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2016 MAC Player Countdown #6: Shawun Lurry, DB, NIU

Lurry might not look like the most conventional corner, but his play on the field proves that he belongs.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The sky is the limit for Shawun Lurry.

As a true freshman in 2014, Lurry made appearances in all 13 games for the Huskies, recording 14 tackles and returning punts.

No one predicted that as a true sophomore in 2015, Shawun Lurry would end up leading the FBS in interceptions, win first-team All-American honors from both the Football Writer's Association of America and Phil Steele, second-team All-American honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and third-team All-American honors from the Associated Press and an honorable mention from Sports Illustrated.

Look back at his history, however, and you could definitely glean that Lurry had the potential for being a special player.

Lurry was an impressive recruit in 2013 coming out of W. T. Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, FL, gathering nine interceptions, including two in the state Class 7A championship game,and returning eight punts for touchdowns in his senior campaign.

Lurry's breakout game was on the national stage against the Ohio State Buckeyes in a near-upset at the Horseshoe, where he picked off Cardale Jones twice, both of which turned into eventual scoring drives for the Huskies. That put Lurry on the map quickly, as he returned a 79-yard interception against Boston College in the next week to set up another scoring drive.

Lurry would go on a tear over the next three games, with interceptions against Central Michigan, Ball State and Buffalo to string together a five-game interception streak. Lurry would finish the season with nine interceptions, including a 64-yard pick-six in the MAC Championship Game against Bowling Green.

NIU made great opportunities of the interceptions, converting six of them in to touchdowns and one into a field goal. Lurry was a key contributor to turning games around for the Huskies; his interception return yards alone were good enough to be the eighth-best contributor in total yards on last season's team.

Lurry also recorded 45 total tackles, including eight against Buffalo, with 36 of those being solo stops.

Lurry, at 5'8", 160 lbs., might be a little undersized for his position at the pro level, which has lately favored taller corners, but his sheer athleticism and savvy at the position no doubt makes him a prospect to watch over the next year or two.

The key for Lurry is to stay healthy; Lurry has yet to miss a game in his collegiate career and for him to make good on his All-American potentila, he has to see as much time on the field as possible. A young Huskies defense will be looking to Lurry as a leader, and the best way to do that is by example.