Fort Lauderdale's Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, with 13 players, again tops the list of high schools with the most NFL players. The school has led the nation in players on NFL Kickoff rosters for seven of the past eight seasons (2012, 2014-19). It tied for the lead in 2013.
Cincinnati running back GIOVANI BERNARD and two of his Bengals teammates, defensive tackle GENO ATKINS and tackle BOBBY HART, are products of the school, tutored by head coach George Smith. So, what's in the culture at Saint Thomas Aquinas?
"Professionalism," Bernard said. "Taking accountability for everything you do, your actions. We learned very early my freshman year that if you're going to miss a workout, there's going to be discipline. I always hold myself very accountable, and that's something I feel that all the players coming out of Saint Thomas have learned. They're all players who are very accountable to their teammates, and they get their jobs done."
Like Bernard, Patriots wide receiver PHILLIP DORSETT also has a fellow Saint Thomas Aquinas NFL teammate, JAMES WHITE.
"We were lucky enough to play for Coach Smith," Dorsett said. "He taught us how to carry ourselves like men before we even got to college. So, we knew the discipline, and how it was going to be when we got to college, not even knowing we were going to make it to the NFL. There's a certain way to carry yourself when you make it to the next level, and he definitely taught us how to carry ourselves."
Overall, NFL players hail from 1,296 high schools in 46 states and the District of Columbia, 10 countries and a U.S. territory (American Samoa). The totals are based on the 1,695 players on Kickoff Weekend rosters.
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