All-Time Greatest Team

Waiting until high school to play tackle football has not held back some of the greatest players in NFL history. We assembled the Flag Football Under 14 All-Time Greatest Team, composed entirely of players who did not start tackle football until high school, to illustrate that it is better to wait.

Flag Football U14 All Time Team

Dozens of other greats narrowly missed the cut for the All-Time Greatest Team, including Drew Brees, Curtis Martin, Kellen Winslow Sr., Clinton Portis, Malcolm Butler, Mike Iupati, Jahri Evans, Charlie Joiner, Jackie Smith, Ben Coates, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Leo Nomellini and many more.

The team demonstrates that choosing to wait until high school did not affect the playing careers of an astonishing number of all-time great players across all positions. Waiting until high school not only didn't hurt their potential as pros, it minimized these athletes’ exposure to subconcussive hits and brain trauma.

Read the stories of how all the players on our All-Time Greatest Team waited until at least high school before they played tackle football, as well as the grade each player was in when they started playing:

QB – Tom Brady, 9th grade

RB – Jim Brown, 9th grade

RB – Walter Payton, 10th grade

WR – Jerry Rice, 10th grade

WR – Tim Brown, 10th grade

TE – John Mackey*, 10th grade

OT – Anthony Munoz, 9th grade

OG – Larry Allen, 11th grade

C – Dermontti Dawson, 11th grade

OL – Matt Birk, 10th grade

OT – Walter Jones, 9th grade

DE – Michael Strahan, 12th grade

DT – Dan Hampton, 11th grade

DT – Warren Sapp*, 10th grade

DE – Julius Peppers, 9th grade

LB – Lawrence Taylor, 11th grade

LB – Willie Lanier*, 9th grade

LB – Harry Carson*, 9th grade

CB – Mike Haynes*, 11th grade

FS – Everson Walls, 12th grade

SS – Jack Tatum, 10th grade

CB – Hanford Dixon, 9th grade

* These players have personally stated to the Concussion Legacy Foundation that they never played tackle football until the age listed.

Did we miss anyone that deserves consideration for the Flag Football Under 14 All-Time Greatest Team? Tell us on social media using #FlagFootballu14.

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