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Matthew Stafford's HS Highlights Show a Young Gunslinger at Work

NFL quarterback Matthew Stafford has enjoyed an underrated career.

The Detroit Lions haven't won much, so he's never in the conversation regarding the best quarterbacks of the 2010s. That said, Stafford, who is now with the Los Angeles Rams, has been solid for nearly all of his time in the NFL and was even better in high school.

Stafford's time at Highland Park in Texas was a window into how he would blossom into a future star.

Matthew Stafford in High School 

Matthew Stafford played at Highland Park High School in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. His big arm is on display in this video, and he has poise and command of the football beyond his years.

Playing with Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Highland Park won a state championship, and Stafford set single-season records for passing yards.

He was awarded numerous accolades for his high school football career and was the consensus top quarterback prospect.

After graduating, he enrolled at Georgia and played for the Bulldogs.

Matthew Stafford at Georgia

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The pro-style quarterback started for the first time as a freshman, and he would play in 38 more games over his three-year Bulldog career. Needless to say, his stock soared.

Stafford never won the Heisman Trophy, but he did tally 51 career touchdowns against 33 interceptions, including 25 TDs in 2008, which set a single-season record for the school.

It was inevitable that Stafford would end up getting drafted early. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. predicted it before Stafford ever suited up for a game. Kiper would ultimately end up looking like Nostradamus when the Lions took the QB with the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Matthew Stafford in the NFL 

The Lions quarterback had another first-round talent playing with him on offense, but the team couldn't make any ground in the NFC Playoffs. No head coach was ever able to make it work with Calvin Johnson on the field, and the team has missed out on the fun since 2016.

Stafford, to his credit, has put together 12 solid NFL seasons in Michigan. He has a Pro Bowl to his name, has thrown for nearly 300 touchdowns, and has performed well against the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings in the past.

Stafford may not be an MVP, but he is a sturdy presence in the lineup who could help your team win. After a series of injuries in his sophomore campaign, Stafford earned Comeback Player of the Year honors for his 5,000-yard performance, joining Tom Brady of the New England Patriots Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints as the only three players to reach that total.

After the 2020 season, Stafford's name popped up on the trade market, and his time in Detroit has come to an end.

The New England Patriots or San Francisco 49ers were rumored to be interested teams, but Stafford was ultimately traded to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for draft picks and quarterback Jared Goff.

QB Matthew Stafford has undeniably performed well since high school. If he ever loses his passion for football, perhaps he could join his friend, Kershaw, in the MLB.

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