Tedy Bruschi never resists reminding his old friend Lance Briggs where they were ranked among the region's top football players of all time.
Bruschi, a standout defensive lineman for Roseville High School in 1989 and 1990 who set an NCAA record with 52 sacks at Arizona, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 10.
Bruschi said he still treasures and has framed at home The Bee's story in 2000 that listed the top 100 football players from this region based on their high school achievements. We made Bruschi No. 1 because of his ability to turn games, even without handling the ball.
And Briggs, the Elk Grove High bruiser from 1998 who has had a stellar linebacking career with the Chicago Bears?
"I always remind him I'm No. 1 and he's No. 13, but no hard feelings," Bruschi said with a laugh.
Bruschi was a two-year standout at Roseville while Briggs didn't dominate until his senior season, when he really dominated, leading the Herd to a 14-0 record.
If we revised the all-time list to factor in college and NFL achievements, Bruschi and Briggs might jockey for the top spot. Bruschi won three Super Bowls playing with the Patriots, but Briggs has seven Pro Bowl seasons to Bruschi's one.
Who is the best football player from this region?
Lance Briggs, Elk Grove, Bears
Tedy Bruschi, Roseville, Patriots
Dan Bunz, Oakmont, 49ers
James Campen, Ponderosa, Packers
Gordon King, Bella Vista, Giants
Charles Mann, Valley, Redskins
Onterrio Smith, Grant, Vikings
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