Coach Jim Streety has no doubt why his team was tabbed to open the season on national television.
San Antonio Madison running back Aaron Green is the big draw, having already rushed for 3,320 yards and 39 touchdowns in his Madison career. Green is expected to surpass former Oklahoma running back Jacob Gutierrez as the school's all-time leading rusher.
So, would Madison be playing on ESPN without Green?
"Probably not," said Streety, one of the winningest coaches in Texas high school football history. "I have my doubts whether they picked this game because of me."
Green hardly needed an ESPN showcase to introduce himself to the country. Every top college program has been well acquainted with the 5-10, 191-pound speedster since 2008, when Green rushed for more than 2,000 yards and scored 27 touchdowns as a sophomore in the largest and toughest classification in Texas.
An inexperienced offensive line the next year diminished those gaudy numbers, but not his prospects. Texas, California and Nebraska — where his brother, Andrew, is a defensive back — are among the schools eager to plant Green in their backfield.
Perhaps the only more sought-after running back in the 2011 class is Malcolm Brown of Cibolo High School — just a 10-mile drive from the Madison campus. Green said he and Brown have known each other since seventh grade, when they ran on the same summer track program.
"I was faster than him," Green said.
They're virtually equals now, and Brown and Green haven't ruled out becoming teammates at the same college.
Green is the last — and arguably best — of a line of brothers and cousins who have starred at Madison. Besides Andrew, his oldest brother, Tony, now plays at Alabama A&M. Gary Green, Aaron's cousin, also went from Madison to play at Kansas.
Streety said what separates Aaron from his family is his speed and athleticism. Green also qualified for the state meet last year in track, finishing eighth in the Class 5A 110-meter hurdles.
"I wouldn't say he's the best," said Streety, who's coached for 37 years. "But he's in the top five."