The Lonestar State in general and the flagship school of the state directly to its north made some player selection history Thursday night in Nashville.
Following months worth of speculation and smokescreens, the Arizona Cardinals officially selected Kyler Murray as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Oklahoma quarterback is the second straight signal-caller from the Sooners to be the top overall pick (Baker Mayfield to the Cleveland Browns in 2018), marking the first time since 1968-69 (USC’s Ron Yary, O.J. Simpson) that one school has locked down back-to-back No. 1 overall selections.
It also marks the first time two Heisman Trophy winners from the same school have been selected with the top pick in the draft in consecutive years. On top of that, this is the first time that quarterbacks from the same school have been selected in the top spot of the draft in back-to-back years.
Both Murray, who is the first athlete ever drafted in the first rounds of both the NFL and MLB drafts, and Mayfield played their high school football in the state of Texas. When you add Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett (Arlington Martin High School to No. 1 overall for the Browns in 2017) to the equation, the Lonestar State can now lay claim to being the only state to ever produce three straight No. 1 overalls.
(Sidebar: Mayfield and Garrett are NFL teammates with the Browns, and will face Murray’s Cardinals this season. And Arizona’s head coach? Kliff Kingsbury, whose fractured relationship with Mayfield that included a scholarship brouhaha led to the future Heisman Trophy winner’s transfer from Texas Tech to Big 12 rival Oklahoma. Now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming, already in progress…)
In the history of an NFL draft that dates back to 1939, high schools in the state of Texas have produced 14 No. 1 overalls, the most of any state. With 11, California is the only other state in double-digits.
Perhaps the most astonishing finding in all of this research? High schools in the state of Florida, easily one of the most fertile football recruiting grounds in the country, have produced exactly one No. 1 overall: Auburn running back Tucker Fredrickson in 1965.
That’s a bar bet waiting to happen. And you’re welcome.