ST. PETERSBURG – Northside Christian defensive back Isaiah “Ike” Contreras began playing football at age 5, but it wasn’t until three years ago that he did just that in the United States.
The 5’10 1/2″, 170-pound senior lived in Spain most of his life until deciding to move to Florida in 2014 to earn a chance to earn a scholarship to play at the next level. Born in El Paso, Texas, him and his family packed their bags for Spain until coming back to the United States two and a half years ago.
After starting seven games in his first two seasons at Northside Christian, Contreras is now a regular contributor. He totaled 31 tackles, an interception, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery as a sophomore and junior.
Contreras has started the first two games this year at cornerback. But he’ll be moving to safety this week against Victory Christian due to injuries in the secondary as his team looks to start 3-0.
Last season, the Mustangs finished 8-2 on the way to the Class 2A region semifinal where they lost 19-14 to state runner-up Cambridge Christian.
“It was a nice experience,” Contreras told Prep Sports Scouting. “We had a lot of good veteran players that were playing on that team. We were sound all around and it really helped us a lot to play as team. It was unfortunate that we lost in the playoffs when we did.”
He played last season at 145 lbs. and has since gained 25 lbs. in an effort to get stronger. Serving as a starter on defense, Contreras is also a reserve wide receiver.
This is the year they make a deep run in his mind because Northside has 20 seniors on its roster.
“We have experience,” he said. “I think with the players we have I don’t think any team can keep up with us. The loss to Cambridge forced us to work that much harder this off-season.”
Contreras says his confidence has been boosted tremendously this season and he’s very comfortable where he’s playing right now.
Running the show at Northside Christian is former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Mike Alstott. Coach Alstott has led the Mustangs to a 20-22 record since taking over the program in 2012. He’s turned things around after a 0-10 season in his debut year.
Contreras says the big reason why he came to Northside was to play for Alstott.
“It’s surreal” he said about Alstott. “Sometimes in practice, it’s crazy to hear all the knowledge and learn all of what he teaches you. To learn under that is a great experience. We’re close, I’ve been over to his house many times.”
In terms of Contreras’ biggest strengths, he said that was his vision, aggressiveness and ballhawk ability. He’s aiming to improve his footwork and work in man coverage.
Currently, he holds one offer from Kentucky Christian (NAIA). Contreras has also drawn interest from Cincinnati Christian (NAIA) and Liberty (Division-I).
He’s visited both Liberty and Kentucky Christian already. Liberty has been his dream school for a while now, but he simply wants a chance to play college ball wherever that is.
Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu is Contreras’ biggest role model. Here’s why.
“I’ve really taken to him as a role model,” he said. “How he’s been able to play and everything he went through things in his life is incredible. I’d really like to shape how I play around how he plays.”
Contreras says playing in the NFL is something that is always in the back of his head.
“I’d love to play. I honestly think if I play college ball, I’d try to play,” he said. “If that doesn’t work out I want to get my degree in sports medicine and become a physical trainer.”
Determination is an attribute that really stands out with this kid. He has worked his way up to be a full-time starter on a very sound defensive unit.
Northside Christian is lucky to have Ike Contreras and he likely feels the same way about the team. Playing an important role for the Mustangs, expect him to shine more often than not as he aims to get even more opportunities to showcase his skills in college.
Favorite players to watch – Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu, Bucs CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey and former Liberty CB Jacob Hagen
Playlist before games – Drake, Fetty Wap and Kanye West
Favorite movies – Captain America series
Favorite TV shows – Psych
Fun fact about you that no one knows – “I like weightlifting. If I can weight lift for the rest of my life I would. My power clean is at 245 lbs.”
Game film: Contreras’ Hudl tape
In case you missed it:
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.