West 2013: Top 5 LBs, CBs, Ss

One of the best linebackers is from Hawaii, it's a deep year for cornerbacks, and two five-stars lead the list of the West's top safeties in the 2013 class...

West: Top Five Linebackers
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
High School: Punahou
Size: 6-3, 230
Recruiting: Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Savaiinaea is everything you want in an inside linebacker. He has size, toughness, above average athleticism, is a solid tackler and plays with a motor. He's a huge hitter who plays sideline to sideline and has the athletic ability to be a three down linebacker. He clocked a 4.62-40 and jumped 32 inches in the vertical at the recent NIKE Combine in Hawaii last month and is regarded as the best prospect to come out of Hawaii since former Punahou linebacker Manti Teo.
 
Location: Concord, Calif.
High School: De La Salle
Size: 6-2/220
Recruiting: California, Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Hutchings is well put together and has nice, long arms with a good base. He can take on linemen and usually makes short work of backs trying to block him. He can slip his blockers because he moves so well laterally. His hits are big and almost always end up in a ball carrier or receiver on the ground because he runs through them. Hutchings excels in coverage and does a great job on his pass drops. Also has tremendous instincts.
 
Location: Lakeside, Ariz.
High School: Blue Ridge
Size: 6-3/230
Recruiting: Arkansas, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Cox stars on both sides of the ball, showing out at both inside linebacker and fullback. On defense, he shows his toughness and excellent football instincts while showing his speed, quickness and high level athleticism at fullback. He's a tough kid who covers a lot of ground at linebacker and is a natural run stuffer. At fullback he's quick through the hole with good hands out of the backfield and could easily play on either side of the ball in college.
 
Location: Bellevue, Wash.
High School: Bellevue
Size: 6-2/215
Recruiting: Arizona State, California, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Jack is another two-way standout who plays running back and outside ‘backer. He's a dynamic athlete on both sides of the ball but projects best on the defensive side of the ball. He's an explosive hitter and plays with an edge to him. He's a devastating blocker on offense and actually plays defensive end but will have no problem making a smooth transition to linebacker. He's a blur off the edge and blessed with a ton of fast twitch ability. By the end of the summer, don't be shocked if Jack is the top rated outside linebacker in the region.
Location: Westlake Village, Calif.
High School: Oaks Christian
Size: 6-2/215
Recruiting: Arizona, Oregon State, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Judge was the top defensive player for one of the state's top programs last year. He has excellent size and toughness and could bulk up in to an inside ‘backer in college or play as a weakside ‘backer. He covers a lot of ground and shows the speed to track down ball carriers from behind. He's smooth in pass coverage and does a nice job getting off blocks and making a tackle in run support. He shows excellent football instincts and plays with a high IQ.
 

The Next Five: Alani Latu (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Viliami Latu (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Danny Mattingly (Spokane Mead, Wash.), Joey Martarano (Fruitland, Idaho), Sean Barton (Woods Cross, Utah) 

 


West: Top Five Cornerbacks
Location: Fresno, Calif.
High School: Central
Size: 5-9, 165
Recruiting: California, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Johnson is a true lock-down corner, with tremendous strength packed into a shorter, but more filled out frame.  Johnson is good in press coverage and is real physical with opposing receivers.  He takes a lot of risks but they usually pay off.  Like most guys from Central California, he plays with a huge chip on his shoulder, with a lot of swagger and emotion, but has a short memory.  His DBs coach Tony Perry, who's coached over 40 D-I defensive backs, compares him often to former NFL corner Ricky Manning, in their hitting and coverage ability despite lacking ideal height.
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
High School: Rancho Cucamonga
Size: 6-0/170
Recruiting: Stanford, USC, UCLA, California, Washington, Florida,
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Part of a stellar secondary, Hawkins helped lead a stellar Rancho Cucamonga defense, that made it to the CIF-SS semifinals.  He does a great job anticipating the pass and jumping routes and is quick and fluid coming out of his backpedal.  Hawkins shows great burst and closing speed and he's difficult to gain separation from. Hawkins has very good ball skills and is also talented returner.  He and safety Tahaan Goodman are as good a corner/safety combo as you'll find out West.  He's also an excellent student, with a 3.8 GPA.
 
3. Dashon Hunt
Location: Westlake, Calif.
High School: Westlake
Size: 5-9/175
Recruiting: Committed to UCLA, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Nevada, Oregon, UCLA, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: The best way to describe Hunt is as a football player.  Of all the corners in the region, Hunt is arguably the best "football player" of the bunch.  What he lacks in size, he makes up for in physicality, instincts, ball skills and toughness.  He ran for over 1,000 yards in helping Westlake to the CIF State Open Division title game, but made his biggest mark defensively.  He's tough in coverage and does a great job of jumping routes.  While he doesn't have elite speed, he's fast enough that when he can jump a route, he's gone (see the CIF-SS finals).  He'll come up and hit you, either against the run or the pass, and has great closing speed.
 
4. Cole Luke
Location: Chandler, Ariz.
High School: Hamilton
Size: 6-0/165
Recruiting: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA,
Highlights:
Scouting Report: The top pure corner in the state of Arizona, Luke is a tremendous defensive back who constantly makes plays.  He has good anticipation and instincts and very good awareness. Does a great job opening his hips and good recovery ability. Is a tough corner with good closing speed and won't hesitate to pop the receiver. A good athlete who just needs to add some more bulk to a frame suited for more weight.
5. L.J. Moore
Location: Fresno, Calif.
High School: Central
Size: 6-1/175
Recruiting: California, Notre Dame, UCLA, Arizona State, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Moore will team with Johnson to form the best corner tandem in the West, if not the country.  Moore may have the best ball skills of any corner in the West, with great anticipation and instincts. Has the best size of any of the top corners in the region, and could even add weight and become a safety. He will knock a receivers head off, and wont hesitate to go for the big hit.  Moore is also a talented basketball player and high jumper. 
 

The Next Five: Derek Babiash (Poway, Calif.), Cameron Walker (Los Angeles Loyola, Calif.), Chris Seisay (American Canyon, Calif.), Daquawn Brown (Los Angeles Dorsey, Calif.), Tyler Williams (Ironwood Ridge, Ariz.) 

 


West: Top Five Safeties
1. Su'a Cravens
Location: Murrieta, Calif.
High School: Vista Murrieta
Size: 6-1, 205
Recruiting: Alabama, California, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Cravens is not just the top safety in the West, he's the top overall defensive prospect as well. He would also be the top linebacker in the region and there is much debate about what exactly is his best college position. He plays ‘backer in H.S and is a explosive hitter who closes on an opposing ball carrier faster than anyone in the West. He also shows the athleticism to play safety in college by how well he moves in space and how much ground he can cover. He's an incredible all around athlete who has the ability to play running back or even receiver in college but he has a defensive mentality and that's the side of the ball he definitely belongs at in college.
 
2. Priest Willis
Location: Tempe, Ariz.
High School: Marcos De Niz
Size: 6-2/190
Recruiting: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Florida State, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, UCLA, USC
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Willis actually plays corner at the H.S. level and has the ability to stay at that position in college. He has solid cover skills and the top end speed to turn and run with some of the fastest receivers as well. He has a safety frame however and will continue to get bigger. There's a good chance Willis will end up around 6-3, 225 pounds in a few years so safety will likely be his natural position. He's a physical player and will come up and hit you. He has long arms and is strong in press cover and having a safety that can cover a third receiver is a huge advantage for a defense.
 
3. Max Redfield
Location: Mission Viejo, Calif.
High School: Mission Viejo
Size: 6-2/195
Recruiting: California, Oklahoma, Oregon, Notre Dame, USC, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Redfield might be the best all around athlete in the group. He doubles as a wide receiver and could definitely play on the offensive side of the ball in college. He's also a talented basketball player, which was actually his top sport as a freshman and sophomore. Redfield is strong in coverage and makes a ton of plays in the secondary. He's not as physical as he'll need to be in college, but he has a very solid frame and as he fills out and adds strength, that won't be an issue. He has explosive speed and is great in jump ball situations.
 
4. Tahaan Goodman
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
High School: Rancho Cucamonga
Size: 6-2/190
Recruiting: California, Florida, LSU, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Even as a national top 100 player, Goodman could actually be under-rated nationally. He could be the most complete safety on this list as he combines the hitting ability of Byrd with the cover skills of Redfield. He has a great frame, runs very well and is a sure tackler. He breaks down very well, runs right through opposing ball carriers and doesn't miss tackles. He covers a ton of ground in the secondary and it's tough to find any real weakness in Goodman's game.
5. Hatari Byrd
Location: Fresno, Calif.
High School: Central
Size: 6-2/200
Recruiting: California, Houston, Notre Dame, UCLA, USC, Washington
Highlights:
Scouting Report: Just how deep is the safety position out West? Byrd is the No. 5 rated player at the position in the region but No. 10 in the nation. He's the most physical player on this list and with a massive upper body, some feel Byrd will move to linebacker in college. Byrd has under-rated cover skills however and has loose hips and the ability to turn and run with tight ends and receivers. His strengths are definitely as an in the box run stuffer and he's the kind of intimidating hitter you want in your secondary. He's a true enforcer and has the makeup to play early in his college career.
 

The Next Five: Tyler Foreman (Encino Crespi, Calif.), Marcus Stamps (Los Angeles Jefferson, Calif.), David Price (Long Beach Poly, Calif.), Jayme Otomewo (Los Angeles Dorsey, Calif.), D.J. Moffitt (Concord De La Salle, Calif.) 

 


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