By: CCPS Staff
Following the Hines Ward ceremony, a CCPS NFL Greats Reception was held at the S. Truett Cathy Professional Learning Center, adjacent to Tara Stadium in Jonesboro. The event honored former CCPS student-athletes with established careers in the NFL. In addition to celebrating the NFL standouts, CCPS presented special honors to Cap Burnett (Unsung Hero Award), Al Hughes (Legendary Coach Award), and Don Shockley Sr. (Legendary Coach Award), and the Douglas Brother Foundation, Inc. (Community Service Award).
Dr. Morcease Beasley stated, “The reception was our way of bringing back some of those who made a difference as we focus on the whole village. More to come with our Hall of Fame!!!”
Left to right (front): Kyle Love (NCHS); Morgan Burnett (NCHS); Maurice Leggett (MZHS); Kimario McFadden (MMHS); and Rodney Smith (MMHS)
Left to right (back row): Cap Burnett (NCHS); Amarlo Herrera (NCHS); Emmanuel Dieke (NCHS); and Cameron Sutton (JHS).
Hines Ward graduated from Forest Park High School and went on to play college football at the University of Georgia. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Ward to play for the Steelers in 1998. Ward was a Super Bowl Champion in Super Bowl XL and XLIII as a Steeler. In addition, Ward was named MVP of Super Bowl XL. Ward was voted to four consecutive Pro Bowls from 2001-2004. Ward announced his retirement in 2012. After his retirement, Ward created his Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation, which continues to advocate for children of mixed races.
CCPS School Board: Mark Christmas; Dr. Deatrice Dee Haney; Jessie Goree; Dr. Morcease Beasley; Sabrina Hill; Joy Tellis Cooper; Mary Baker; & Benjamin Straker,Sr.
Coach Al Hughes (Lovejoy HS), Legendary Coach Award
Coach Al Hughes coached for 13 years and had seven region championships at Lovejoy High School. A Clayton County iconic sports figure, Hughes transformed the Lovejoy program into one of the state’s elite. Hughes led the Wildcats to their fourth straight region title and a trip to the second round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs. He leaves as the all-time winningest coach in the county, including his stop at his alma mater Jonesboro. After leaving Jonesboro in 1993, he became an assistant at Lovejoy before taking over in 2001. During his tenure at Lovejoy, Hughes won 104 games and led the program to consecutive state titles during the 2011 and ’12 seasons. He sent numerous players onto the college ranks and had a few make it to the NFL.
Harry Douglas graduated from Jonesboro High School and went on to play college football at the University of Louisville. The Atlanta Falcons drafted Douglas in 2008. He continued to play for the Falcons until 2015, at which time he signed a three-year deal with the Tennessee Titans and continued to play with the Titans until 2017. Harry Douglas’ family received the award on his behalf.
Cameron Sutton graduated from Jonesboro High School and went on to play college football at the University of Tennessee. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Sutton to play for the Steelers in 2017. Sutton continues to play for the Steelers, contributing to the team’s success as a cornerback. In 2021, Sutton signed a two-year contract to continue as a cornerback for the Steelers.
Maurice Leggett graduated from Mt. Zion High School and went on to play college football at Valdosta State University. While at Valdosta State University, he helped to lead the team to two Division II National Championships in 2004 and 2007. Leggett signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in May of 2008. Leggett later continued in the NFL as a member of the Detroit Lions
Kyle Love graduated from North Clayton High School and went on to play college football at Mississippi State University. The New England Patriots signed Love to play for the Patriots in 2010. Love continued to play for the Patriots until 2013. After 2013, Love was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars and then by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Carolina PanthersSigned Love in 2014 and continued to play with the Panthers until 2019. In 2020, Love was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Love announced his retirement in 2021.
Amarlo Herrera graduated from North Clayton High School and went on to play college football at the University of Georgia. The Indianapolis Colts drafted Herrera in the 2015 NFL draft. He also spent time with the Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins during his time in the NFL.
Congratulation to Coach Cap Burnett on receiving this year’s Clayton County Unsung Hero Award. Also, join us in congratulating former North Clayton Head Coach Donald Shockley for the Legendary Coach Award.
Tashard Choice graduated from Lovejoy High School and went on to play college football at Georgia Tech. The Dallas Cowboys selected Choice to play for the Cowboys in 2008. He continued to play for the Cowboys until 2011, when he was claimed off of waivers by Washington. Choice also played for the Buffalo Bills in 2011 and 2012. He then planted for the Indianapolis Colts until his release in 2014. In 2016, Choice joined the coaching staff of the Cowboys; he currently is the running backs coach for the University of Texas.
Cordy Glenn graduated from Riverdale High School and went on to play college football at the University of Georgia. The Buffalo Bills selected Glenn to play for the Bills in 2012. Glenn would play for the Bills until 2018, when he was traded to the Cincinnati Bengals. Glen last played for the Bills in 2020. After the NFL, Mr. Glenn continues to serve others, as evidenced by his recent launch of the Cordy Glenn Foundation Scholarship that supports student-athletes at his alma mater, Riverdale High School.
Kimario McFadden graduated from Mundy’s Mill High School and went on to play college football at South Carolina State University. McFadden signed with the Atlanta Falcons in May of 2014. He later signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a second stint with the Atlanta Falcons, the Carolina Panthers, and a second stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Rodney Smith graduated from Mundy’s Mill High School and went on to play college football at the University of Minnesota. Smith signed as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers in 2020. With the Carolina Panthers, he scored his first career rushing touchdown. Smith signed with the Tennessee Titans in 2021 and later signed with the Detroit Lions in 2021.
Morgan Burnett graduated from North Clayton High School and went on to play college football at Georgia Tech. The Green Bay Packers selected Burnett in the third round, and he became a Super Bowl Champion with the Packers in 2010. After eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Burnett went on to play one season for the Pittsburgh Steelers and one season for the Cleveland Browns before retiring in 2021.
Emmanuel Dieke graduated from North Clayton High School and went on to play college football at Georgia Tech. He was a member of the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins during his time in the NFL.
Sam Crenshaw, emcee of the night and honored for his support for Clayton County High Schools.
North Clayton’s NFL Greats with their former teacher and CCPS Board Chairwoman, Jessie Goree.