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The P.G. NFL Pipeline
An NFL expansion franchise in Prince George's County? Well, not really, but according to a study by USA Football, DeMatha has more alumni on NFL rosters this season than any other U.S. high school, as seven former Stags suited up on Week 1. Among the five schools tied for second on the list with five former players in the NFL is Eleanor Roosevelt.
DeMatha's list is highlighted by Philadelphia's standout running back Brian Westbrook, and a pair of Washington Redskins, cornerback Byron Westbrook and offensive lineman Edwin Williams. Seattle tight end John Owens and cornerback Josh Wilson, Atlanta offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka and Miami linebacker Cameron (formerly Derek) Wake round out the list.
Four of the five Eleanor Roosevelt alumni played on the same team in 2003 -- Jacksonville defensive end Derrick Harvey, Baltimore offensive lineman Jared Gaither, Arizona linebacker Will Davis and Detroit wide receiver Derrick Williams. New England defensive end Derrick Burgess is the fifth.
(And in case you were wondering how dominant that 2003 Roosevelt team was, you might recall the Raiders didn't even win the state title that season; Roosevelt lost, 21-14, in the Maryland 4A semifinals to Damascus, the eventual state champion, which had one player from that team go on to play division I college football -- Matt Reidy, Virginia Tech. It's just another example of how the unpredictability of high school sports makes the games so exciting.)
Spurred largely by these two schools, the state of Maryland produced the 10th-most NFL players per capita (43 overall) among the 50 states and the District. D.C. ceded the top spot to Louisiana, for which one in every 55,862 residents is on an NFL roster (80 overall) or about three times the national average. Not surprisingly, 205 NFL players hail from California, while Texas and Florida produced 179 and 176, respectively.
-- Alan Goldenbach