Three former high school football players from North Carolina will be participating in Super Bowl 58 on Sunday. They were all also present in last year’s championship game.
One of the most well-known graduates of a North Carolina high school is Javon Hargrave, who plays for the San Francisco 49ers as #98. Hargrave attended North Rowan High School in Spencer and is a 6-foot-2, 305-pound defensive tackle known for his impressive ability to rush the passer. Last season, Hargrave played for the Philadelphia Eagles before signing a massive 4-year, $81 million contract with the 49ers during the offseason.
Hargrave was recruited by South Carolina State after graduating from high school, ultimately choosing to attend the university. During his time there, he excelled and was eventually selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Throughout his professional career, he has recorded 44.5 sacks. This season, Hargrave has received a Pro Football Focus grade of 73.9.
Hargrave, a previous participant in multiple sports, had an average of 11.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game during his time playing basketball at North Rowan.
Jack Britt High School is the home to Joshua Williams of the Kansas City Chiefs (#2). A child of a family with a military background, Williams is a long 6-foot-3 cornerback who is a key special teams player. Williams has played in 31% of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps this season. In those snaps, Williams had made 32 total tackles and five pass breakups, earning a PFF grade of 73.0. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Chiefs last year.
Following his transition from wide receiver to defensive back during high school, Williams recorded a total of 31 tackles and was seldom the target of opponents during his senior year at Jack Britt. He chose to attend Fayetteville State University for his college career and continued playing football.
Cornell Powell, a former standout wide receiver at J.H. Rose High School, is currently listed as a practice squad player for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft after playing for Clemson. Standing at 6 feet tall and weighing 205 pounds, Powell has played in three games for the Chiefs so far. While he may not have much playing time, it is evident that the Chiefs value Powell as a reliable practice player and depth option.
Powell was selected for HighSchoolOT’s All-Decade Team for the 2010s. Throughout his career with the Rampants, he achieved 203 receptions for 4,301 yards and 68 touchdowns (ranking third), rushed for 828 yards and 13 touchdowns, and had four punt return and five kickoff return touchdowns.