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Second Team: NFL dreams become reality

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In the days leading up to when he helped the New York Giants win their second Super Bowl in five seasons, Chase Blackburn told ThisWeek Community News in January 2012 that establishing oneself in the NFL involves not losing confidence and being "ready when it's available."

Like the 2001 Marysville High School graduate, two others who made the second team of the "All-Time ThisWeek Football Team" still are fulfilling their dream of playing professionally, while three others are trying to make that dream a reality.

All six of those players, including Blackburn, can only hope they have as long of a career as another member of the second team, former Brookhaven and Ohio State star and former 12-year NFL veteran Terry Glenn, who was selected as a return specialist.

Dublin Coffman's Brady Quinn, who has been in the NFL since 2007 and will be the Seattle Seahawks' backup this season, is the second-team quarterback.

The second-team tight end is Brook-haven's Jeff Cumberland, who will begin his fourth season with the New York Jets.

Former Ohio State players Zach Boren (Houston Texans) and Jake Stoneburner (Green Bay Packers) and former Michigan player Patrick Omameh (San Francisco 49ers) are trying to catch on as undrafted free agents.

The remainder of the second team includes players such as former Ohio State running back Derek Combs from the mid-1990s and recent standouts like Johnstown's Ross Franklin, Westerville South's Jayshon Jackson, Dublin Scioto's Tim Shadoan and Hartley's Ja'Wuan Woodley.

Quarterback

Quinn (final prep season in 2002).

Before he went on to finish fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2005 and third in 2006 for Notre Dame, Quinn put together one of the area's best prep careers.

He led the Shamrocks to a 9-4 record and Division I regional runner-up finish while passing for 2,220 yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior in 2001.

As a senior, he was named the district's Player of the Year and ThisWeek Super 25 captain after passing for 2,146 yards and 25 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Quinn played with an injured left foot his last two games and Coffman lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Running back

Combs (Grove City, 1996), Franklin (2011), Jackson (2010).

Since 1990, only three players from central Ohio -- Westerville South's Andy Katzenmoyer in 1995, Upper Arlington's Jeff Backes in 2000 and Combs in 1996 -- have been named the state's Mr. Football.

Combs combined for more than 1,500 rushing and receiving yards as a junior before averaging more than nine yards per carry while amassing 2,149 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior.

"It was his blazing speed that made him special," said Olentangy Orange coach Brian Cross, who was Combs' coach with the Dawgs. "In high school he was a 4.45 (seconds) kid (in the 40-yard dash), and that was pretty fast for a high school kid."

Franklin, who is playing for Findlay, rushed for 2,183 yards as a junior and 3,416 yards with 51 touchdowns as a senior.

Jackson rushed for 2,037 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior in his first season for Westerville South after previously playing for Central Crossing. As a senior, he rushed for 2,583 yards and 23 touchdowns.

All three were Super 25 captains as seniors.

Wide Receiver

Shadoan (2012), Stoneburner (Coffman, 2007).

Stoneburner went on to play tight end for Ohio State after a prep career in which he broke nearly all of Coffman's receiving records, including receptions (74) and yards (1,267) as a senior and receptions for his career (168).

A year ago, Shadoan helped Scioto make the playoffs for the first time since 2005. He caught 81 passes, giving him a program-record 121 for his career.

Tight End

Cumberland (2005).

A standout on Brookhaven's 2004 Division II state championship team, Cumberland was named the district's Offensive Player of the Year as a senior when he had 13 touchdown receptions as the Bearcats made the Division I playoffs.

Offensive Line

Phil Huff (Hilliard Davidson, 2009), Mark Jackson (Brookhaven, 2005), Kurt Murphy (DeSales, 1995), Omameh (DeSales, 2007), Josh Parrish (Westerville South, 1996).

Davidson and DeSales have made many long playoff runs over the years, with linemen such as the Wildcats' Huff and the Stallions' Murphy and Omameh among the reasons.

Jackson was a three-year starter at center for the Bearcats who signed with Illinois while Parrish went on to play for Kentucky.

Defensive Line

Gino Dunlap (Westland, 1997), Keith Heitzman (Davidson, 2010), Devon May (Watterson, 2002), Julian Miller (Beechcroft, 2006).

Heitzman was the district's Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and signed with Michigan.

Miller completed a solid career for West Virginia and May had a short stint at Louisville after helping Watterson win the 2002 state title.

At 6-foot-1 and 245 pounds, Dunlap was a standout nose guard for Westland.

Linebacker

Blackburn (2000), Boren (Pickerington Central, 2008), J.B. Strahler (Davidson, 2006), Woodley (2012).

Blackburn recorded more than 100 tackles during both his junior and senior seasons and played for the University of Akron before heading to the NFL.

Boren and Woodley each were finalists for Mr. Football as seniors.

Strahler helped Davidson to its first state championship in 2006.

Defensive Back

Eilar Hardy (Pickerington Central, 2010), Michael Hinger (Licking Valley, 2001), Matt Pusateri (Watterson, 1999), DeAngelo Smith (Independence, 2003).

Smith and Hinger were the ultimate ball hawks, with Smith returning three of his 11 interceptions for touchdowns as a senior and Hinger combining for 18 interceptions over his final two prep seasons.

Hardy was a four-year starter who signed with Notre Dame and Pusateri had a distinguished career at Miami University.

Place-Kicker

Jimmy Gammill (New Albany, 2011).

Now a sophomore playing for the University of Pennsylvania, Gammill was the epitome of clutch in high school.

A first-team all-state honoree in Division II as a senior, he finished his prep career 120-for-127 in extra points and 26-for-32 on field-goal attempts with 50 touchbacks. He made nine of 11 field goals as a senior, including a pair of game-winners over eventual playoff teams.

Punter

A.J. Trapasso (Pickerington Central, 2003).

A versatile player who rushed for more than 2,900 yards and scored 360 points during his final two prep seasons while seeing time at running back and kicker, Trapasso went on to be Ohio State's punter from 2005-08.

For Pickerington Central, he averaged 38.7 yards per punt as a junior and more than 41 yards as a senior.

Return Specialist

Glenn (1991).

Glenn became a star wide receiver at Ohio State and an NFL Pro Bowler in 1999 with the New England Patriots, but he might have been most effective as a prep player on special teams.

As a senior, he returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score in a 14-3 win over Piqua in a Division I regional final. He also brought back three punts for scores in a 49-13 regular-season win over Westerville North and had two other returns for touchdowns.

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