As reporters we’ve been lucky enough to cover or have seen several of the best players this state has produced in recent memory.
However, coming from different circumstances, there are several great players that we unfortunately never got the chance to see in person. Who are some of those guys?
Cam, Chris, Joe, KJ and Scott decided to look back at those names and came up with five each that they wished they could have gotten the chance to see in person.
Corn Elder, Ensworth (2013): Just watching him on TV, he leaves you wondering how he scored, or how he caught that ball. One of the best to come through the 615.
Dont’a Hightower, Marshall County (2008): Hightower may wind up in the NFL Hall of Fame. Yeah, anytime you get a chance to watch a guy like that you will remember it.
Jauan Jennings, Blackman (2015): One of the most talented players to ever come through the mid-state. I had the opportunity to see him at Tennessee but he was a different breed at the high school level.
Lamarcus Coker, Antioch (2005): Seeing how explosive he was while at Tennessee, I believe his skill set would be worth the price of admission alone.
Michael Scruggs, Trousdale County (1999): The only player to win Mr. Football twice (1997 & 1998) at one of the biggest traditional powerhouse programs in Tennessee. Hearing all the stories and seeing the highlights will leave you in awe, this guy was a generational talent.
Corn Elder, Ensworth (2013): Elder rushed for more than 6,300 yards and 84 touchdowns – even if you didn’t get to watch him, you heard of him.
Jalen Ramsey, Brentwood Academy (2013): Watching him in college and the NFL, you had to wonder why anybody threw near him in high school.
John Henderson, Pearl-Cohn (1998): Henderson had 30 sacks as a senior. I would have liked to see him take down a few quarterbacks in person.
Keenan Reynolds, Goodpasture (2012): Reynolds was such a dynamic playmaker at Navy and when you get your college number retired, you’ve done something special.
Santonio Beard, Pearl-Cohn, (1998): Beard had more than 5,600 yards and 104 touchdowns for the Firebirds. Those ’97 and ’98 teams were formidable with him leading the offense.
Alex Bars, MBA (2014): Bars was one of my favorite lineman to watch when he was at Notre Dame and quickly became a fan favorite. Knowing how good he was there, I can’t even imagine
Corn Elder, Ensworth (2013): Great name and an even better player. After seeing multiple people mention him as one of the best they’ve ever seen, I took some time to watch his film and I get it. Elder was explosive
Golden Tate, Pope Prep (2007): Tate is in my top three favorite Notre Dame players of all-time. I watched him live in South Bend but would have loved to see just how much of a mismatch he was in high school.
Jalen Hurd, Beech (2014): Since I moved to Tennessee people have repeatedly told me how good Hurd was at Beech especially during the Bucs 2012 run. After watching highlights of him that year, yeah I get it and I wish I could have seen that live.
Jalen Ramsey, Brentwood Academy (2013): Knowing how good Ramsey was at Florida State and then in the NFL, I can’t even imagine any high school quarterback throwing his way. I’m sure they did though and it never turned out well.
Golden Tate, Pope Prep (2007): As a Hendersonville native, being around for the Golden Tate era would have been amazing. His versatility on the field, seamlessly transitioning between positions, added an element of unpredictability that would have made every game a spectacle.
Jason Witten, Elizabethton (2000): When I was playing tight end, I aimed to model my game after various league tight ends and Witten was a significant inspiration. Imagining the opportunity to watch Witten dominate at Elizabethton during his early years would have been a sight to behold.
Randall Cobb, Alcoa (2007): I’ve always wished I could have watched Cobb play high school ball. Despite being undersized, seeing Cobb showcase his exceptional skills and determination at an early stage.
Reggie White, Howard (1980): As a Packers fan and former defensive lineman, I wish I could have witnessed White in high school to experience firsthand the raw talent and passion that would later define his iconic career with the Green Bay Packers.
Tee Higgins, Oak Ridge (2017): Although Higgins isn’t much older than me, I’ve never had the chance to witness him play in high school. As a Clemson fan, the thought of seeing him in his early days would have been particularly exciting.
Ingle Martin, MBA (2001): I’m familiar with Martin from his success guiding the young men at CPA to multiple championships and have been fortunate enough to talk in depth with him. Seeing the coach I know now leading the Big Red to three consecutive state championships and 32 consecutive wins as a student athlete would have been amazing, knowing his competitive nature and knowledge of the game.
Jalen Hurd, Beech (2014): Based on the responses to our Best Player post, Hurd was a generational “must see” player for the Buccaneers. His junior season record of 3,357 yards and 43 scores were only topped by his championship performance 394 yards and 7 scores.
Joe Dubin, McGavock (1986): Nashville’s self-proclaimed “Media Darling, 22 years in a row”, (and who am I to argue), applied his football craft as a lineman at McGavock before leaving for Samford and returning triumphantly as a radio and television personality, winning multiple EMMY Awards and authoring best-selling books. Long a proponent of high school athletics, he can frequently be seen on the sidelines of your local game.
John Henderson, Pearl Cohn (1998): A wrecking ball as a defensive end and tight end, “Big John” led the Firebirds to back to back state titles in 1996-1997. Along with his 150 tackles his senior year, he had 45 catches for 560 and 11 touchdowns. Seeing those defensive backs standing on the railroads track as the train came through would have been hard to watch.
Reggie White, Howard (1980): Before he was the “Minister of Defense for Memphis Showboats and the Philadelphia Eagles, White was a Hustlin’ Tiger at Howard, where he amassed 140 tackles and 10 sacks in his senior season. Knowing how much of a force he was at Tennessee and later in the NFL, he must have been a monster on the field.