Bolingbrook opened its state title defense with three commanding wins. Even against the top-ranked team in state, the opponents are clearly wary of Westphal's presence.
The 2014 defensive back has rarely been targeted, a clear sign off his improvement and growth as an elite prospect. His alert play provides the core of a strong defensive unit that has allowed only 22 total points in three games.
"I haven't been getting any action my way," Westphal said. "But I have to stay focused and be ready for a trick play."
Westphal is no stranger to important games, and must be accustomed to intense football atmospheres. With high stakes this season, he and his teammates have not disappointed. Still, Westphal remains calm and focused on the games ahead.
"Everybody holds their weight, so there's not really much pressure," he said.
Westphal was on hand to witness the thriller in Evanston last night. Northwestern knocked off Vanderbilt 23-13, thanks in part to a strong effort from its inconsistent secondary. The Wildcats allowed 470 passing yards to Ryan Nassib in the opener, but clamped down on Vandy pivot Jordan Rodgers, holding him to 217 yards. Westphal said he noticed the strong play of the NU defensive backs, and he enjoyed the overall atmosphere.
"I was with a couple of teammates," Westphal said. "It was a good experience getting to see the Northwestern fanbase."
Westphal has been in regular contact with defensive backs coach Jerry Brown recently. Westphal currently holds offers from more than a dozen schools. With a strong start to his high school season, his stock is only rising, and Westphal hopes to find himself in a position to make an early impact when he reaches the college level.