The Five Best Football Players from Friday Night Lights

A lot of people might still think about the movie when someone says Friday Night Lights, and some might think that the movie far outranks the series, but to tell the truth, the series really took the story to new heights that the movie didn’t bother with. Being able to watch the players and everyone else evolve throughout the story was a lot of fun considering that it took a large group of young men from being great to being legendary in their own hometown, and in some cases, it took them well beyond high school and to college. There were plenty of hardships for everyone on the team, but those that had the most potential were those that were highlighted and those that drove the story. There are definitely going to be names missing, but those like Jason Street, who was taken out of the game early on, and Matt Saracen, took very different paths during the story, while those on this list managed to play the game all the way through their high school career.  Here are the five best football players from Friday Night Lights. 

5. Luke Cafferty

Luke was kind of a surprise since he was a Dillon Panther but he was supposed to be an East Dillon Lion as it was discovered. The great thing about Luke is that despite going along with the ruse that he belonged in West Dillon, he was entirely apologetic and changed sides without much prompting since he just wanted to play football. Once he acclimated to the Lions he became part of the team, and once he and Vince were vibing on a regular basis things went just fine since the two of them managed to bond in a way that helped the team to start winning games and eventually win a state championship. 

4. J.D. McCoy

J.D. should probably be a little lower on the list since from the moment he came in he was a definite winner, but it was revealed that this was because his father pushed him nonstop and didn’t let up. If given a choice, J.D. might not have wanted to play football in the first place. But as the seasons progressed and he became the star of the Panthers, his attitude went sour and he became a massive jerk that kind of needed to lose to remember that playing the game didn’t make him better than anyone. Plus, the grief that he gave Luke and Vince kind of hurt the team since it motivated the Lions to beat the Panthers. 

3. Vince Howard

Vince was going down a very bad road when he was brought to Coach Taylor to work with. But when he stowed his attitude and started working with the team and becoming a leader, things turned around quickly and he started gaining the self-esteem he needed. There were plenty of problems when his father returned home from prison and when he managed to get a big head from all the press he was being given, but things did work out eventually. Like the rest of the Lions, Vince started to believe in and trust Coach Taylor when he showed that he would go to bat for each of his players. 

2. Smash Williams

Smash was kind of a jerk throughout much of the show since he talked too much and walked like a big man when he could. Eventually, he did end up maturing as the show went on, but after a brief stint with steroids, a lot of problems with his attitude, and a lot of problems with his decision on where to go to school, Smash finally ended up leaving Dillon to go to college and became an even greater player. It was too easy not to like Smash early on since he was way too cocky and didn’t consider the ramifications of his actions or his words, but after a while, he finally came around and became a great character. 

1. Tim Riggins

Tim was kind of a complicated character since he often showed up to practice drunk or hungover and he didn’t appear to care about anything in his life since everything was football and drinking, with the occasional side adventure that might have gotten him and others into a spot of trouble. On the football field though he was nearly unstoppable since he plowed through the opposing players as though they weren’t even there. To see someone that was Tim’s size move so easily and bust through so many blocks was impressive, but football was about all he wanted to do. His character development was great as well since he had a lot of growing up to do over the course of the show. 

Hands down, the series was definitely more interesting than the movie, but both were great. 


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