Big Man on Campus: Sahuaro High School's top 10: Peete 'took off' during time as Cougar

2013-08-18T00:00:00Z 2013-08-23T20:41:24Z Big Man on Campus: Sahuaro High School's top 10: Peete 'took off' during time as CougarArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Through Friday, the Star will count down the top 10 football players from each major Southern Arizona high school program:

School: Sahuaro

The best: Rodney Peete

Achievements: Although Peete didn't finish his high school career at Sahuaro, he still won two state titles as a Cougar. While neither came on the football field, what he did there was special to say the least. The Mesa native caught 44 passes for 796 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore in 1981 to earn All-State honors as a wide receiver. He went on to become a first-team All-State quarterback the next year. The three-sport star threw for an area-best 1,885 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior and had only eight interceptions in 253 attempts before leaving Sahuaro because his father, Willie, got a job as an assistant coach with the Kansas City Chiefs. He went on to become a first-team All-America quarterback at USC where he led the Trojans to a pair of Rose Bowl appearances, won the Johnny Unitas Award as the best senior quarterback and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up that same year in 1988.

From the archives: "A year ago, when Peete was a receiver, he took off and flew. But tonight he was the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines." - Amphitheater coach Vern Friedli told the Star following a 34-34 tie with Sahuaro on Nov. 5 1982. Peete passed for a single-game state record 424 yards.

The big number: 16. Peete, who was also a star third baseman for the USC baseball team, was chosen in the MLB draft three separate times. However, Peete declined each time and was taken by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round of the 1989 NFL draft. He went on to spend 16 seasons in the NFL with six different teams.

Coming up: Find out who the all-time top 10 players from Salpointe Catholic are in Monday's Star.

Daniel Gaona

On StarNet: Check each day to find the latest addition to the Star's galleries of top 10 players at each major Southern Arizona school: azstarnet.com/highschool

Sahuaro Top 10

1. Rodney Peete, ATH, 1983

2. John Mistler, WR/DB, 1977

3. Reggie Robertson, QB, 2000

4. Mike Ciasca, OL, 1990

5. Omar Bacon, RB, 1995

6. Steve Martin, WR/DB, 1986

7. Steve McLaughlin, K, 1990

8. Brad Chilcote, QB, 1986

9. Paul Schoonover, RB/FB, 1973

10. Jay Dobyns, WR/DB, 1980

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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