Illinois State is coming off a 4-7 season and is looking to compete in a loaded Missouri Valley Conference this upcoming season. The Redbirds experienced multiple losses throughout the secondary this offseason, including Clayton Isbell, Iverson Brown, & Jarrell Jackson. Those three departures combined for 7 interceptions and over 120 tackles last season for the Redbirds. 

The secondary received a huge boost from Bowling Green transfer Sy Dabney who announced his transfer to Illinois State this afternoon.

Dabney was a 2-star athlete out of Orchard Lake, MI in the class of 2017. The 6-foot 200-pound safety ranked as the 263rd best CB and #61 player in the state of Michigan. He held offers from Bowling Green, Ball State, Miami (OH), & Western Michigan; but announced his commitment to Bowling Green in April of 2016. 

Dabney redshirted his first season at Bowling Green and missed the 2018 season due to injury. Over the next three seasons, Dabney played in over 20 games for the Falcons and totaled over 100 tackles, 1 interception, 2 pass breakups, & 2 blocked kicks. 

Illinois State is going to benefit from Dabney’s experience and leadership qualities. Dabney’s ability to diagnose plays quickly and use his speed to pursue the ball carrier will be important for the defense next season. This is a huge pickup for the Redbirds defense and Dabney should be an immediate impact player this upcoming season.

Illinois State looks to rebound from their 4-7 season last year as they open up the season in Madison against Wisconsin on September 3rd.

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