Between two cliques: Aaron Rodgers reflects on his high school years after USA TODAY High School Sports Awards

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a three-time NFL MVP, a three-time first team All-Pro selection and a Super Bowl champion, but the foundation for all of the accolades was established well in advance of his professional accomplishments.

"High school was an important time for me," Rodgers said during a conversation with USA TODAY Sports' Sports Seriously show. "There's some really impressionable years in there. And in those years, I find a lot of incredible memories that I've taken with me my entire life."

To that end, Rodgers embraced the opportunity to participate in the inaugural USA TODAY High School Sports Awards, announcing the selections for Players of the Year in football.

"I love the energy of the high school student. The zest for life and excitement about the future," the nine-time Pro Bowler said.

Rodgers went to California's Pleasant Valley High School, were he wore the Vikings' blue and white from 1998 to 2001. During his junior and senior seasons as starting quarterback, Rodgers amassed 4,419 passing yards while helping the Vikings to a 17-7 mark. Beyond the gridiron, Rodgers reflected upon the manner in which high school aided his overall maturation process.

"There's years of development, and not just physical development....confidence, self-esteem, relationships," he said. "There's just a lot of really cool moments."

Reflecting upon his days on the Pleasant Valley High School campus, Rodgers recounted where he stood among his peers socially.

"I was caught between two cliques in high school," he said. "I was not cool enough to be in the cool crew, even though I was the starting quarterback. And not quite nerdy enough to totally nerd out with the nerd group. I was kind of right in the middle."

Rodgers indicated as the years pass; perspective offers greater clarity.

"In high school, I think we all worry too much about things that are not that important," he said. "The idea of being popular, being in the popular crew. You look back and none of that matters at this point."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: High School Sports Awards: Aaron Rodgers reflects on high school