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St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has a lot to be proud of. Not only is it one of the top high schools in the state, but it also holds the distinction of the most alumni taken in the NFL Draft. Since 2012, a whopping 18 former St. Thomas Aquinas students have been drafted into the NFL. That’s more than any other high school in the country! That’s an impressive feat for any school, let alone one located in sunny Florida.
The Raiders are clearly doing something right to prepare their students for a career in professional football. So, if you’re looking for a high school that can help you achieve your dreams of having your kid playing in the NFL, the STA football program is worth considering. Here’s to the existing stars of St. Thomas Aquinas and the future Hall of Fame inductees to come from its’ halls.
NFL Players From St. Thomas Aquinas in Recent Years
The NFL has always been a league of legends. Some of the most iconic players in history have graced its fields, forever leaving their mark on the game. Currently, there are 18 NFL players who attended St. Thomas Aquinas, more than any other high school in the country. And these are just the active players – the list doesn’t even include retired stars:
Elijah Moore is an NFL player currently playing for the New York Jets. He was born in San Diego, California, on March 27, 2000. He played college football at Ole Miss. He entered the NFL in his rookie year and was drafted in the second round of the NFL draft. He has a four-year contract with the Jets worth $8.94 million. His first professional touchdown was made against the Indianapolis Colts in 2021. Since joining the NFL, Elijah has had a game average of 13 catches and 200 yards per game.
Josh Palmer is an NFL player who has had a successful rookie season with the Los Angeles Chargers after being drafted in the third round of the 2021 draft. He grew up outside of Toronto with his father but moved to Ft. Lauderdale to play for the football team at Saint Thomas Aquinas. He is an excellent route runner with good hands and can make plays after the catch. Palmer is a dangerous weapon in the passing game and is also a dangerous return specialist. He is a key player for the Chargers and will continue to be a key player in their offense in the future.
Asante Samuel Jr.
Asante Samuel Jr. is an American football cornerback for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Florida State and was drafted by the Chargers in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Samuel was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Asante Samuel Sr. and Landra Graves. His father played defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and Atlanta Falcons. Samuel Jr. attended Saint Thomas Aquinas High School as a child, where he played football and ran track. In football, he was a two-time All-State selection and helped lead his team to three state championships.
Damon Arnette is an American football cornerback drafted by the Las Vegas Raiders with the 19th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Arnette played both linebacker and wide receiver for the STA Raiders. He played college football at Ohio State, where he was an honorable mention for the All-Big Ten selection. Before his NFL career, Arnette was considered one of the top cornerback prospects in the draft. He has been praised for his size, physicality, and competitive nature. Arnette will look to immediately impact the Raiders’ defense, which needs help in the secondary. Only time will tell if he can live up to his lofty draft position and hold his own in the NFL rankings.
Nick Bosa is an NFL player drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2019. He played college football at Ohio State University, where he was a two-time All-American. Bosa was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is the son of former NFL player John Bosa. Nick Bosa was a highly touted prospect coming out of high school, and he did not disappoint during his time at Ohio State. He is considered one of the best defensive players in the country and is expected to have a successful career in the NFL.
Jordan Scarlett is an American football player who is currently a running back for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Florida and was drafted by the Panthers in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The team originally signed him as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft. In December 2020, he was signed to the Detroit Lions practice squad but then signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins. Scarlett has appeared in nine career NFL games but was injured in week 12.
Joey Bosa is an American football defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). Bosa was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on July 11, 1995. His father played defensive end for the Miami Dolphins from 1987 to 1989, and his little brother Nick Bosa is also in the NFL. Bosa attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, where he played high school football for three years.
He played college football at Ohio State University and was drafted by the Chargers third overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in his first season. As a Buckeye, he was named First Team Freshman All-American and selected to the Freshman All-Big Ten First Team. Bosa committed to Ohio State University to play college football.
Jake Rudock is an NFL quarterback drafted by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played college football at Michigan, where he was a two-time captain and helped lead the Wolverines to a Big Ten Conference Championship in 2015. As a pro, Rudock has served as a backup for both the Lions and Miami Dolphins. He has also been active in the community, working with organizations such as the Special Olympics and Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Phillip Dorsett is a wide receiver for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Miami and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Dorsett attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was a two-sport star in football and track.
The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Rashad Greene in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State University, where he was a four-year starter and became the Seminoles MVP of the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl in an 18–14 victory over Notre Dame. In 2016 Greene became injured and was put on reserve for the Jaguars. In 2018 he was released and re-signed by the Jaguars but moved to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League in 2020. In April 2021, he retired.
Bobby Hart is an NFL player who the New York Giants drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State University, where he was a member of the Seminoles’ national championship team in 2013. Hart has also played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, and the Miami Dolphins. Bobby is currently on his third stint with the Buffalo Bills as he enters the 2022 NFL season.
Lamarcus Joyner is an NFL player who signed with the St. Louis Rams in 2014. He played college football at Florida State University and was drafted by the Rams in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has been a key contributor to the Rams’ success over the past few years and is considered one of the best safeties in the NFL. In 2019, Joyner signed a four-year contract with the Oakland Raiders worth $42 million. In 2021 he signed with the New York Jets but was placed on injury reserve in Week 1. He is slated to continue playing with the Jets in the 2022 season.
Brandon Linder is an American football player who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the National Football League (NFL). He was born on January 25, 1992, in Southwest Ranches, Florida. Linder played college football in the athletics program at the University of Miami. The Jaguars drafted him in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. In 2017, Linder signed a five-year, $51.7 million extension with the Jaguars, making him the highest-paid center in league history. He is regarded as one of the best guards in the NFL. He announced his retirement from the NFL on March 28, 2022.
Dezmen Southward is an NFL player who has played for the Atlanta Falcons, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Carolina Panthers. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas for his entire high school duration but didn’t begin playing football until his senior year. He was born on October 1, 1990, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Southward played college football at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he set a school record by playing 54 games. The Atlanta Falcons drafted him in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Southward signed to the Indianapolis Colts in 2015 and the Carolina Panthers in 2016.
James White is an American football running back for the National Football League (NFL) New England Patriots. The Patriots drafted him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Wisconsin. As a junior in 2012, he set a then-NCAA record for most receptions in a season by a running back with 83. In his college career, White rushed for over 100 yards a game on 17 different occasions.
During his rookie season with the Patriots, he made his professional debut on the field against the Kansas City Chiefs. In Super Bowl LI, he scored three touchdowns and a two-point conversion, setting a record for points in a Super Bowl helping the Patriots win their fifth Lombardi Trophy. White was given the Super Bowl MVP trophy after Brady was named. Brady said he deserved it more after becoming just the third player in NFL history to have over 100 yards rushing and receiving in a Super Bowl game.
Giovani Bernard is an American football running back who is currently a free agent. The Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at North Carolina, where he was a two-time ACC Offensive Player of the Year. Bernard signed with Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021.
Early in his career, Giovani Bernard was known for his versatility and elusiveness as a runner. He was also considered one of the NFL’s best-receiving backs. Giovani Bernard is an exciting player to watch, and he will surely have a lasting impact on the game of football.
Andrew Datko is an American football player drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State University, where he was a four-year starter. As a freshman in 2008, Datko was named to FWAA′s Freshman All-America team. He started all but one of the 13 games that season, played 852 snaps, more than any freshman on the line, and recorded 21 knockdowns. Datko was drafted in the seventh round of the NFL draft in 2012 by the Green Bay Packers.
The NFL Season is Upon Us
The NFL season is almost upon us, and fans across the country are getting ready for another year of gridiron action. From the Super Bowl to the playoffs, there is always something to watch for in the NFL. This year, a few teams look like they could be contenders for the Lombardi Trophy. No matter who your team is, it is sure to be an exciting football season. So get your snacks and your remote control at the ready because the NFL season is about to begin.
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