Most Interceptions in High School Football History
High school football records aren't always easy to find — either on the state or national levels. But few have as much room for interpretation as career interceptions.
That's unfortunate, because it's probably the most distinguishable defensive stat after tackles (that's another story), but there's been a good-faith effort by many states and media members to set the record straight in recent years.
These are the high school football players with the most career interceptions of all time.
30. Jonathon Whiteside — 34 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: True Divine Word Academy (St. Louis, Missouri)
Bottom line: Jonathon Whiteside was one of the few players from the modern era to make the list playing for tiny True Divine Word Academy in St. Louis. His career interceptions total likely would have been much higher, but he did not play his senior season because of the pandemic.
Where Whiteside truly stood out was on the offensive side of the ball. He finished his career with 140 receptions for 3,100 receiving yards and 33 touchdowns. In his final season in 2019, Whiteside had a staggering 72 receptions for 1,628 yards and 21 touchdowns.
30. Paul Kinne — 34 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Paso Robles High School (Paso Robles, California)
College: Montana State
Bottom line: Paul Kinne was a standout athlete in football, basketball and baseball at Paso Robles High, where he was named CIF Player of the Year in 1971 after he set a single-season state record with 14 interceptions.
Kinne, who was an all-league pick for three consecutive seasons, was also an All-CIF selection in basketball and played college hoops for Montana State.
30. Lance Gubler — 34 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Hurricane High School (Hurricane, Utah)
Bottom line: Hurricane High's Lance Gubler is one of the smaller players to make the list. Newspaper articles from the time listed him as 5-foot-9 and 130 pounds as a junior and up to just 150 pounds as a senior.
Gubler's size didn't prevent him from making huge plays. He helped lead Hurricane to a 10-1 record and the state quarterfinals as a junior and senior.
But Hurricane has a tough history in the state championship game. They're 1-6 overall with the lone title coming in 2011.
30. Thane Miller — 34 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Jal High School (Jal, New Mexico)
Bottom line: Tiny Jal, New Mexico (pop. 2,047), has seen few athletes like Thane Miller, who set the New Mexico career interceptions record with 34.
Miller, who also starred in basketball and baseball, set the single-season interceptions record with 20 as a junior in 1985, when he led Jal to a state runner-up finish.
Miller was a two-time Class AA all-state selection in football.
30. Larry McClain — 34 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Forestville High School (Forestville, Maryland)
College: Syracuse/Norfolk State
Bottom line: Larry McClain was one of the more highly recruited players to come out of Maryland in his era, but he never stepped foot on a college football field despite enrolling and practicing with Syracuse, then with Norfolk State.
McClain was a four-year starter at cornerback for Forestville High and a two-year starter at running back, where he put together one of the state's greatest single seasons as a senior when he rushed for 2,275 yards and 29 touchdowns.
30. Steve Shaw — 34 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Iroquois High School (Louisville, Kentucky)
Bottom line: Sometimes a player's career can be like a really good movie we don't appreciate until much later — especially when it comes to awards.
No player in the history of Kentucky high school football has more interceptions than Iroquois High's Steve Shaw, who finished with 34 career picks and had at least 11 as a senior.
For all of his accomplishments, he was never higher than an honorable mention all-state selection. Remember, people, "Dances With Wolves" won Best Picture at the Academy Awards over "Goodfellas." Same thinking.
29. Conrad Kjersad — 35 Interceptions
High school: Wall High School (Wall, South Dakota)
College: South Dakota State
Bottom line: Conrad Kjersad was a star in football, basketball, golf and track at tiny Wall High School, where he set the South Dakota state record with 35 interceptions alongside his 442 career tackles and 3,641 career rushing yards.
Kjersad wasn't just a prep star. He started at strong safety for South Dakota State for two seasons and was just four interceptions short of the school's career record for interceptions before he suffered a career-ending injury.
22. Phillip Geiggar — 36 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Evangel Christian Academy (Shreveport, Louisiana)
Bottom line: The player from the most famous high school program to make the cut might be safety Phillip Geiggar, out of powerhouse Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. Evangel Christian won the mythical high school football national championship in 1999 and 14 state championships since 1993.
That being said, Geiggar's career total of 36 interceptions is just No. 3 on his state's career interceptions list. He went on to play for the University of Texas, where he was an All-Big 12 selection as a senior in 2004.
22. John Thomas — 36 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: River Forest High School (Lake Station, Indiana)
Bottom line: There's a couple of reasons the football career of River Forest High's John Thomas proved so hard to track. One of those reasons was River Forest wasn't great at football during his time as a quarterback and record-setting cornerback.
Thomas also was a champion pole vaulter, which for some reason garnered a lot more press for him back in the day.
His football career should have gotten more attention. Thomas' state record of 36 career interceptions stood for 35 years.
22. Reggie Ash — 36 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Carrick High School (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
College: New Mexico State
Bottom line: Carrick High's Reggie Ash was an exciting playmaker in the late 1960s, and his state record of 36 career interceptions stood for almost 30 years. Not only that, but Ash returned eight of those interceptions for touchdowns.
Ash was a Western Big 33 pick in 1970 and was a large cornerback for his era at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds.
He was named Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Pittsburgh City League Most Valuable Player in 1970 and signed to play for New Mexico State.
22. Bret Winegardner — 36 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Pioneer High School (Royal Center, Indiana)
Bottom line: Pioneer High's Brett Winegardner tied River Forest High's John Thomas for the Indiana state record for career interceptions in 2003 with 36 picks — a record that had stood by itself since 1968.
Winegardner also played quarterback and was Pioneer High's career leading scorer in basketball for almost 20 years.
22. Quinton Craig — 36 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Tarrant High School (Tarrant, Alabama)
Bottom line: Quinton Craig was a football, basketball and baseball star in the mid-1980s at Tarrant High, but his life wasn't all about sports. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and student government president as a senior.
Craig, who stood 5-foot-11 and weighed 175 pounds, was a Class 4A All-State selection as a senior in 1987, when he led the state with 17 interceptions.
22. Trikweze Bridges — 36 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Lanett High School (Lanett, Alabama)
Bottom line: Props to Lanett High's Trikeweze Bridges. He's one of the few players from the modern era to make the list of most interceptions in high school football history.
Bridges was a three-time all-state selection and at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds was one of the more highly recruited cornerbacks in the Class of 2019. Bridges chose Oregon over a gaggle of offers, redshirted in 2019 and saw limited action as a redshirt freshman in 2020.
22. Van Nichols — 36 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Frisco High School (Frisco, Texas)
Bottom line: Van Nichols was almost a bigger track star than he was a football star at Frisco High in the early 1970s, despite having racked up one of the highest interception totals of any high school football player in state history.
Nichols — known as "The Frisco Freight" — was just as effective as a running back, helping lead Frisco to the state semifinals as a senior.
18. Cy Butler — 37 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Weston High School (Weston, Massachusetts)
College: Rhode Island
Bottom line: One of the greatest prep players in Massachusetts history, Weston High's Cy Butler finished his career with a state record 37 interceptions and was the 1993 Boston Globe Player of the Year.
Butler went on to a standout career as a wide receiver at the University of Rhode Island, where he set the school's career record with 5,380 all-purpose yards. Butler played six seasons in the Arena Football League, where he had 129 receptions, 1,497 receiving yards and 33 touchdowns.
18. Joe Lafko — 37 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Frazier High School (Perryopolis, Pennsylvania)
College: Westminster College
Bottom line: Joe Lafko is one of the best athletes to ever come out of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, where he was a three-sport All-WPIAL selection in football, basketball and baseball for Frazier High.
In football, Lafko's 37 career interceptions are still the WPIAL record, but they weren't the only indicator of all he did for Frazier. He also returned punts and kicks, punted and handled kickoff duties.
Lafko played basketball and baseball at nearby Westminster College and was elected to the Fayette County Hall of Fame in 2016.
18. Chad Geiger — 37 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Milford High School (Milford, Nebraska)
Bottom line: Chad Geiger finished his career with a Nebraska state record 37 interceptions, but it was the final pick of his junior season that fans remember him for the most. His interception against Battle Creek in the Class C-1 state championship game sealed the 14-12 win for Milford.
Geiger went on to become a two-time NCAA Division II All-American at Nebraska-Omaha, which disbanded its football program after the 2010 season.
18. Eric Vollbrecht — 37 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: St. Michael-Albertville High School (St. Michael, Minnesota)
College: Moorhead State
Bottom line: Eric Vollbrecht was a star in three sports at St. Michael-Albertville High School in football, basketball and track. In football, he also stood out as a tight end, where he led his team in receptions multiple years.
On defense, Vollbrecht was a ballhawking safety, and his 37 career interceptions are still a Minnesota high school record.
Vollbrecht went on to star in football and track at in-state Moorhead State, where he led the team in receptions each of his last two seasons. He was inducted into the St. Michael-Albertville Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
16. Keith Green — 38 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: West Rome High School (Rome, Georgia)
Bottom line: Keith Green established himself as one of the greatest high school football players in Georgia history with 38 career interceptions, but more importantly, he led West Rome High to back-to-back state championships in 1982 and 1983.
Green, who was 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, also played quarterback for West Rome and went 29-0 in his last two seasons.
Green went on to be a backup quarterback at Auburn.
16. Fred Rodgers — 38 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Eden High School (Eden, Texas)
Bottom line: One of the pitfalls of trying to track down old football records or information (sometimes) can be when names get misspelled over the years. Then the misspelling becomes the norm.
Such is the case of former Eden High star quarterback/defensive back Fred Rodgers, who has seen his name commonly spelled as "Rogers" in ensuing decades.
14. Jim Linnstaedter — 39 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Brenham High School (Brenham, Texas)
College: Texas A&M
Bottom line: While Jim Linnstaedter is listed as No. 3 on the national career interceptions list by the National Federation of HIgh Schools — they have him with 55 interceptions — we owe a big debt of gratitude to MaxPreps writer Kevin Askeland for unraveling the mystery of Linnstaedter's actual interception total.
Askeland tracked down an old newspaper article from 1959, from before the last game of Linnstaedter's senior season, where his coach states his career interceptions total at 39.
14. Gerren Blount — 39 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Garrison High School (Garrison, Texas)
Bottom line: Gerren Blount was a two-time all-state selection and named the Class 2A defensive player of the year in 2003, when he led Garrison to a 16-0 record and the Class 2A state championship.
As a senior in 2004, he racked up almost 2,000 yards of total offense — 1,300 rushing and 680 receiving yards.
Blount went on to star at the University of Louisiana, where he started every game in his sophomore and junior seasons.
12. Mike Boxwell — 40 interceptions (Tie)
High school: Dumas High School (Dumas, Texas)
Bottom line: Mike Boxwell became a high school football legend in Texas after he led Dumas High to the state championship in 1961 — the first of four state titles Dumas won in the 1960s.
Boxwell went on to play quarterback for the University of Texas and ran a mortuary in Amarillo with his brother, Jim, after his playing career was over.
12. Richie Ange — 40 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Jamesville High School (Jamesville, North Carolina)
Bottom line: Richie Ange set a North Carolina career state record with 40 interceptions but was much more known for his output on the offensive side of the ball.
Ange quarterbacked Jamesville High to the 1984 Class A state championship, going 13-0 while throwing for 1,503 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Ange also led Jamesville to back-to-back Class A state championships in baseball as a junior and senior, picking up the complete-game win as a senior in the state championship game.
9. Tony Garner — 41 interceptions (Tie)
High school: Wylie High School (Wylie, Texas)
Bottom line: Tony Garner led Wylie High to the Class 2A state championship in 1977 on the way to all-state honors.
Garner's best game of his senior season came in the Class 2A semifinals when he intercepted three passes in a 27-7 win over Childress to propel his team into the championship game.
9. Leroy Thompson — 41 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Austin East High School (Knoxville, Tennessee)
College: Penn State
Bottom line: Leroy Thompson was one of the most highly recruited players in the nation as a senior, and at 5-foot-10, he was also one of the best basketball players in the state, helping lead Austin East to the state championship in 1985.
Thompson was a Parade and USA Today All-American in football as a senior at Austin East, leading his school to a 15-0 record and the state championship while setting the career interceptions record for Tennessee.
He played running back for Penn State, then played six seasons in the NFL.
9. Plez Atkins — 41 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Bartlett High School (Bartlett, Texas)
Bottom line: Plez Atkins was an all-state quarterback and defensive back for Bartlett High, leading the team to Class 1A state championships in 1990 and 1992.
Atkins scored 27 touchdowns in 1992, including three interception returns for touchdowns. He started at the University of Iowa for most of his career and played two seasons in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers.
He's been a successful high school coach in Texas for several schools in his post-playing career.
7. Trevor Hadley — 42 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Bothell High School (Bothell, Washington)
Bottom line: Trevor Hadley set Washington's career record for interceptions while helping Bothell High make it to the state playoffs in each of his three seasons on the varsity, including an appearance in the state finals in 2007 and state semifinals in 2009.
Hadley also had an incredible 14 sacks as a senior in 2009 and racked up over 1,400 return yards over three seasons.
7. Jeff Johnson — 42 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Liberty County High School (Bristol, Florida)
Bottom line: Liberty County High's Jeff Johnson was an all-state selection in football, basketball and baseball. His 43 career interceptions record has stood in one of the best states for high school football for almost 40 years.
Johnson played college baseball at Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Central Florida, where he finished his career as the school's career leader for saves.
Johnson has been the coach at Chipola (Fla.) College since 1997 and led the school to back-to-back NJCAA national championships in 2017 and 2018.
6. Jay Wyatt — 43 Interceptions
High school: Diboll High School (Diboll, Texas)
Bottom line: Jay Wyatt was a star quarterback, defensive back and punter for Diboll High. At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, he was the perfect size for all three spots.
Wyatt was signed by the University of Houston as a quarterback but became one of the best punters in school history and averaged 39.9 yards per punt during that time over three seasons.
Wyatt was the punter for the Cougars in two famous games — a 30-0 win at Texas in 1976 that snapped the Longhorns' 42-game home winning streak and Houston's 1979 Cotton Bowl loss to Notre Dame, which became known as the "Chicken Soup Game" for Notre Dame quarterback Joe Montana rallying his team.
5. Steve Warren — 45 Interceptions
High school: Southampton High School (Courtland, Virginia)
Bottom line: Steve Warren wasn't just great at intercepting passes. He's also in the top 10 in Virginia high school history for career receptions with 150.
Warren starred in basketball and baseball for Southampton in high school as well, but his crowning achievement in football came in 1973, when he helped lead Southampton to a 13-0 record and state championship — the first of four state titles in school history.
3. Ricky Bailey — 47 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Central Painter High School (Painter, Virginia)
College: Virginia Tech/Norfolk State
Bottom line: Ricky Bailey's interception total is one of the more incredible stats in high school football history, but that wasn't all he did. Bailey is still in the top 10 among career rushers in Virginia high school football history with 6,525 rushing yards.
Bailey also has the records for single-season interceptions with 23 and returned 10 interceptions for touchdowns.
Bailey started his career at Virginia Tech, transferred to Norfolk State, then left school early to play in the Canadian Football League for the Calgary Stampeders, where he lasted one season.
3. Trevor Graf — 47 Interceptions (Tie)
High school: Strasburg High School (Strasburg, Colorado)
Bottom line: We have to admit to some confusion as to the spelling of Trevor Graf's name. The Strasburg High star and Colorado's career interceptions leader has his name spelled as "Trivor" and "Trevor" equally across almost every mention of him.
Either way, Graf was a winner. He led Strasburg High to back-to-back state championships in 1989 and 1990, and in his senior season, he set the single-season record with 26 interceptions and caught the game-winning touchdown in overtime of the state championship game.
2. Donald Moore — 59 Interceptions
High school: Splendora High School (Splendora, Texas)
College: Texas Tech
Bottom line: No high school football player in Texas history was a better ballhawk than Splendora High's Donald Moore, which is saying a lot considering they put more players on this list than any state.
Moore, at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, was once reportedly clocked at 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and his 14,420 all-purpose yards, 6,850 rushing yards and 668 points were No. 2 on the state's career list behind Sugarland's Kenneth Hall.
Moore was elected to the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and still owns the Texas single-game record with seven interceptions against Waverly High in 1977.
Decades after all of his football accomplishments, Moore was honored by the Splendora Police Department as a civilian hero. His actions in subduing a suspect likely saved an officer's life.
1. Baron Jackson — 62 Interceptions
High school: Southern Lab High School (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Bottom line: Keep in mind that Southern Lab High's Baron Jackson set the national interceptions record playing in the mid-1980s — an era when high school teams, by and large, didn't pass the ball very much.
Jackson was named a Parade All-American as a senior and signed with the University of Pittsburgh but transferred to Southern, where he played his final two college seasons as a wide receiver/defensive back.
In 1994, Jackson's estranged wife shot him to death after she returned home to find him in her apartment. At the time, she had a restraining order against Jackson, and the police ruled the killing a justifiable homicide.