To help you count down the days until football season arrives, the 5NEWS Sports crew has put together 11 different countdowns looking at players, coaches and games to be looking forward to this fall.
Football has become a pass happy game in recent history but on Thursday night we took a look at the players try to slow down the aerial attacks. Have a look at the top five defensive backs to watch in 2019.
#5: Marc Wilson, Mena
All Wilson did in 2018 was make a team high 117 tackles for the Bearcats and made plays from sideline to sideline. During his junior season, Wilson picked off three passes and two of those resulted in a pick-six. He'll have to adjust to a new coach but the 4A-4 will certainly know where he's lining up in the secondary.
#4: Jajuan Boyd, Har-Ber
He played across town at Springdale in 2018 but Boyd will play for the Wildcats this fall and he's already shown he can make plays in the 7A-West. Boyd had three interceptions and forced three fumbles for the Red Dogs last season and a full year on the field could see his stats sky rocket.
#3: Tyler Holmes, Mansfield
Holmes could have found himself on a few different countdown lists but the upside on the defensive side of the ball lands him here. He's a big time scoring threat at receiver but his three interceptions and playmaking ability on the other side will have coaches in the 3A-1 worried. Holmes also scooped up a pair of fumbles a year ago as a junior.
#2: Logan Workman, Greenwood
Size doesn't matter at the high school level and Workman is a perfect example of that. He's listed at 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds but he still led the Bulldogs with 107 tackles from his safety spot a season ago. Greenwood knows how to put talented players in the best spot and Workman has certainly shown the talent.
#1: Ben Pankau, Bentonville
The secondary might have been the most difficult to narrow down but the consistent playmaking ability of Pankau for the Tigers gives him the nod and the top spot. He's known for making big plays from his safety position and he showed that with an interception returned for a touchdown against Rogers in 2018. At 6-foot-2, Pankau's bigger frame gives Bentonville the luxury of another run stuffer in the box if needed.