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Top offensive players of the decade

Here's our list of candidates for the best offensive football player of the 2000s. Remember, we only considered a player's high school career.

Rank them on the jump -- and if you feel especially passionate about one player, state your case in the comments or email us. We'll publish the best reader takes on the blog as long as you include your full name and city and state in the comment/email.

Here's the list. Below, we included a few details on the players to jog your memory.

QB Billy Cosh, Arundel, 2007-2009

Two-year starter rewrote the Maryland passing record books, setting single-season and career marks for completions, attempts, yardage and touchdowns. Will play for Kansas State.

QB Joe Haden, Friendly, 2003-2006

Threw for a then-state record 7,371 yards and 80 touchdowns. As a senior, led the Patriots to a 14-0 record, Maryland 3A championship. Plays cornerback for Florida and is expected to be an NFL first-round draft pick this spring.

QB Deontay Twyman, Sherwood, 2004-2006

Led Warriors to consecutive Maryland 4A championships. Finished career with 7,093 yards and 80 touchdowns. Also led Sandy Spring school to Maryland 4A basketball title as a senior.

RB Terry Caulley, Patuxent, 1999-2001

In three playoff games his senior year, rushed for a combined 862 yards and six touchdowns, including a career-high 306 yards in a 7-6 loss to Urbana in the Maryland 3A final. Rushed for 2,540 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior. Played at Connecticut.

RB Mike Imoh, Robinson, 1999-2001
Set school records with 5,268 career rushing yards and 66 touchdowns. Capped his career with a 2,000-yard season, leading the Rams to the Virginia AAA Division 6 state championship.

RB Marcus Mason, Georgetown Prep, 1999-2002

Two-time All-Met set Maryland career marks for rushing yards (5,790) and touchdowns (86) while helping the Little Hoyas to three consecutive undefeated seasons. Now plays for the Washington Redskins.

RB Evan Royster, Westfield, 2002-2005

Two-time All-Met rushed for 6,384 yards and scored 90 touchdowns in his career. Also a standout lacrosse player. Played for Penn State.

RB A.J. Wallace, McDonough, 2003-2005

As a senior rushed for 2,090 yards and 25 touchdowns, including three 300-yard games in the season’s final four contests as Rams made a playoff push. Played for Penn State.

TE Vernon Davis, Dunbar, 2000-2002

Imposing force on both sides of the ball tallied career stats of 96 catches for 2,012 yards and 21 touchdowns. Played for Maryland and was a first-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers.

WR Arrelious Benn, Dunbar, 2003-2006

Two-time All-Met was the nation’s top wide receiver recruit as a senior when he caught 56 passes for 1,039 yards and nine touchdowns. Played for Illinois and is considered a likely NFL first-round draft pick this spring.

WR Eddie Royal, Westfield, 2002-2003

Game-breaking wide receiver transferred from Paul VI and led the Bulldogs to a 24-1 mark in two seasons, including the school's first state title, the 2003 Virginia AAA Division 6 crown. Caught 93 passes for 1,731 yards and scored 35 touchdowns.

By Josh Barr and Alan Goldenbach  |  December 9, 2009; 2:05 AM ET
Categories:  Decade's Best , Football  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Top defensive players of the decade
Next: Top football teams of the decade


This post does not belong in this area but it's one of the few Football related articles I can post on...I think it's disgraceful that Linganore was not ranked by the Washington Post this year. They should be ranked either number 1 or at the very least number 2.....They're ranked number 21 in the nation in USA Today's top 25, being 2 spots behind Good Counsel. Good Counsel was in a higher division but they did loose this year. Both Urbana and Linganore where ranked last year. But due to "economic reasons", only Urbana was ranked this year and they're only a few miles from Linganore. Linganore had the toughest road to the Championship this year. They've beaten 3 of the post's top 20 teams. Well, demolished them would be more accurate. They played Huntingtown in the championship when Huntingtown was ranked 4th!!!....And in an article leading up to the game the Washington Post recognized Linganore as being "HEAVY FAVORITES"! How can a team be a heavy favorite and NOT BE RANKED?!!??! C'mon people, let the Washington Post know that they cannot insult our intelligence purely because they refused to spend the few hundred extra bucks a year to cover Linganore.

Posted by: jacob21703 | December 9, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

How can you not have Derrick Williams from Roosevelt on that list! Get someone who really knows High School football in this area to compile the list.

Posted by: PacDiddy1 | December 10, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Derrick Williams is on the defensive players list because he made All-Met as a DB. He did so many things in high school, it was hard to classify him.

Jon DeNunzio
The Washington Post

Posted by: Jon DeNunzio | December 11, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Joe Haden hands down. The best High School Football Player I have ever seen. 4 year starter at QB, still Holds the state record for Career passing Yards and Touchdowns. His Senior Year he ran for 12 Touchdowns and threw for another 30 Touchdowns, Had only two receptions for a total of around 150 yards and 2 touchdowns. He even had 7 interceptions on Defense. Returning 4 for Touchdowns. thats almost 50 Touchdowns in one season. No contest he's the best.

Posted by: dinkydeuce | December 12, 2009 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Cosh broke what 9-10 state records? Undeniably the right choice. Haden, and all of the names on this page were all great players, and there are a few more that could be argued to the list HOWEVER, what Cosh did in his career stands out on its own. This kid has it all, HUGE pick up for Kansas State, it's a crying shame that Maryland did not go after him with a vengeance. The accuracy and strength of his arm put him in a catagory of his own. I saw him play in three big games and he systematically tore apart the defenses in each.

The numbers speak for themselves, he is the best high school player that I have ever seen.

Posted by: danny_let-my-people-go | December 12, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Billy Cosh without question is the best High School Player of the decade. The numbers speak for them self. Had the pleasure of watching this young man and watching him was like watching a kid playing at the next level. I've never seen a high school player as poised in the pocket as Cosh. His ability to read defenses and execute the no huddle offense effectively clearly demonstrates why he is a true student of the game. Unfortunatley for Cosh (and spectators such as myself who came to witness first hand this so called "prolific passing sensation"), he was often taken out of the game early. It's really mind boggling to think of the numbers he could have had. Quite a two year run for Cosh and I will look forward to following his career at Kansas State.

Posted by: acrooftopaolcom | December 13, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

You're right. Cosh has had a wonderful career. HOWEVER, he plays against teams with subpar talent. Joe Haden actually played against tremendous talent every year. As a senior Haden completed more than 70% of his passes, and still managed to run for close to 1000 yards in an offense that set numerous state records. Im not taking anything away from Cosh but he didnt have to play the Potomac (MD), Gwynn Park, Douglass, or Lackey' every season. Put Joe Haden's Friendly Team in any other county during that season and they score at least 600 points. You know what Haden did during blowouts? He played Wide Out or Running Back. Cosh has outstanding achievements but had he played in Montgomery or P.G. Counties it would have been different. Joe Haden's the Best Player.

Posted by: dinkydeuce | December 15, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe Twyman ever won a state championship, but played in the finals twice without winning. Cosh didn't win anything either. Joe Haden hands down IMHO. The kid could do it all. Knocking FREDCO schools north of I-70 for All-Met and team rankings is asinine. Linganore should be #1 and Robby Haverstein-OT and Zach Zwinak-RB should be First Team All-Met with Zwinak being player of the year hands-down. Nick Forbes-LB from Thomas Johnson HS should also be First Team All-Met.

Posted by: MdBubba | December 15, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

It is hard to take any poll seriously when Broad Run (28-0 over two years) is not No. 1 after winning a state championship. No other team in the DC area was undefeated this year. What more can they do?

Posted by: mistergreen | December 16, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The best player high school player is Cosh. You don't have to win or go to a state championship to be considered the best player in the state. It is a team effort. Cosh and Arundel scored 55 points this year against Old Mill which was the 4A State champions...I mean who did that or even came close against the state champion this year? No one. Huntingtown scored 0. Sherwood scored 12 and Wise scored 15 and Cosh and co. scored 48 and then 7 more in overtime. The competition theory is mute since Arundel did beat Old Mill in the regular season. The best competition this year was in Anne Arundel County. Cosh had a two year career, set too many records to mention in just two seasons, and put up a lot of points against Linganore in the semis last year- 35 points and 55 points against the defending 4A state champions this year. All great players, but Cosh stands out.

Posted by: balltwo | December 16, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

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