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January 1, 2010

Team of the 2000s: First team

MORE: RivalsHigh.com All-Decade Team: Second team | Top 100 football teams from 2009

Dallas Jackson is the high school sports expert for RivalsHigh.com. Send him a question or comment at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him at twitter.com/rivalshigh.

For the best athletes, first-team all-league is expected.

First-team All-State? Sure, how many times?

No, when you're the best of the best, you think All-American. At the very top, it's all-decade.

When we put together our RivalsHigh all-decade team, we hoped our player rankings would hold true. Looking back, we gotta admit, we were pretty good.

Four No. 1 overall talents made the team. And what a team it is.

Vince Young (2001) and Adrian Peterson (2003) in the backfield. That's a good start. Of course you need an anchor for the offensive line, Seantral Henderson (2010) takes care of that.

Need some defense, Ernie Sims (2002) at linebacker should take care of that.

You want more? We've got more. Check out our all-decade team, it's a who's who of college and NFL greats.

RivalsHigh.com Team of the Decade All-2000s First Team
:Vince Young
Houston (TX) Madison
6-5 195lbs

Young was the No. 1 overall player in the Class of 2002 and accounted for nearly 13,000 yards in high school. He went on to star at Texas, winning a national title and being one of the best college quarterbacks of all-time. Before he was "V.Y." he was "Vincent" - if you check out his database page.
: Haloti Ngata
Salt Lake City (UT) Highlands
6-5 310lbs

Right below Vince Young in the Class of 2002 was Ngata at the No. 2 overall position. Ngata went on to star at Oregon and then to the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens where he is already a disruptive force on defense.
: Adrian Peterson
Palestine (TX) High
6-2 210lbs

Peterson was the No. 1 player in the Class of 2004 rushing for 5,011 yards as a junior and senior. He ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns at the Army All-American game. A.D. went on to star at Oklahoma running his way to a top draft pick by the Vikings. In his brief time in the NFL, Peterson has already risen to an elite level.
: Gerald McCoy
Oklahoma City (OK) Southeast
6-4 305lbs

McCoy commited to Oklahoma the same day as Jermaine Gresham which made for a great signing day in 2006. McCoy was the No. 4 overall player in his class and accounted for 165 tackles and 40 sacks in high school. He has been very good for the Sooners on the defensive line and was a first team All-American.
: Jonathan Stewart
Lacey (WA) Timberline
5-10 224lbs
Stewart was the No. 1 runningback and No. 10 overall player in the Class of 2005. Stewart went on to great success at the University of Oregon and has become a powerful back in the NFL for the Panthers.
: Derrick Harvey
Greenbelt (MD) Roosevelt
6-5 235lbs

Harvey was the No. 8 overall player in the Class of 2004. He went on to develop into one of the best outside rushers while at Florida. He is now in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars after being selected in the first round.
: Greg Olsen
Wayne Hills (NJ) High
6-3 235lbs

Olsen was a blue chip player since he was first discovered on the field for Wayne Hills. He had 73 catches for 1,474 yards and a school record 27 touchdowns in high school. Olsen went on to continue the run of tight ends at "The U" before being a first round pick by the Chicago Bears in the NFL. He was the No. 10 overall player in 2003.
: Gabriel Watson
Southfield (MI) High
6-4 320lbs

Watson was a force on the inside from the word go and recorded 78 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior. He started on Varsity since his freshman year and the offense ran the vast majority of their plays behind him on the line. The No. 33 overall player in the Class of 2002 stayed local and was an All-Conference player for Michigan in the Big Ten.
: Calvin Johnson
Tyrone (GA) Sandy Creek
6-4 210lbs

Johnson was ranked No. 37 overall in the Class of 2004 but developed into one of the best recievers of the decade. In his high school career Johnson had over 100 receptions and 20 touchdowns. At 6-foot-4 and over 200lbs he was a tough match-up even for the best corners. He is now a stud in the NFL.
: Ernie Sims
Tallahassee (FL) North Florida Christian
6-0 220lbs

Yet another No. 1 overall player makes the All-Decade team. Sims, the best player from the Class of 2003, dominated the field at Florida State and was a first round pick of the Detroit Lions where he has been a Pro Bowl caliber performer. He was a varsity letter winner as an eight grader.
: Julio Jones
Foley (AL) High
6-4 215lbs

A soft-spoken superstar, Julio Jones ended the Class of 2008 with a No. 4 overall ranking. Jones was rated above A.J. Green and Michael Floyd in the class and has proven every bit worthy. Despite playing in a run heavy Alabama system, Jones is still an All-Conference player in the SEC.
: LaMarr Woodley
Saginaw (MI) High
6-3 245lbs

Woodley is yet another five-star player to be named to this team. Woodley played on the same high school hoops team as Charles Rogers and Anthony Roberson. The No. 14 player from the Class of 2003, Woodley went on to star at in-state Michigan. He is now a force on defense as a pass-rusher for the linebacker rich Pittsburgh Steelers.
: Justin Blalock
Plano (TX) Plano East
6-4 325lbs

With a 400 pound bench press in high school there was no doubting how strong Blalock was. The No. 15 overall prospect in the Class of 2002, Blalock started at Texas as a redshirt freshman. He is now a guard for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL.
: Rey Maualuga
Eureka (CA) High
6-3 253lbs

In an incredible year for the state of California, Maualuga was the No. 5 overall player in the country, but still No. 4 in California in 2005. He recorded 242 tackles his junior and senior season. Maualuga went on to become a national phenomenon at USC and is now leading the Cincy Bengals defense.
: Andre Smith
Birmingham (AL) Huffman
6-4 325lbs

Smith was the No. 2 player in the Class of 2006. The guard-turned-tackle was an immovable object while at Alabama and was a collegiate All-American. He was drafted in the first round by the Cincinatti Bengals joining fellow All-Decade teammate Rey Maualuga.
: Eric Berry
Fairburn (GA) Creekside
5-11 194lbs

Yes, Eric Berry is a safety at Tennessee. But before he became one of the best at that position he was a very good corner in high school. In fact, he was the No. 3 overall player in the Class of 2007. A NCAA All-American, Berry could become one of the best all-time.
: Eugene Monroe
Plainfield (NJ) High
6-6 319lbs.

Monroe was the NO. 3 overall player in the Class of 2005. He had a verified 5.34 shuttle showing good lateral movement for a big man. An All-ACC player while at Virginia, Monroe is now a tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL.
: Donte Whitner
Cleveland (OH) Glenville
5-11 175lbs

Whitner was one of the best young corners early this decade. He was able to stay in state and attend Ohio State where he was first team All-Big Ten and is now in the NFL with the Bills. He was the No. 27 overall player in the Class of 2003.
: Seantrel Henderson
Saint Paul (MN) Cretin-Derham Hall
6-8 301lbs

Rivals.com has never had an offensive lineman as the No. 1 overall prospect in the nation until this season. Henderson, despite still being in high school, looks so dominant that it is worth the risk of having him on the All-Decade team.
: Kenneth Phillips
Miami (FL) Carol City
6-2 195lbs

Phillips stayed close to home and played at "The U" after being the No. 12 overall player in the Class of 2005. At Miami he was named to the ACC All-Freshman team after starting 11 games as a freshmane. Phillips was the first round pick of the New York Giants in 2008.
: Sam Young
Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Aquinas
6-8 302lbs

Young was a highly sout after commodity as a recruit not allowing a sack as a junior or senior. He also has a St. Thomas Aquinas school record for the shot put. He ended the Class of 2006 as the No. 11 overall player. Young went on to start every game since his freshman year for Notre Dame (50).
: Myron Rolle
Princeton (NJ) The Hun School
6-2 214lbs

Rolle was the No. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2006. He went on to a stellar career at Florida State that included a second team All-ACC nomination. Rolle was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and put off NFL glory to pursue a Masters in Medical Anthropology at Oxford University.
: Mason Crosby
Georgetown (TX) High
6-2 180lbs

Crosby was a three-star kicker in the Class of 2003. His leg earned him a scholarship to Colorado and eventually was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the NFL.
: C.J. Spiller
Lake Butler (FL) Union County
5-10 190lbs

Spiller was one of the highest rated players in the nation for the Class of 2006 rushing for 5,511 yards in high school. He checked in at No. 8 overall prospect was an early February commit to Clemson where he showed to be one of the more explosive players in college football.
: Devin Hester
Riviera Beach (FL) Suncoast
5-11 180lbs

Hester could have easily been a first team cornerback as he was the No. 2 corner in the class of 2002, and No. 28 overall, but he makes the team as a do-it-all player. A returner/wide-out/corner in the NFL, the explosive Hester truely is a utility player.
: Ted Ginn, Jr.
Cleveland (OH) Glenville
6-0 270lbs

Ginn, like Hester, could have been listed at cornerback for the All-Decade team as he was the No. 1 corner in the Class of 2004. He was the No. 2 overall player in the class and was a star for Ohio State as a wide receiver and kick returner.

MORE: Post your thoughts on the first team All-Decade team on the message board


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