The North has been known for excellent defensive play for years. While they lack some of the cannon-armed quarterbacks of the south, they make up for it with strong stop units. Here’s the top 3 defensive players at the end of the 2018 Premier Division North!
3. Brian “Bud” McFerren, Inverclyde Comets, 2.4 PPG
Unsurprisingly, Bud has been a fiend this season. His exploits on defence gave his team a chance to survive in the Premier Division, as the Comets picked up some impressive scalps down the stretch. That was in large part thanks to their spiritual leader’s huge pick sixes – he totalled three throughout the year, with 11 interceptions in total. He’s got arguably the best sideline-to-sideline speed in the league, and what isn’t documented is the incredible number of pass break-ups he’s provided. The Comets stand a great chance of survival in the promotion/relegation playoff with Bud in the lineup.
2. Mantas Ceckauskas, Sheffield Giants, 2.5 PPG
Mantas has entered the realms of irreplaceable for the Sheffield Giants. His efforts at receiver were good for a top 3 place in our offensive countdown, while his defensive performances have him also finishing on a podium place. He has the most pick-sixes in the division with 4 & 7 interceptions in total, so he’s returning over half of his picks to the house. The Giants will be a very different team without him, while Mantas will be one of the hottest free agents in the BAFA leagues this summer.
1. Max Verlint, Sheffield Giants, 2.8 PPG
Max made an awesome push in the final two game-weeks to win our defensive player of the year award! Max’s 12 interceptions are good for second-most in the division, while his 3 returned for scores give him the crown! Max is a physical player, and is always in a position to make a play. Even with his tough play, he couples it with soft hands to come down with those vital interceptions. Here’s Head Coach Dean Whittingslow with his thoughts on Max’s season:
“Max started the season with an Achilles injury that hampered his usual performance over the first 2/3 game days. Having him win Defensive player of the year says it all; Even when not at full strength, he’s a formidable opponent for any offence. As the season went on and his fitness came back, there were numerous games where teams wouldn’t even throw to his side of the field… And he’d still make a play on the ball. Phenomenal player, as shown by his ascension in the GB setup. Well deserved and congratulations Max.”
Thanks Dean, and congratulations to Max! In partnership with our friends at Football America, the one stop shop for all things American Football, Max will receive a custom hoodie for his efforts!