CFSL Mount Rushmores: Cornerbacks

Ryan Moreland · January 31, 2024


By: Ryan Moreland (@ryanmoreland)

There are only a few more Mount Rushmore’s left to do. This time we set our focus on the best ballhawks to ever play our game.

Once again I would like to thank the CFSL Content Team for their help in making these lists. Now, here are the four best corners to play in the CFSL.

Lincoln Griffin

If you have been around the CFSL for more than a season, you know who would be at the top of this list. Griffin was a legend before he ever graduated thanks to his unbelievable playmaking ability. He was the only name on this list that was unanimously voted in.

The Iowa, Michigan, and Florida legend is the CFSL’s all-time leader in interceptions (25) and pick-sixes (7). He is the only player in CFSL history to ever have nine interceptions in a single season. And thanks to these crazy stats, Griffin’s trophy collection is quite impressive. He was a four-time All-American (three times at CB and once as a kick returner). Griffin also won the Most Outstanding Senior Award in his final season. He is still the only defensive back to ever win the award.

Griffin made plays every time you threw it his way. He took half of the field away when you played against him. Many consider him to be the best to ever play the position and the Content Team seems to agree. Congrats to a legend.

DJ Brooks

Kentucky CB DJ Brooks made the interception in the endzone to save some points.

DJ Brooks was a no-brainer for this list and the Content Team agreed. He was only one vote away from being a unanimous selection. The Washington and Kentucky great is one of the very best to ever play corner and he deserves this spot.

You can find Brooks’ name all over the CFSL record book. He is second in all-time interceptions, pick-sixes, and yards gained on interceptions. The two-time All-American will forever be compared to Lincoln Griffin since they were both in the same class. While Griffin leads the rivalry in most categories, there is one piece of hardware that Brooks has that Griffin never earned: a National Championship.

Brooks was not only a ballhawk, but a gamewrecker. He had the ability to steal momentum (and field position) on every play. Offenses feared him and his coaches knew their team always had a chance with him on the field. He had to be on our list. Congrats to Brooks.

Rishaun Rylan

Oklahoma State CB Rishaun Rylan laid out for the one-handed pick.

There are three players to ever have more than 20 career interceptions. You have already met the first two, now let’s introduce the third. Rylan spent all four seasons at Oklahoma State, where he has gone down as one of the best players in the school’s history. And now he has earned a spot among the four best corners in league history.

The Cowboy legend is third in career interceptions (1 behind Brooks) and tied for second in pick-sixes. Rylan always played at a high level but seemed to save his best for the playoffs. He has nine career playoff interceptions and four playoff pick-sixes. Both are the most of all time. Somehow Rylan never earned an All-American Award, but he did end up with two National Championships.

Rylan Island was never a place you wanted to find yourself, especially in the biggest games. His clutch play helped propel his team to new heights. For these reasons, Rylan had to be on our Mount Rushmore for cornerbacks. Congrats to a Poke legend.

Trevor Austin

North Carolina CB Trevor Austin made the diving interception in the endzone.

Despite being a young team in the CFSL, North Carolina has produced some all-time greats. Austin will be the second Tar Heel to appear in our Mount Rushmore series, joining Cadbury Wellington. While choosing the fourth to make this list was challenging, Austin stood out among the rest.

The two-time All-American had a nose for the football, which led him to 17 career interceptions. That is tied for the fourth-most in league history. However, he was more than just a ballhawk. Austin had 25 career TFLs and four career sacks, which are big numbers for someone playing on the outside. The other three names on our list combined have a single sack. His four pick-sixes (tied for third-most) also show his playmaking skills.

Austin was good at every level of the defense and wasn’t afraid to help out against the run. He was also an excellent return man on special teams. I believe Gunn also had him cutting the grass and painting the lines on the field. His do-it-all attitude led him to a great career and he earned a spot on this list. Congrats to a Tar Heel legend.

I mentioned earlier that choosing the fourth member of this list was a challenge. On the initial vote, there was a tie for the fourth spot, which led to a tiebreaker vote that Austin won. I wanted to take one moment to shout out the other player who was close to making our list. Alabama and Notre Dame legend Emilio Gonzalez had an incredible career. The two-time National Champion is an honorable mention on this list.


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