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December 27, 2010
RivalsHigh 2010 All-American team
MORE: Hail the champions: the 2010 high school football champions | Follow us on Twitter
Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
It's a debate that rages every high school football season in the power states of Florida, Texas and California: Which state produces the best players?
This season, the answer is indisputable.
It's South Carolina … Rock Hill, South Carolina, to be precise.
The first RivalsHigh High School All-American teams made it clear as both the offensive and defensive Players of the Year came from neighboring schools in a city which serves as suburb for Charlotte, N.C.
Quarterback Justin Worley of Northwestern High was the obvious pick for Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 5,315 yards and a state-record 64 touchdowns while leading his team to a 15-0 record and a state title.
Worley is headed to the University of Tennessee.
Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney of South Pointe High was just as easy a selection for Defensive Player of the Year. Ranked as the No. 1 recruit all season by Rivals.com, Clowney dominated by recording 29.5 sacks despite going against two or three lineman on every play. South Pointe went 13-2, losing in its state title game despite the final three sacks of Clowney's career.
The honors cap a banner year for South Carolina, a state usually known more for its Southern hospitality rather than ferocious football. The state had an amazing eight schools in the final RivalsHigh Top 100 team rankings, led by Worley's Northwestern squad at No. 5 (see complete list here).
In case you're wondering, Worley and Northwestern defeated Clowney and South Pointe, 42-20, in a regular-season game in which Worley threw five TD passes in just over five minutes.
Oh - and as for the great state debate - the overall All-American team award goes to Texas, which placed five players on our 26-member team.