Sports

These are South Florida’s and the state’s NFL Hometown Heroes in Week 1

Welcome to Hometown Heroes, which highlights the performances of various football players at the NFL level throughout the season.

We’re specifically looking at players with ties to South Florida, the major college programs in Florida and those who cut their teeth under Florida’s Friday Night Lights in high school.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of every single player, because there simply are a ridiculous amount of Florida natives playing pro football.

However, if you feel we missed anyone, send an email.

Now here’s this week’s Hometown Heroes:

South Florida

Lamar Jackson: The Boynton Beach Community High alum shredded the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Jackson completed 17 of 20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns. He was a fantasy football star Sunday and one of two quarterbacks, along with Dak Prescott of the Cowboys, to attain a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

Marquise Brown: A Hollywood native, who played at Chaminade-Madonna, Brown was one of Jackson’s weapons in the passing game for the Ravens in a 59-10 victory Sunday. He caught four passes for 147 yards with two touchdowns.

Dalvin Cook: The Miami Central and Florida State alum ran the ball 21 times for 111 yards, which included two touchdowns and two carries of more than 20 yards in the Vikings’ 28-12 victory over the Falcons.

Devin Singletary: A rookie running back with the Bills, the Plantation American Heritage High and Florida Atlantic alum made the most of his limited touches Sunday. With only four carries, Singletary racked up 70 rushing yards that included two attempts going for more than 20 yards. Buffalo defeated the Jets, 17-16.

T.Y. Hilton: Hilton, who starred at Miami Springs High and FIU, caught eight passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts’ 30-24 overtime loss to the Chargers.

Philip Dorsett: A Fort Lauderdale Saint Thomas Aquinas and University of Miami alum scored twice in the Patriots’ 33-3 rout of the Steelers. Dorsett caught four passes for 95 yards.

Colleges

Vernon Hargreaves: A University of Florida alum, Hargreaves had a pick six in the Bucs’ 31-17 loss to the 49ers.

Dante Fowler: The UF alum had two sacks for the Rams in a 30-27 victory over the Panthers.

Greg Olsen: The former Miami Hurricane caught four passes for 36 yards for the Panthers. He was targeted nine times.

Florida

Marlon Mack: It was a Mack Attack on Sunday as the Sarasota native and USF alum led NFL running backs with 174 rushing yards. Mack did it on 25 carries, highlighted by a 63-yard touchdown run.

Sammy Watkins: A South Fort Myers alum, who later starred at Clemson, Watkins reaped the benefits following Tyreke Hill’s injury in the Chiefs’ 40-26 victory over the Jaguars. Watkins led all NFL receivers with 198 yards. He did his damage on nine receptions, with three going for touchdowns.

Derrick Henry: The Alabama alum and Yulee, Florida native had 84 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown in the Titans’ 43-13 victory over the Browns.

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.
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