(Players are seniors unless noted)


Hunter Christenson, Totino-Grace, 6-2, 229: Big and strong and athletic. Closes on the ball well, tough to block. Registered 38 tackles and four sacks and a safety.

Tanner Sundt, Farmington, 6-4, 240: Broke through constant double- and triple-teams for 49 tackles, 16 for loss, 3½ sacks and six pass deflections.

Jackson Zaugg, Eden Prairie, 6-2, 220: Standout on the metro area's most disruptive defensive line. Made 27 tackles, five for loss. Versatile enough to play end, tackle and linebacker.

James Jackson, Cretin-Derham Hall, 6-2, 220: Opposing offenses called plays depending on where the athletic and physical Jackson lined up. Finished with 64 tackles, eight for loss and one interception.


Danny Anderson, Eden Prairie, 6-0, 215: Leading tackler (50 total) on a defense with an incredible seven shutouts. Tormented Cretin-Derham Hall in the playoffs with a blocked punt, an interception and a fumble recovery.

Charlie Waters, Totino-Grace, 5-11, 192: Smart, always around the ball and plays bigger than his size. Tallied 105 tackles, 10 for loss, heading into the Prep Bowl.

Sam Gibas, Elk River, 5-9, 170: Opposing teams avoid running his way. No matter, still posted 56 tackles, 10 for loss and added two sacks and three forced fumbles. The Elks' most dynamic player. Also leads team in rushing.

Jamire Jackson, Minneapolis North, 6-3, 220: Anchored the defense and led the Polars in tackles (78) for a third consecutive season. Stopped 11 plays for a loss and picked off three passes. Crushing hitter.

Defensive backs

Griffin Lanoue, Rosemount 6-3, 186: Diagnosed plays and flew to the ball. Led team with 87 tackles — 23 against Lakeville North running back Wade Sullivan. Intercepted five passes (one for a touchdown) and broke up six passes.

Jackson Martens, Burnsville, 6-2, 205: Listed as a defensive back but played nearer to the line of scrimmage and hit like a linebacker. Finished with 52 tackles, six for a loss and one interception. Also ran for 1,133 yards, nine touchdowns.

Joe Russell, Totino-Grace, 6-3, 186: Physical and ferocious competitor also excels as a punt returner and receiver. As a defender, credited with 60 tackles, two for loss and four interceptions.

Isaiah Cherrier, Mound Westonka, 6-0, 205: Catalyst for transforming the White Hawks program. Made 46 tackles, intercepted two passes and returned a fumble for a score. Also led team in rushing and receiving yards.

Grant Ryerse, East Ridge, 6-4, 206: Connected twice from more than 50 yards out, giving the Raptors a long-distance weapon most teams could not match. Went 36-for-38 on extra points, averaged 39 yards per punt. Committed to Minnesota.