The offense is set. Now, it's time for the other side of the football.
Which IHSA defensive backs should be ranked within the top five for this past decade (2010-2019)? The list of worthy defensive backs over the past decade seems at times to be endless. Do you factor in just strictly high school production and program winning/success, or does a particular player's post high school success also become a factor? Let the debate begin.
Defensive Backs (in no particular order)
Julian Love, Nazareth Academy's Class of 2016 (Notre Dame): Love, who is now playing defensive back for the New York Giants, was simply a do-it-all impact player in leading the Roadrunners to back to back Class 5A state titles in 2014 and 2015. He also played wide receiver, running back, defensive back and returned kickoffs and punts. He was a back-to-back consensus All-State player in his junior and senior seasons.
Trent Sherfield, Danville's Class of 2014 (Vanderbilt): Sherfield was a four-year varsity letter winner for the Vikings. Sherfield played wide receiver, quarterback and defensive back and was a three-year, two-ways starter in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. As a three-year starter at defensive back, Sherfield made 146 tackles and six interceptions.
Antonio Johnson, East St. Louis' Class of 2020 (Texas A&M): Johnson, who is currently the top-ranked recruit in Illinois according to Rivals.com, signed with Texas A&M in mid-December. Johnson, who played safety and wide receiver for the 2019 Class 6A state champion Flyers, has been a key player on both sides of the football for the past three seasons. Johnson had over 30 scholarship offers before signing with the Aggies.
Tyler Nubin, St. Charles North's Class of 2019 (Minnesota): Nubin was a multi-positional impact player and a multi-year starter for thead coach Rob Pomazak . Nubin, who played receiver, quarterback, running back, safety and corner back for the North Stars saw game action early on this past season for Minnesota as a true freshman before red shirting the remainder of the 2019 season. Nubin was also named as an All-State player in his junior and senior season.
Tyrik Henderson, Glenbard North's Class of 2018 (NIU): Henderson was named a two-time All-Area and All-State player in his junior and senior seasons for head coach Ryan Wilkens. Henderson, who originally was committed to Minnesota, wound up playing for a semester at St. Thomas More Prep in Connecticut then committed to NIU. Henderson was a high energy player with terrific cover skills, speed and physical tools.
Joseph Jones, Plano's Class of 2012 (Northwestern)
Parker Westphal, Bolingbrook's Class of 2014 (Northwestern)
Jameer Thurman, Proviso West's Class of 2013 (Indiana State)
Antonio Shenault, Lake Park's Class of 2015 (Minnesota)
Drake Spears, West Aurora's Class of 2016 (Western Michigan)
Cameron Mitchell, Bolingbrook's Class of 2019 (Northwestern)