Top defensive players of the decade
Here's our list of candidates for the best defensive football player of the 2000s. Remember, we only considered a player's high school career.
Rank them on the jump -- and if you feel especially passionate about one player, state your case in the comments or email us. We'll publish the best reader takes on the blog as long as you include your full name and city and state in the comment/email.
Here's the list. Below, we included a few details on the teams to jog your memory.
DL Marvin Austin, Ballou, 2004-2006
After being named All-Met as a junior at Coolidge, transferred to Ballou and led the Knights to their first DCIAA title after making 85 tackles and 17 sacks. Plays for North Carolina and is expected to be an NFL first-round draft pick this spring.
DL Adam Fassnacht, Robinson, 2000-2002
The rare multi-sport athlete was an even rarer three-sport All-Met (also in wrestling and lacrosse), and was a two-time first-teamer in football. He piled up more than 140 tackles in each of his final two seasons. Played lacrosse for Virginia.
DL Derrick Harvey, Eleanor Roosevelt, 2002-2003
Never played organized football until junior year, then exploded onto the scene. As a senior, had 150 tackles and 35 sacks. Played for Florida and was a first-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
DL Eric Lenz, Urbana, 2001-2003
Rarely left the field as he also excelled at tight end and as a kicker. As a senior, had 82 tackles and nine sacks and returned two interceptions for touchdowns, with 13 of his 29 catches also going for touchdowns and blocked three field goals and five punts. Also kicked a go-ahead 55-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of a playoff game as a sophomore.
LB Ahmad Brooks, Hylton, 1998-2001
Before combines and the Internet changed recruiting, the son of former Redskin Perry Brooks was the nation’s most sought-after player. After leading Hylton to a Virginia AAA Division 6 title as a junior, Brooks made 207 tackles as a senior, including 144 solo and 34 for losses.
LB Akeem Hebron, Good Counsel, 2003-2005
Two-time All-Met had 131 tackles and 13 sacks his senior year as the Falcons became DeMatha’s top threat in the WCAC. Plays for Georgia.
LB Wesley Jefferson, Gwynn Park, 2000-2002
Regarded as one of the nation’s top linebackers, as a senior had 144 tackles, 10 sacks and seven forced fumbles. Played for Maryland.
LB Jelani Jenkins, Good Counsel, 2006-2008
Two-time All-Met was one of the nation’s most-sought after recruits. As a senior, totaled 101 tackles and led the Falcons to an undefeated regular season. Played this past season as a freshman at Florida.
LB Shawne Merriman, Douglass, 1999-2001
As a senior, made 155 tackles, blocked two punts, recovered two fumbles and was the Upper Marlboro school’s first All-Met football player in 25 years. Played for Maryland and now stars for the San Diego Chargers.
DB Derrick Williams, Eleanor Roosevelt, 2001-2004
Do-it-all player was considered the nation’s top recruit before picking Penn State. A two-time All-Met was rarely tested at cornerback but had four interceptions as a senior. Also rushed for 1,049 yards and passed for 800 yards and caught 11 passes for 203 yards.
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