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Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Updated: December 9, 11:15 AM ET
Then & Now: McElroy, Stewart, Suh

By Brian Stumpf
ESPN RISE

Each week, ESPNRISE.com's Then & Now features three top performers from the past weekend's college and NFL games and takes a look back at their high school careers.

Alabama Crimson Tide
QB Greg McElroy

Then: In 2004, McElroy passed for only 208 yards and two touchdowns as a junior at powerhouse Southlake (Carroll, Texas), but had scholarship offers from around the country despite his lack of experience. McElroy exploded once he finally hit the field as a senior, passing for 4,687 yards and 56 TDs while leading Carroll to a 16-0 season and 5A state title while earning EA SPORTS All-American honors. McElroy received an offer from Alabama after the season and opted to de-commit from Texas Tech and sign with the Tide.

Now: After biding his time at Alabama, McElroy has quarterbacked the Tide to a berth in the BCS title game in Pasadena with a 32-13 victory over previous No. 1 Florida. McElroy hit on 12 of 18 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown in the SEC Championship. He's passed for 2,450 yards and 17 TDs with just four interceptions so far this fall.

Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart

Then: Stewart emerged out of Timberline High (Lacey, Wash.), rushing for over 1,000 yards in all four years and finishing his illustrious career as the state's all-time leader in rushing yards (7,755) and touchdowns (95). The 5-11, 225 pounder was more than a stat standout, he showed huge potential at the collegiate level after earning consecutive MVP awards at the Oregon Nike Camps prior to his junior and senior seasons.

Jonathan StewartJonathan Stewart
Jonathan Stewart made a name for himself after winning consecutive MVP awards at the Oregon Nike Camp.

As a senior, Stewart rushed for 2,301 yards and 32 TDs, earning Gatorade State Player of the Year and EA SPORTS All-American honors. In his Oregon career, Stewart amassed 2,891 rushing yards and scored 27 touchdowns.

Now: Stewart, now in his second year in the NFL, stepped in for the injured DeAngelo Williams, carrying 26 times for 120 yards and a TD in Carolina's win over Tampa Bay.

Nebraska Cornhuskers
DT Ndamukong Suh

Then: Suh starred at the Stanford and Texas A&M Nike Camps and became a nationally-rated defensive tackle in the Class of 2005. Suh was named the Oregon Class 4A State Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2004.

Now: Suh has emerged as a dominant defensive force. This week, he registered 4.5 sacks in the Big 12 title game and was named as a Heisman Trophy finalist. So far this season, Suh has 82 tackles, 12 sacks and 22 tackles for loss.