West: Preseason Top Ten Safeties

Long Beach (Calif.) Poly five-star Juju Smith tops the West's preseason safety rankings...

West: Preseason Top Ten Safeties
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
High School: Poly
Size: 6-1.5, 185
Previous Ranking: 1
Recruiting: Will take official visits to Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Ole Miss and is looking hard at UCLA and USC as well. 
The Skinny: Smith is the No. 2 overall prospect in the West and could easily move up to the top spot during the season. His upside is off the charts at safety and he's a top five receiver in the region as well. Smith has all the tools to dominate at the next level- great size and toughness, he can cover a lot of ground, hits like a truck, has great ball skills and plays with great field awareness. He's a late bloomer so he's far from reaching his peak and is just scratching the surface of how good he can be.
Location: Bellevue, Wash.
High School: Bellevue
Size: 5-10/185
Previous Ranking: 2
Recruiting: Baker has maintained a top three of Oregon, UCLA and Washington since last spring with Arizona State and new entry Texas A&M now in the mix as well. 
The Skinny: Baker, the top overall prospect in the NW, is one of the most versatile players in the West and could be ranked a top five prospect at corner as well as running back. We like him at safety and feel his overall athleticism and play making skills should allow to play early in his college career. He doesn't have a typical safety frame, but he plays bigger than his size, has very good speed and is a very dangerous returning punts/kicks as well. He even played some receiver at The Opening and was one of the top pass catchers in the entire event. 
Location: Engelwood, Colo.
High School: Cherry Creek
Size: 6-1/195
Previous Ranking: 2 at RB
Recruiting: Oklahoma currently leads Notre Dame and Florida State
The Skinny: The former Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman standout was originally ranked with the running backs before moving to the safety position. He's one the elite two-way players in the entire nation and is a definite difference maker at the next level. He'll have to sit out a few games after his controversial dismissal from Gorman but make no mistake, Starks is an elite athlete who has the talent to play for just about any school in the country. 
Location: Anaheim, Calif.
High School: Magnolia
Size: 6-3/190
Previous Ranking: NR
Recruiting: Committed to Arizona State after narrowing his list to also include Arizona and Utah
The Skinny: Scott emerged almost out of nowhere this past spring once his junior film got out. He's one of the most physical and hard hitting players in the region and has the ability to stay at safety or even move to linebacker in college. He has a big frame but moves well, has solid cover skills but his speciality is coming down hill and delivering a blow. He's the kind of enforcer every college wants in their program. 
Location: Gardena, Calif.
High School: Serra
Size: 6-0/195
Previous Ranking: 4
Recruiting: 'Nacho has a pretty big list of schools but Arizona State, Miami, UCLA and Washington seem like the frontrunners at this time. 
The Skinny: Ihenacho was kind of the forgotten player in Serra's loaded senior class last spring but his stock really took off over the summer. He looked very good on the 7 on 7 circuit and is a natural free safety who covers a lot of ground and excels in pass defense. Ihenacho is also very good in run support showing plenty of physicality and he flies to the football. He's a physical player who likes contact and he showed surprising athleticism at the NorCal NIKE Camp running a 4.48-40 and jumping 38" in the vertical. 

The Next Five:
6. Jojo McIntosh, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade- Committed to UCLA
7. Quentin Tartabull, Mission Hills (Calif.)- Committed to California
8. Drew Lewis, Redmond (Wash.) Eastlake- Committed to Washington
9. Ron Robinson, Corona (Calif.) Santiago- Committed to UCLA
10. Das Tautalatasi, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle- Committed to Arizona State


National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins), National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) and Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jason Jewell (@jason247scout) contributed to these rankings.

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