Riverside Press-Enterprise. He led Vista Murrieta to a 14-0 record on the field (not counting forfeits) and the CIFSS Inland Division title.
DB Shaq Thompson (Grant, Sacramento) 6-2, 210, Sr.
(Playing for Carolina Panthers)
When healthy, there are very few who are more talented than this senior as he established himself as one of the top recruits not just in the state but in the nation while playing both sides of the ball. Needed to play more as a quarterback this season, Shaq passed for 893 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 1,134 yards and 15 scores. From the secondary, he added 57 tackles, contributed on special teams as a punter. He is expected to play defense when he attends Cal (later switched to Washington) where his older brother, Syd-Quan (now in the NFL), was a three-year standout. Thompson was named the Sacramento Bee Player of the Year and was a finalist for the U.S. Army Player of the Year.
2010 FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE
(30 players were chosen in all; two WRs; three RBs; 4-3-4 on defense)
QB Cody Kessler (Centennial, Bakersfield) 6-2, 220, Sr.
(Has played later in the NFL for several teams)
It’s pretty hard not to slot Kessler as the first team all-state quarterback. Although his team did not win a section title, he was outstanding with 2,831 yards passing and 36 touchdowns with just two picks. Kessler, who already is at USC for spring ball and has given up his senior year of basketball (he averaged 29 ppg last season), was arguably the top quarterback at the recent U.S. Army All-American Game.
DB Marqise Lee (Serra, Gardena) 6-1, 185, Sr.
(Later named State Athlete of Year; has played in NFL)
His numbers were a little down this year on the defensive side of the ball (45 tackles, three interceptions), but he’s still viewed as one of the top defensive back prospects in the nation. Lee, still uncommitted after a weekend trip to Miami, showed his athleticism on offense. He had 57 catches for 1,409 yards and 24 touchdowns.
DB Marcus Peters (McClymonds, Oakland) 6-1, 185, Sr.
(Currently with Baltimore Ravens; played in Super Bowl for L.A. Rams)
Son of current Mack head coach Michael Peters did it all for McClymonds in a 13-0 season that saw the team win the Oakland Section Silver Bowl title. On defense, Peters shined with eight interceptions. He also returned six kicks for scores, scored nine other times and was the team’s kicker. The East Bay Defensive Player of the Year just committed to Washington over offers from Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington State and USC.
2009 FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE
(30 players were chosen in all; two WRs; three RBs; 4-3-4 on defense)
WR Kenny Stills (La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad) 6-2, 180, Sr.
(Currently playing for Houston Texans)
The son or former NFL player Ken Stills set a San Diego Section record for career receiving yardage and finished with more than 3,000. He faced constant double-teams this year, but still ended with 45 grabs for 914 yards and 10 scores. Stills, who had more than 1,000 yards receiving as a sophomore and junior, was one of the top recruited wideouts on the West Coast as well. He is expected to sign with Oklahoma.
WR Robert Woods (Serra, Gardena) 6-1, 180, Sr.
(Currently playing for L.A. Rams)
The Cavaliers went a perfect 15-0 and captured the CIF Division III state bowl game crown. The first name that comes up when you think about this team is Woods, possibly the fastest player in the state with the ball in the open field. Despite playing with another talented wideout, junior George Farmer, he caught 66 passes for 1,112 yards and 15 touchdowns while being a force on the defensive side of the ball with 96 tackles and eight interceptions. In the 24-20 bowl game win over Marin Catholic he had eight receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns. The USC commit also was a finalist for our Mr. Football State Player of the Year.
QB Tyler Bray (Kingsburg) 6-6, 215, Sr.
(Currently playing for Chicago Bears)
The Tennessee-bound signal caller was one of seven finalists for our Mr. Football award and despite not winning, we did select him as our Small Schools Player of the Year. During his senior season, he led the Vikings to a perfect 13-0 record and a section championship while passing for 3,321 yards and 41 touchdowns. Of all the California quarterbacks at last summer’s Elite 11 Camp, Bray showed the most promise due to his uncanny ability to hit deep passes with a thin frame that is only going to fill out over the next few years.
LB Tony Jefferson (Eastlake, Chula Vista) 6-0, 205, Sr.
(Played for two NFL teams from 2013 to 2019)
Tony’s offensive stats running the ball jump out before his defensive stats, but it’s his ability on the defensive side of the ball that has Oklahoma fans excited. Regarded as one of the top linebacking/strong safety prospects in the nation and in the top 25 on the ESPNU 150, Jefferson was the star player for Eastlake’s CIF San Diego Section Division I title team. He rushed for 1,995 yards and 25 touchdowns.
DB Terrance Mitchell (Burbank, Sacramento) 6-0, 185, Sr.
(Currently playing for Cleveland Browns)
He was the MVP for defensive backs at the Stanford Nike Camp and followed up an impressive summer with an impressive season. Mitchell, who is going to Oregon, had 70 tackles and six interceptions on defense. He also led the Titans to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I playoffs by rushing for 1,047 yards and 15 TDs as well as catching 48 passes for 851 yards and seven more scores.
QB/RB Cody Fajardo (Servite, Anaheim) 6-3, 200, Sr.
(Has played in Canadian Football League)
It was a record-setting year and certainly one to remember for Fajardo, as he set a single-season school record for total offense with 3,562 yards and ended the season with a victory in Carson. He passed for 2,444 yards and 21 touchdowns while throwing just two interceptions, and also rushed for 1,118 yards and nine scores. After leading the Friars to a state bowl game victory over Rocklin, he has received numerous honors before this selection, including Los Angeles Times Player of the Year, Mr. Football finalist, and our state Large Schools Player of the Year.
2008 FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE
(30 players chosen in all; two WRs; one TE; two RBs; 3-4-4 on defense)
RB Tyler Gaffney (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego) 6-1, 215, Sr.
En route to being selected Mr. Football for the state, the first San Diego Section athlete to do so since Sweetwater’s Terry Rodgers in 1985, Gaffney led the Dons to an unbeaten season and the state Division II bowl title in a 37-34 win over Stockton St. Mary’s. In that game, he set records for yards gained (329) and touchdowns in a bowl game (5) to push his season totals to 2,866 yards and a state-leading 56 TDs. The hard-running Gaffney was rarely tackled by one defender and will make up his mind between Stanford University and Notre Dame before letter of intent day.
LB Vontaze Burfict (Centennial, Corona) 6-2, 235, Sr.
(Later played in NFL for Bengals & Raiders)
If we had an official defensive MVP for the state, then Burfict would be the choice (now appears as Defensive Player of Year). The rock-em, sock-em stopper came through for 146 tackles and displayed the type of skills that made him one of the nation’s top recruits. In the three years of the CIF state bowl games, he’s also the most impressive player we’ve seen. Burfict is expected to sign with USC in two weeks.
DB T.J. McDonald (Edison, Fresno) 6-3, 210, Sr.
(Later played in NFL for several teams)
The son of San Francisco 49er great, and Tigers’ head coach, Tim McDonald, committed to USC at the end of last season. Known for his hard hits on those who dare to catch the ball, he’s worked his way up to being one of the top safeties not just in the state but possibly the nation. It was not a great season for the Edison team and several of the squad’s top recruits just didn’t do enough to be all-staters this year. McDonald, though, did plenty. He was on the Fresno Bee honors’ team and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
2007 FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE
(30 players chosen in all; one WR; one TE; three RBs; 3-3-5 on defense)
OL – Matt Kalil (Servite, Anaheim) 6-8, 280, Sr.
(Later played in NFL, mainly for Minnesota Vikings)
One of the easiest picks on this year’s all-state team, Kalil is one of only two repeat first team all-state honorees along with St. Bonaventure’s Darrell Scott. The younger brother of Carolina Panthers’ lineman Ryan Kalil, Matt was so dominant this year that sometimes you forgot he was out there, but believe us when we say whoever he went up against knew who he was. Dominating his opponent across the line of scrimmage became so routine that, without benefit of statistics afforded to skill position players, it’s hard to appreciate how dominant a lineman Kalil was at the prep level. What really sets him apart – and this was apparent at the USC Nike Camp – is how he uses his hands to control opposing pass rushers. Ranked as the top lineman recruit in the nation by Rivals.com, he was named to the L.A. Times and Orange County Register’s honor squads for the second consecutive season and the rugged Trinity League’s Lineman of the Year for the second time in a row, too.
OL – Tyron Smith (Rancho Verde, Moreno Valley) 6-5, 265, Sr.
(Longtime All-Pro with Dallas Cowboys; could be future Hall of Famer)
As an underclassman, Smith was a raw athlete who projected down the line as potentially a high-level college recruit. Two years ago, he displayed some of that tremendous potential when he was named the most impressive lineman at the Student Sports-produced USC NIKE Football Training Camp by position coaches that played in the NFL. Despite the off-season accolades, he was relegated to second team all-state underclass as a junior since he did not receive many local honors. Undaunted, Smith didn’t rest on his laurels and again stole the show at the USC NFTC last spring. More than just a physical specimen, he displayed improved technique and the ability to finish off blocks while again being named camp MVP. That off-season work translated onto the field this fall, as he drew raves from local coaches while earning all CIFSS Inland Valley and All-Riverside County honors while also making the L.A. Times elite honor squad. Like fellow all-state lineman Kalil, he’s headed to USC.
DB – Rahim Moore (Dorsey, Los Angeles) 6-0, 185, Sr.
(Later played in the NFL)
Moore is the third defensive back for the Dons to be selected first team all-state in the past seven seasons, joining Marques Binns (2001) and Jerome Boyd (2003). Boyd was a no-nonsense safety for the Dons and Moore fits in the same role and even did a little more. He returned a punt for a touchdown and out of his 18 receptions on offense this season, nine of them went for touchdowns. Moore is one of the most decorated defensive players in school history and that’s saying a lot since the program has been producing NFL-type talent for more than 20 years. The three-time all-L.A. City selection closed out his career with 112 tackles, three fumble recoveries, 10 pass deflections, and six interceptions, two of which he returned for scores. The interception total gives him 22 for his career, tied for No. 3 on the all-time section list behind former Cal-Hi Sports all-state players Steve Smith of Taft (24) and Darian Hagan Jr. of Crenshaw (25).
2006 FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE
(30 players chosen in all; one WR; four RBs; 3-5-3 on defense)
QB – Jimmy Clausen (Oaks Christian, Westlake Village) 6-4, 210, Sr.
(Later played at Notre Dame and in NFL)
Despite a national media frenzy that followed his every move and a sub-par outing in the Div. III state title game, Clausen did have a stellar senior season in leading Oaks Christian to a 15-0 record. Clausen completed 194 of 281 passes (69 percent) for 3,428 yards and 49 touchdowns and became the state’s all-time leader in touchdown passes thrown in a career. Although the Lions did not play against the toughest competition in the state (other than two games), with Clausen under center, Oaks Christian did answer the call each and every outing, including a 59-13 rout of 2005 state team of the year St. Bonaventure of Ventura. Although comparisons to LeBron James might be a reach, Clausen did not lose a game in which he was the starting quarterback and the future Notre Dame quarterback helped the Lions win four CIF Southern Section titles. He has the throwing ability to match the accomplishments of some of the best quarterbacks to have ever come from our state.
RB – Jahvid Best (Salesian, Richmond) 5-10, 180, Sr.
(Later played for Detroit Lions before career ended by concussions)
The future California Golden Bear to be was the focal point of the offense for the 10-3 Salesian Chieftains as big plays were his specialty. Best’s record breaking season saw him run for 3,325 yards and while scoring a total of 48 touchdowns (three receiving, two on returns). Best showed that his breakaway ability and track star speed enabled him to score from all over the field as over 25 percent of his touchdowns were 50 yards or longer. Jahvid’s best game saw him outscore King’s Academy by 14 on his own by running for 415 yards and eight touchdowns. Best was named player of the year for the S.F. Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle and is clearly one of the fastest players not only in California but in the nation as his track times (21.04 in 200) attest.
LB – Mason Foster (Seaside) 6-3, 210, Sr.
(Later starred in NFL for Washington Redskins)
Mason is one of those guys who first showed up on our radar screens in a major way with an impressive performance at a Nike camp and then went out and backed it up with an even better senior season. As a linebacker, Foster averaged 12 tackles per game with seven sacks and four interceptions. The all-CCS pick also earned the notice of major colleges and recently committed to the University of Washington. We could have picked him multi-purpose for this team as well, but he fit in better at linebacker and his versatility aided in his first team status. Playing quarterback in the spread formation, Foster rushed for 12 scores, threw for 14 more and led Seaside to the CCS small schools title. He also scored four other times on returns.
RB/QB – Ryan Mathews (West, Bakersfield) 6-0, 205, Sr.
Whether Matthews lined up at running back or quarterback, there was no doubt how he was going to try and hurt the opposing team and that was running the football. To go along with his 851 passing yards and 11 touchdowns, Matthews ran the ball for a whopping 3,396 yards and 44 touchdowns. No other running back in the state had a higher total and Mathews’ total is a new Central Section record. Even with it well known his intentions were to run the ball, he was still able to average almost 10 yards per carry (9.8 ypc). Mathews was the obvious choice as the Bakersfield Californian’s Player of the Year and was one of just six finalists to be the 2006 Mr. Football State Player of the Year.
2005 ALL-STATE FIRST TEAM
(30 players chosen in all; two WRs; three RBs; 5-3-3 on defense)
RB – Toby Gerhart (Norco) 6-1, 228, Sr.
(Later 2nd in Heisman Trophy voting at Stanford; player in NFL)
The 2005 Mr. Football State Player of the Year tops this class for the second time since he was the state sophomore player of the year two years ago. All of Gerhart’s big-time totals were written up earlier, but one we didn’t mention was that his career state record for rushing yards of 9,662 yards also looks like the third-best ever on the all-time national list.
DB – Darian Hagan (Crenshaw, Los Angeles)
6-0, 170, Sr.
The top overall player for the L.A. City Section champion Cougars, Hagan follows in the footsteps of his father, who was a first-team all-state selection in 1987. His father was the most highly recruited option quarterback in the nation that season out of Locke High and the younger Hagan is also highly coveted as a defensive back. Possessing many of the same football instincts as his father, the standout safety returned four of his seven interceptions for scores and also stepped up offensively in Crenshaw’s successful playoff run in the absence of top receiver Tyquan Knox. He averaged 28.8 yards per reception, including the game-winner in the section title game win over Taft of Woodland Hills.
P – Kai Forbath (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) 5-11, 180, Sr.
(Still kicking in the NFL)
Forbath did not match the phenomenal numbers he had as a junior when he was 19 of 21 on field goals and didn’t miss a PAT, but that was more of circumstance than any shortcomings of his own. He’s still regarded by many as the top kicker in the nation and we are able to name him first team all-state for the second straight year, but this time as a punter. He averaged 40.2 yards per punt, so his foot is accurate and strong anytime it’s used on the field.
2004 FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE
(30 players chosen in all; one WR; one TE; three RBs; 3-3-5 on defense)
WR — DeSean Jackson (Poly, Long Beach) 5-11, 175, Sr.
(Still playing in the NFL)
The CalHiSports.com Mr. Football State Player of the Year led the Jackrabbits to the CIF Southern Section Division I title. This week, DeSean also has been named winner of the L.A. Times’ Glenn Davis Award.
QB — Mark Sanchez (Mission Viejo) 6-3, 215, Sr.
(Once led New York Jets to AFC championship)
A finalist for Mr. Football State Player of the Year, the USC-bound Sanchez completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,441 yards with 24 touchdowns against only four interceptions. Although some of the state’s quarterbacks had statistics that were gaudier, no other signal-caller could match Sanchez’s combination of size, athleticism, arm-strength, leadership and knowledge of the game in leading the Diablos to state team of the year honors and the national No. 2 ranking.
LB — Rey Maualuga (Eureka) 6-2, 250, Sr.
(Later played for many years in NFL)
Maualuga (pronounced mah-wah-loo-gah) is one of the best players this season from the Redwood Empire region of Northern California and one of the best linebackers in the nation. With his good speed and fierce tackling, he has helped the Loggers compile a 20-2-1 record the last two seasons.
DB — Cary Harris (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) 6-1, 180, Sr.
(Currently the head coach at Calabasas)
Harris was the unassuming leader for the Div. II State Team of the Year that finished with a perfect 14-0 record and the state’s No. 3 ranking. Although he rushed for 1,231 yards and 22 TDs, Harris is mainly being courted by colleges for his skills as a defensive back, where he racked up 81 tackles, 19 pass breakups and two interceptions.
2003 FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE)
(30 players chosen in all; two WRs; three RBs; 5-3-3 on defense)
WR/DB/K Austin Collie (Oak Ridge, El Dorado Hills) 6-3, 185, Sr.
(Later played in the NFL)
MVP of the Sacramento Metro area caught 18 TD passes, scored 196 points overall including FGs and PATs and starred as defender and kick returner for the top-ranked team in the Sac-Joaquin Section.
WR/DB/QB Lavelle Hawkins (Edison, Stockton) 5-11, 170, Sr.
(Later played in the NFL; first-round draft pick)
One of the top wideout prospects in the nation, Hawkins did it all for the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I runner-ups with 55 catches for nearly 1,000 yards and 13 TDs. He also had 700 yards rushing and nine scores, threw for 400 yards and three touchdowns and had eight interceptions on defense.
RB/LB Terrence Kelly (De La Salle, Concord) 6-1, 195, Sr.
(Died in a shooting just before expected freshman season at Oregon)
He was the Spartans’ most productive two-way player this year with more than 1,000 yards rushing and 18 TDs on offense. He also ranked among the tackle and interception leaders on defense.