While many of us around the district were disappointed the Texans didn’t make the Super Bowl, we’ll still be watching on Sunday to see some great football and commercials. This got us thinking about Houston ISD’s ties to the big game. Through ongoing research, we’ve so far found nine. If we missed anybody, do let us know.
First up because of his impending retirement is Donald Driver, a Milby HS alumnus. Driver, who will finish his career with more than 10,000 receiving yards, caught two passes for 28 yards as his Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV in 2010.
Driver has also given back to Houston, including hosting a 2-day football camp for HISD students last summer.
“I will always be the one to come back and say, ‘Without Milby, I wouldn’t be where I am today’,” he said at the camp.
Darrell Green, an all-everything cornerback for the Washington Redskins, also finished his HISD career at Jones HS.
Green, who will celebrate his 53rd birthday in mid-February, won two Super Bowls (XXII, XXVI) with Washington.
Green attended Texas A&I University (now A&M-Kingsville) where he ran track in addition to playing football. Green would later be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is widely regarded as one of the best cornerbacks to ever play the game.
Send Darrell a hello from HISD via his Twitter account, @DarrellGreen28.
Next up is Tommy Maxwell, an alumnus from Jones HS.
Following high school, Maxwell attended Texas A&M University (whose athletic department has graciously allowed us to use this photo above), where he played on both offense and defense and was an All-American at safety in 1968.
Maxwell went on to start for the Baltimore Colts in their Super Bowl V victory over the Dallas Cowboys. He played six seasons in the NFL for three teams, including the Houston Oilers in his final season.
In 1991, he was inducted into the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame.
Joseph Addai used to run the option offense for the Sharpstown Apollos and was an All-State player before graduating and playing at Louisiana State.
Addai played five seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and played in two Super Bowls, winning a title in Super Bowl XLI.
Rodney Hampton bowled over opposing defenses at Kashmere HS before doing so for the Georgia Bulldogs and New York Giants.
Hampton helped the Giants to Super Bowl XXV during his rookie season in 1990 before suffering an injury. The Giants went on to defeat the Buffalo Bills 20-19 in one of the most exciting games in history. Hampton went on to rush for more than 1,000 yards each season in the next five years.
Hampton was also selected to two Pro Bowls.
Lester Hayes, who just celebrated his 58th birthday, played football in HISD at Wheatley HS.
Hayes, regarded as of the best defensive backs in NFL history, was a large part of the Oakland Raiders’ victories in Super Bowl XV and XVII. He was selected to five Pro Bowls and was on the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team.
As Maxwell did before him, Hayes starred at Texas A&M University in the mid-1970s. He was inducted into the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.
Hayes’ abilities on the football field and a triumph over a speech impediment were part of a Sports Illustrated profile in 1981.
Keenan McCardell played under the Friday night lights at Waltrip HS in the 1980s.
McCardell, who finished his long career with more than 11,000 receiving yards, was a member of the same Super Bowl XXVI Champion team as Darrell Green. McCardell scored twice in helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win Super Bowl XXXVII.
After graduating from Waltrip, McCardell attended the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Dexter Manley, who played at Yates HS and will turn 54 on February 2, had one of the coolest nicknames in sports.
Nicknamed the “Secretary of Defense,” Manley won two Super Bowl Championships (XVII, XXII) as the anchor of the Washington Redskins defense (along with HISD alumnus Darrell Green).
Manley was selected as an All-Pro in two seasons.
Aaron Laing, a Sharpstown Apollo, played three seasons in the NFL, including one season with the San Diego Chargers and their appearance in Super Bowl XXIX.
After Sharpstown, Laing attended both Lamar and New Mexico State universities.