Throughout the summer, Star Local Media will recognize some of the premier football players from the Metroplex with its inaugural all-decade team. Players eligible for consideration must have played at least one season between 2010-19 for one of the high schools within Star Local Media’s coverage area: Allen, Carrollton, Celina, Coppell, Flower Mound, Frisco, Lake Cities, Lewisville, Little Elm, McKinney, Mesquite, Plano, Rowlett and The Colony. This is the first of a multi-part series, beginning with quarterbacks.
Kyler Murray, Allen
Allen has become one of the most visible brands in high school sports across the country, and thanks in part to its football program’s elevation to a nationally recognized powerhouse.
One of the seminal moments in that trajectory came on Oct. 12, 2012 — the first career start under center for Murray.
Then a sophomore, Murray spelled alum Oliver Pierce in non-district action for the 2012 season before being promoted to starting quarterback just before Allen’s district opener against Plano East. The Eagles routed the Panthers, 56-0, and history was born.
Murray went on to author one of the truly singular careers in Texas high school football — posting a perfect 42-0 record across three seasons, all of which ended in Allen hoisting a state championship in the UIL’s largest classification.
Murray’s career numbers are befitting of an all-time great — throwing for 10,386 yards, rushing for 4,139 yards and totaling 186 touchdowns (117 passing, 69 rushing). That success elevated Allen into the record books, with Murray’s 42 wins sparking what ultimately amounted to a 57-game winning streak — the second-longest in state history.
Murray’s success hardly fizzled after high school, going on to produce a Heisman-winning campaign at Oklahoma that he parlayed into being the top overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft — all while juggling the prospect of playing professional baseball after being selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in 2018.
Opting to remain on the gridiron, currently quarterbacking the Arizona Cardinals, Murray was named the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year last season.
The Rest of the Best
Jason Shelley, Frisco Lone Star
Shelley put together one of the best high school careers during the past decade, where he was named district newcomer of the year as a sophomore and most valuable player in each of his final two campaigns.
Shelley led the Rangers to a 31-7 record in three seasons, including a state runner-up finish in 2015, when Lone Star posted a 14-2 record before falling to Cedar Park in the title game.
Shelley, who is now playing at Utah, was a true dual-threat — throwing for 8,772 yards and 79 touchdowns and adding 3,163 yards and 54 scores on the ground.
Jalen Mayden, Sachse
Mayden is part of one of the most decorated athletics families in the area. His father, James, Sr., played basketball at Oklahoma and his two older brothers, James and Jared, were standouts at Rice and Alabama, respectively.
Mayden, now at Mississippi State, was a three-time first-team all-district selection, winning newcomer of the year as a sophomore and 10-6A most valuable player as a senior. He guided the Mustangs to a 30-6 record during three seasons as a starter, including undefeated regular seasons in 2016 and 2017.
During that time, Mayden accounted for 9,472 yards and 114 touchdowns, including a trip to the regional quarterfinals during his senior season.
Grant Tisdale, Allen
As a sophomore, Tisdale saw plenty of time behind center as a backup before taking the reins of the Eagles’ offense in 2017 and 2018, authoring a commanding run that included a Class 6A state championship in 2017.
A dual-threat quarterback whose 200-pound frame made him a handful for opposing tacklers, Tisdale threw for 5,088 yards, ran for 2,453 more, and totaled 101 touchdowns during his tenure at Allen en route to a 30-1 record as a starter, along with a MaxPreps All-American nod and an all-state honorable mention selection.
Chief among Tisdale’s best attributes were his efficiency and ball security. The signal-caller threw only nine interceptions for his entire high school career and completed complete a staggering 68% of his passes during his two seasons as a starter.
Ryan Cash, Prestonwood Christian
Prestonwood has enjoyed its share of high-level play at the quarterback position over the years, but Cash’s run as the Lions’ sole starter from 2014-15 is up there with one of the best stretches in the entire state by any passer this decade.
For his career, Cash totaled 11,307 passing yards, 729 rushing yards and 122 total touchdowns — including a monstrous two-year stretch where he totaled 8,988 yards and 96 scores through the air. In doing so, Cash helped the Lions advance to the state title game three consecutive years, winning it all in 2015.
Just as impressive was that football was Cash’s secondary sport. He led Prestonwood to a state title in baseball and currently plays on the college diamond at Oral Roberts.
Brady McBride, Coppell
McBride was a special dual-threat quarterback and three-year starter at Coppell, leading the Cowboys to the playoffs in all three seasons. He threw for 6,516 yards and 86 touchdowns and added 1,142 rush yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. The talented McBride finished his stellar career with a 27-10 record as a starter, 7,662 career total yards, accounted for 107 total touchdowns and threw just 14 interceptions. Currently at Texas State, McBride was also a District MVP.
McBride is the son of Joe McBride, the current head football coach and boys athletics coordinator at McKinney Boyd.