West Pre-Season Rankings: The LBs & DBs

Here's our pre-season look at the rest of the defense as we rate the region's top linebackers, corners and safeties. There's great depth at all three positions led by an especially strong group of cornerbacks and one of the best safety prospects we've ever seen.

LINEBACKERS:

Looking at the linebackers, there doesn't appear to be that one franchise player but a ton of depth and quality throughout the region. Schantz was the top ‘backer at the SoCal Nike Camp and has looked great in several passing tournaments showing his great speed and pursuit. Williams is a classic ILB who at 240 pounds, still clocked a 4.61 in the 30 at the NorCal Nike Camp. We've been watching Tuiasosopo since he was a sophomore and he continues to get better every time we see him.

1. Andrew Schantz, 6-0, 220 Canyon Country (Calif.)
Has all the tools, big, fast and is very aggressive.
2. Worrell Williams, 5-11, 240 Sacramento (Calif.) Grant
Very good speed for a big man and has very nice upside.
3. Trenton Tuiasosopo, 6-1, 220 Everett (Wash.) Mariner
Runs a lot of better than we thought and is very tough.
4. Ryan Phipps, 6-0, 200 Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Might be the fastest of the group and is always around the ball.
5. Marlin Simmons, 6-0, 205 Long Beach Poly (Calif.)
Could play safety in college, good speed and huge hitter.
6. Alan Darlin, 6-1, 225 Elk Grove (Calif.) Laguna Creek
Shows up very well on film, never misses a tackle.
7. Joe Mortensen, 6-1, 235 Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley
Has a chance to really move up with a big senior season.
8. Will Price, 6-1, 240 Anaheim (Calif.) Western- UCLA
Big and tough and plays faster than his 40 time.
9. Jed Collins, 6-2, 240 Mission Viejo (Calif.)
Very tough and physical, prototype inside ‘backer.
10. Parker Hanks, 6-1, 210 Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
Great instincts and really fly's to the football.

The Next 10:

11. Alex Hamill, 6-0, 200 Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) Lake City- WSU
12. Isaiah Cook, 6-1, 185 Claremont (Calif.)
13. Terrance Kelley, 6-0, 210 Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
14. Josh Stephens, 6-0, 210 West Bakersfield (Calif.)
15. Slade Norris, 6-3, 210 Portland (Ore.) Jesuit
16. Russell Allen, 6-3, 205 Vista (Calif.)
17. Bryan Baird, 6-3, 210 Vancouver (Wash.) Columbia River
18. Wallace Bates, 6-0, 190 Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
19. Ryan Keeling, 6-4, 225 Springfield (Ore.) Thurston
20. Patrick McKillop, 6-2, 230 Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine

SAFETIES:

There's not much else we can say about Estes that we haven't said already. He could be the best defensive back to come out of Cali since Ronnie Lott in the early 70s. He has size, speed and is one of the most explosive hitters we've ever seen. Bankhead is a tremendous talent on both sides of the ball. He has a college body right now and makes plays all over the field. Herron has been on our radar since his All-State sophomore season. It wouldn't surprise to see him end up on offense because he's so good with the ball in his hands. Cheathem has the frame to put on a lot of weight in college and like all players from Pomona, is not close to reaching his growth potential. He's big, fast and active and could action right away in college.

1. Randy Estes, 6-1, 185 Los Alamitos (Calif.)
The top player in the West regardless of position, a Sunday player.
2. Keauntea Bankhead, 5-11, 200 Seattle (Wash.) Ballard
Huge talent and a top five player in the NW region.
3. Lamar Herron, 6-0, 190 Sacramento (Calif.) Natomas
Great all around athlete with size, speed and play making ability.
4. Keston Cheathem, 6-2, 185 Pomona (Calif.)
One to watch, could also play receiver or even linebacker in college.
5. Myrio Davis, 6-0, 190 Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton
Would have 20 offers at least if he had had better grades, a huge talent.
6. Jerome Boyd, 6-2, 180 Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey
Has the prototype size, speed and toughness for the position.
7. Daniel Drayton, 5-10, 190 Hacienda Hts. (Calif.) Los Altos
Very physical player and can really lay the wood.
8. Darrin Harris, 5-10, 195 Federal Way (Wash.) Decatur
Prefers offense but we love him at safety, has tremendous all around ability.
9. Chet Sanders, 6-1, 180 Carson (Calif.)
When healthy is a big time talent and an elite level player.
10. Marty Tadman, 5-11, 175 Mission Viejo (Calif.)
Great football player, makes more plays than just about anyone in the state.

The Next 10:

11. Demarco Sampson, 6-3, 190 Chula Vista (Calif.) Castle Park
12. Reggie Foster, 5-10, 190 Long Beach (Calif.) Millikan
13. Josh Pinkard, 6-0, 185 Oxnard (Calif.) Hueneme
14. Antone Saulsberry, 6-0, 195 Bellflower (Calif.)
15. Marcus Everett, 6-1, 190 West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
16. Durrell Peters, 5-11, 180 Temecula Valley (Calif.)
17. Kyle Ging, 5-11, 200 Phoenix Christian (Ariz.)
18. Jeffrey Brown, 6-0, 175 Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne
19. Rodney Cox, 6-0, 180 Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral
20. Thomas 'T.J' Mckay, 6-0, 185 Palmdale (Calif.)

CORNERBACKS:

The corner position might be the deepest in the region this year and easily the toughest to rank. Glasper is a two-time All-State selection and because of his physical gifts as well as how well he has been coached, he should action as a true freshman in college. Payton has really upped his stock over the summer dominating various summer passing tournaments as well as the Beyond 2000 Football Camp. He's big, fast and knows how to cover. Van has bounced between corner and safety but looks like a prototype college corner with his size and great speed. Lambert is one of the more intriguing players in the region. He has a huge upside because of his physical gifts but will need time to learn the corner position since he plays linebacker in high school.

1. Willie Glasper, 5-11, 170 Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
Has all the tools- size, speed, technique and play making ability.
2. Bryan Payton, 6-1, 185 West Covina (Calif.) South Hills- UCLA
Keeps getting better, great size, toughness and mean streak.
3. Rodney Van, 6-0, 170 Long Beach Poly (Calif.)- UCLA
Has track speed and isn't afraid to mix it up.
4. Terrail Lambert, 5-11, 180 Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
Fastest player in the group but needs to learn the position.
5. Jackie Bates, 5-9, 180 Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
Great all around athlete who is also a very talented running back.
6. Uriah Marshall, 6-0, 175 Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep
A top three player in Arizona, will likely move up the list during the year.
7. Virdell Larkins, 5-10, 180 Oakland Tech (Calif.)
Big time play maker who could also play safety in college.
8. Jeremy Payton, 6-1, 180 West Covina (Calif.) South Hills- ASU
Could play safety in college
9. Dion Morton, 5-9, 150 Riverside (Calif.) J.W North
High school quarterback but has the speed to play corner in college.
10. Keenan Jones, 5-11, 170 Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne
Very physical player who we also like a lot at receiver.

The Next 10:

11. Sharrod Davis, 5-10, 170 Spring Valley (Calif.) Monte Vista
12. Antoine Cason, 6-0, 165 Los Alamitos (Calif.)
13. Chris Meadows, 5-11, 185 Redondo Union (Calif.)
14. Brian Flowers, 5-7, 180 Inglewood (Calif.)
15. Charles Dillon, 6-0, 175 Oxnard (Calif.) Hueneme
16. Dan Schilling, 5-11, 190 Scottsdale (Ariz.) Horizon
17. DeAndre Coley, 5-9, 165 Long Beach (Calif.) Cabrillo
18. Travis Gibbs, 5-10, 170 San Diego (Calif.) Madison
19. Julius Stinson, 5-9, 160 Victorville (Calif.) Silverado
20. Chris Camacho, 5-8, 160 Riverside (Calif.) Ramona


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