By: Logan Newman, USA TODAY High School Sports | November 7, 2018
Chris Steele and Trent McDuffie make up a formidable cornerback duo at St. John Bosco, the No. 1 team in USA TODAY Sports’ Super 25.
Do the four-star athletes make up the best CB position pairing in the nation?
“I don’t think — I know we are,” Steele said. “Without a doubt.”
The pair will take their talents to the All-American Bowl. They received their jersey at a ceremony on Wednesday.
“It’s a blessing, it’s something I’ve been dreaming of ever since I was a little kid,” Steele said.
Both of them referenced the fact that several Bosco players have played in the game over the past few years.
“Bosco is starting to produce more and more athletes each year so everybody’s kind of excited, waiting for their turn,” McDuffie said.
“Since Coach (Jason) Negro took over, it’s been a powerhouse,” Steele said. “Multiple All-Americans throughout the years, I feel like that kind of speaks for itself … We produce.”
The cornerbacks have helped lead a defense that gives up an average of about 12 points per game and has shut out consecutive opponents, including in first round of the playoffs.
Steele called himself a physical and savvy player while McDuffie is “the fastest dude on our team.”
“I’m like the muscle of the corners and he’s like the flash,” Steele said.
“He’s the dude that will catch you from 20 yards behind you, he’s the dude that plays the ball real well, and I’m the dude that’ll come down and hit you.”
McDuffie said his teammate has great technique that makes it tough for receivers to get off his jams.
“He really can just outplay everybody when it comes to that,” McDuffie said.
Both are ranked by 247 Sports as top-20 cornerbacks and in the upper echelon of California athletes. Steele is the No. 6 player in California and the No. 6 cornerback in the nation, while McDuffie is ranked No. 16 at his position and No. 22 overall in the state.
The two talents help each other grow on the field and in the film room.
“We play on the same side of the ball so we’re constantly together. I think our relationship has grown a lot,” McDuffie said. “We kind of amp up each other on the field and kind of just pick each others’ brains apart.”
“We feed off of each other’s energy,” Steele said. “If I’m down, I know he’s going to be there to lift me up. If he’s down, he knows I’m gonna lift him up.”
They’ll take that energy through the rest of the season as they try to affirm they’re the best team in the country, win a championship and show the star-studded All-American cast what Bosco is made of.
The All-American Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 5 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.