DEKALB - Last year at this time Shawun Lurry was a little known sophomore at NIU. Now he's on the radar of every college football expert. He's one of the best cornerbacks in the country and a potential NFL prospect.
Lurry's sophomore season with the Huskies was sensational, and that might be understating it. He led the nation with nine interceptions…an NIU record.
"It's all off instincts," said Lurry to Eyewitness News. "When I was little I used to always play with the older guys like my older brother and my cousins and friends and just go out there and compete."
Lurry loves to compete. He's only 5-8 but he plays like a giant. He not only had all of those picks, he also led the nation in return yards. He averaged more than 30 yards per return.
He played some running back in high school in West Palm Beach Florida and then receiver, so he knows how to run with the ball.
"They recruited me here for receiver. I was a receiver here and I transferred to defensive back."
That was a wise move for Lurry and the Huskies. One reason why Lurry is so good is he gets to practice against teammate Kenny Golladay everyday. Golladay is one of the top receivers in the MAC. He's also a candidate to play on Sundays.
"It' hard going against Kenny in practice because he's tall, fast and he's physical too," says Lurry.
Lurry was a first team All-American pick last year by the Football Writers Association of America. This year he's on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award which goes to the nation's top defensive back and he's on the watch list for the Nagurski Award which goes to the top defensive player. He's the first Huskie to make that list since Larry English in 2008.
So is it crazy to think that Lurry can duplicate his numbers from last year?
"It's a good motivational tool to push for that because I know teams are probably not going to throw the ball my way," says Lurry. "I'm just going to take it serious like I did last year, work hard like I did last year, and then just go out there and help my teammates win games."