The football season is approaching fast, and Texas fans are getting excited. Counting today, there are 29 days until the start of the football season. To help celebrate, we’re counting down five things every day until the start of the season.
A few days ago we went to West Texas and found eight Longhorns to remember. We’re going to stick to five today because we’re going to Houston. We’re only considering teams in the Houston area, so places Brenham, Galveston and Beaumont need not worry.
Here are five Houston natives who played football at the University or Texas to remember:
5. Bobby Wuensch, Jones High School
An All-American in 1969 and 1970, Wuensch was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1992. He was a team captain in 1970 and was a starter on the offensive line for the bulk of Texas’ historic 30-straight wins from 1968-70. He was drafted in the 12th round by the Baltimore Colts but never played in the NFL.
4. Rodrique Wright, Alief Hastings High School
Wright was an All-American defensive lineman in 2004 and 2005. He was All-Big 12 in 2005 and saw action every year he was on campus. He had 7.5 sacks in 2003 and 36 tackles in 2004. In 2005 Wright had 46 tackles and 14 tackles for a loss. He was drafted in the seventh round and is now a football coach at Sam Houston State. Before all that he was a Parade All-American at Alief Hastings High School in the Houston area. He was the Greater Houston Touchdown Club Player of the Year his senior year after positing 104 tackles and six sacks. He was a five-star recruit out of high school.
3. Dan Neil, Houston Cypress Creek High School
A two-time All-American in 1995 and 1996, Neil was a consensus first team All-American his senior year. After blocking for the likes of Ricky Williams and Priest Holmes and James Brown, Neil was drafted in the third round by the Denver Broncos and played his entire career in Denver, starting two Super Bowls, winning both, and blocking for a 2,000 yard rusher in 1999, Terrell Davis. He started 104 games of the 108 games of his seven-year career. Before that he played at Cypress Creek High School.
2. Cory Redding, Galena Park North Shore High School
Redding just retired after a long professional career and before that he was a two-time All-American at Texas in 2001 and 2002. Before arriving at Texas Redding was USA Today’s Defensive Player of the Year out of the Houston area power house North Shore. He also won a state title in discus his junior and senior years. At Texas, Redding made 35 consecutive starts and was a two-time All-Big 12 selection. He had 21 sacks at Texas. The third-round pick by the Lions had the franchise tag placed on him in 2007, and he finished his career with stops in Seattle, Baltimore, Indianapolis and Arizona.
1. Vince Young, Madison High School
Vince Young led Texas to the 2005 BCS National Championship. He probably had the finest Rose Bowl performance (or just any bowl game performance) in the history of the game. He also came from Houston, where as, Rodrique Wright once said, “You can’t turn on a television in Houston without seeing Vince Young. You might see him more than the Texans. He was like LeBron James in Houston when he was coming out of high school.”
Young threw 49 touchdowns his senior season for Houston Madison. In three seasons, Young accounted for 12,987 yards of total offense. Young lost to Westlake in the state semi-finals his senior year, 48-42, but here’s the accolades he piled up: Parade’s National Player of the Year. 2001 Class 5A Offensive Player of the Year and a U.S. Army All-American. He also played basketball and ran track and field.
At Texas, Young won the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien award, Archie Grffin Award and was an All-American. He went on to become the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2006 and NFL 2009 Comeback Player of the Year.
Here are some other players who were All-Americans that hailed from Houston: Spring Branch’s Chris Gilbert (All-American in 1968), Aldine’s D.D. Lewis (All-American in 2001), Lamar’s Brian Orakpo (All-American in 2008), Lamar’s Rod Babers (All-American in 2002), Cypress Falls’ Will Allen (All-American in 2005) and Spring Branch’s Billy Wyman (All-American in 1973).
Note: This article has been updated to correct where Vince Young went to high school.