The 2010s were an inconsistent decade for the state of Texas. The premiere programs failed to inspire, the small private schools emerged and the bottom fell out of the bottom of the state.
However, there were incredible standouts who played college football in this state. Some were among the best recruits in America. Others were nobodies who ended up growing into unforgettable names.
We have a clear criteria for our team. We are only considering the seasons between 2010 and 2019. That means that a guy like Robert Griffin III – with one exceptional and one good season – only gets credit for his last two years.
We also are only considering what happened on a college football field. It’s irrelevant to us what Patrick Mahomes has accomplished in the NFL, though he made of a heck of a case in college too. This is just about the greatest in college football.
Without further ado, here is the 2010s all-decade team from the state of Texas.
QB: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (Kerrville Tivy)
No other quarterback in Texas ranked as a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist. Manziel changed everything in College Station – especially the expectations.
RB: Aaron Jones, UTEP (Burges)
UTEP’s all-time rushing leader rushed for nearly 1,800 yards as a senior and reached the 100-yard plateau in 17 games in his storied career. His burgeoning NFL career doesn’t matter for this list, but you can see what Miners fans saw on Sundays.
RB: D’Onta Foreman, Texas (Texas City)
Foreman had a strong start to his career, but his 2,028-yard, 15-touchdown senior season was one for the ages. He became the lone Texas college running back to take home the Doak Walker Award this decade.
WR: Corey Coleman, Baylor (Richardson Pearce)
Coleman was a consensus All-American and the state’s lone Biletnikoff Award winner after averaging nearly 113 receiving yards per game and 31 touchdowns over his final two seasons.
WR: Mike Evans, Texas A&M (Galveston Ball)
Evans only played two seasons at Texas A&M; he didn’t need much more than that. He posted 2,499 yards and 17 touchdowns in those two seasons before finishing his career as an All-American.
WR: Josh Doctson, TCU (Mansfield Legacy)
If not for Coleman, Doctson would have walked out with a Biletnikoff Award. The former walk-on ended as the greatest receiver in TCu history with more than 2,300 yards and 25 touchdowns in his final two seasons.
TE: Jace Amaro, Texas Tech (San Antonio MacArthur)
Amaro posted one of the great seasons by a tight end ever, finished with 106 receptions for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns in Kliff Kingsbury’s first season in Lubbock to earn unanimous All-America honors.
OL: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M (Missouri City Elkins)
What even is there to say about Matthews? He was a two-time All-American and helped Manziel become a college football legend with his blocking. He was the whole package.
OL: Spencer Drango, Baylor (Cedar Park)
Consensus All-America honors weren’t enough for Drango, so he came back and became a unanimous All-American as a senior. Drango blocked for Baylor during the winningest stretch in program history – it’s no coincidence.
OL: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M (Arlington)
How good was Joeckel at Texas A&M? The only two Texans to win the Outland Trophy this decade were Ed Oliver and Joeckel. He blocked for Manziel’s Heisman season.
OL: Cyril Richardson, Baylor (Fort Worth Crowley)
Richardson helped set the foundation for Baylor football by playing left tackle to protect Robert Griffin III’s blindside and playing left guard to protect Bryce Petty during a Big 12 title season.
OL: Connor Williams, Texas (Coppell)
Williams earned consensus All-America honors as a true sophomore despite being one of the less recruited linemen on Texas’ roster.
UT: James Proche, SMU (DeSoto)
Proche excelled as a receiver and returner at SMU, and leaves as the school’s leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns after a standout career.
DL: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M (Arlington Martin)
Garrett was one of the most dominant players in the SEC from the second he got on campus. He posted 22.5 sacks in his first two seasons alone and established himself as the runaway No. 1 NFL Draft pick.
DL: Ed Oliver, Houston (Spring Westfield)
Oliver began his career by dominating Oklahoma, and didn’t really stop from there. We called him the best player in America heading into his junior season. Few players have ever had the kind of consistent effect on a game as Oliver did at defensive tackle.
DL: James Lynch, Baylor (Round Rock)
Lynch is the lone player on the list with eligibility remaining. His development on the defensive line helped turn Baylor’s defense into one of the nation’s best. Lynch posted 12.5 sacks from an odd front set and still has the Sugar Bowl left to go.
DL: Marcus Davenport, UTSA (San Antonio Stevens)
Davenport went from a virtual no-namer to the best player in UTSA’s short history during a standout career, capped off by leading the Roadrunners to a bowl game and beating a Power Five opponent.
LB: Paul Dawson, TCU (Dallas Skyline)
Dawson was a classic Gary Patterson success story. He moved from high school wide receiver to linebacker. All he did after arriving at TCU was post 227 tackles, 30 tackles for loss and five interceptions in his final two seasons while helping lead the Horned Frogs to one of the best seasons in program history.
LB: Bryce Hager, Baylor (Austin Westlake)
Hager manned the middle for Baylor’s defense during their Big 12 title runs. He was the surest and most productive tackler on the defense and helped the Bears take enough steps on that side of the ball to win games.
LB: Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech (Houston Stratford)
Brooks was a tackling machine from the moment he arrived on campus. The Houston native never posted fewer than 84 tackles in a season, and capped his career off with a 20 tackle for loss campaign as a senior.
LB: E.J. Ejiya, North Texas
Ejiya hailed from tiny North Dakota State College of Science. When he arrived at North Texas, it became clear he was a difference-maker. As a senior, he posted 121 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss and nine tackles for loss. More importantly, he helped lead the Mean Green to a pair of nine-win campaigns.
DB: Jason Verrett, TCU
Verrett was a seemingly undersized cornerback who just couldn’t be beat. He helped shut down some of the best receivers in the sport during TCU’s transition to the Big 12.
DB: William Jackson III, Houston (Houston Wheatley)
Jackson set a Houston record with 23 pass breakups and an additional five interceptions as a senior. Somehow that wasn’t good enough for first-team All-AAC his senior year, but his performance is sure good enough for us.
DB: DeShon Elliott, Texas (Rockwall Heath)
One day, Elliott woke up and could not stop making plays. He helped key a late bowl run with six interceptions for Texas to start Tom Herman’s tenure on a good foot.
DB: Kenny Vaccaro, Texas (Early)
Vaccaro elevated himself into an elite Big 12 safety over the early years of the decade, capping it off with 92 tackles during an All-America senior season to become a top NFL draft pick.
UT: Von Miller, Texas A&M (DeSoto)
The only reason Miller slides down to utility player is that he only played one season in the 2010s. Winning the Butkus Award after posting 68 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks is a pretty good way to go out.
K: Randy Bullock, Texas A&M (Klein)
Bullock only played two years in the decade, but he converted 105-of-107 extra points and 45-of-54 field goals during a tremendous last two years with the Aggies.
P: Michael Dickson, Texas
Dickson’s Texas Bowl MVP encapsulated everything there is to know about him: he can punt it far, he can punt it fast and he can pin you down exactly where he wants. Dickson was a freak.
R: Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech (Mesquite Horn)
Grant got consideration at receiver, but easily earned a spot for his kick returning prowess. The Red Raiders star averaged 24.9 yards per return for his career and added four kickoff returns for touchdown.
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