Illinois has its first First Team All-Big Ten defensive back in more than a decade.
Kerby Joseph was named to the team Tuesday morning, becoming the first Illini DB since Vontae Davis in 2008 to be named to the top team.
DREAM BIG WORK HARDER….. FOREVER GRATEFUL https://t.co/p4kTgiF9FT— Kerby B. Joseph (@JKERB25) November 30, 2021
Joseph had a monster senior year, being the top-graded defensive back in the nation, per Pro Football Focus. He also tied for first in the country with five interceptions.
Joseph isn’t just a defensive back — he’s a safety. And that’s what makes his accomplishment even more historic, as no Illini safety had earned first-team honors since Mike Gow in 1973! Nearly 50 years ago!
Let’s make it even more impressive, why don’t we?
In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Joseph only had 19 tackles. He only had 26 tackles through his first two seasons (2018-19), but this year finished with 57 alone (including 41 solo tackles).
We’ve given a lot of credit to Ryan Walters for a great first season, but this defense isn’t nearly as good as it was without Kerby Joseph, who should be a NFL Draft pick in 2022.