The AJC Super 11 project: 2000s all-decade team

Calvin Johnson, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021, speaks during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Credit: AP

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Calvin Johnson, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021, speaks during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Credit: AP

Two members of the AJC Super 11 all-decade team of the 2000s eventually would become members of the NFL all-decade team from 2010-19.

And one of those players has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Calvin Johnson and Eric Berry headline the 2000s all-decade team of the AJC Super 11 project, a series looking back at Georgia’s top high school football players of the past. The AJC Super 11 team, the newspaper’s annual preseason list of its top high school football players in the state, debuted in the summer of 1985, and the 2022 team will be unveiled Aug. 14.

The players on the all-decade team of the 2000s were among all Super 11 selections from 2000-09 and – more important for this project -- their high school, college and professional accomplishments were all a part of the selection process.

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Johnson was named to the 2003 team heading into his senior season at Sandy Creek High School. A three-time All-ACC and two-time All American receiver at Georgia Tech, Johnson had more than 11,000 receiving yards in nine seasons with the Detroit Lions and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021 - a month before his 36th birthday.

During his Hall of Fame induction speech, Johnson - who joined Larry Fitzgerald and Antonio Brown as receivers on the NFL all-decade team - recalled a conversation with then-Sandy Creek coach Rodney Walker: ‘We had this conversation, and he was like, ‘Man, you can be as good as anybody who’s ever played this game .... I was like, “Shut up, Coach. Whatever.’

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Berry could find himself joining Johnson among the NFL’s all-time greats when he becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2023. A preseason 2006 Super 11 selection, Berry went on to be named the state’s all-classification player of the year after his senior season at Creekside High.

A two-time All-American safety at the University of Tennessee, Berry was a five-time Pro Bowler with the Kansas City Chiefs and one of three safeties (Earl Thomas, Eric Weddle) honored by the NFL on its all-decade team.

ExploreAJC Super 11 by year 2000-2009: Listing the top Georgia high school football players

Here are the players on the all-decade team:

ExploreHow are the AJC Super 11 players selected?