2009 Football Recruiting: Defense

With Signing Day and the 2008 recruiting class in the books, it's time to start looking toward 2009. Here is the traditional early list of some of the prospects UCLA has been showing interest in already, and more names that have the potential to be UCLA recruits...

With Signing Day for 2008 over, here is a look at the early list of some of the top defensive prospects UCLA is already watching, from California and some we know of from out of state.

The top group in each category consists of prospects we project as having a good chance of being a UCLA level prospect, or guys UCLA has already shown interest in.

UCLA needs tackles in a bad way in this next class, having only signed one in the last two years in Brian Price. The problem is, there isn't a lot of talent that has emerged in the early going. Nuckles is the top DL in San Diego, while they'll hope that Brown will want to rejoin Datone Jones in college. At end, Chiasson is the top prospect at the position out West, and he's got the whole country after him. Harrison is the rare, non-DB from Edison. Powell is a USC legacy. Johnson had a monster year at a smaller school in NorCal.

Edward Nuckles, San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills
Kapono Asuega, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran
Justin Brown, Compton (Calif.)
Sione Tuihalamaka, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Noel Beckles, Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei
Quayshawn Buckley, Ontario (Calif.) Colony
William McGill, Modesto (Calif.)

Others of Note
Bill Tyndall, Pacific Grove (Calif.)
Kevin Pope, Serrano (Calif.) Phelan
Sam Doty, Hollister (Calif.) San Benito
Evan Jacobson, San Clemente (Calif.)
Nikko Motto, Fresno (Calif.) Sanger
Rex Meikal, Yucaipa (Calif.)

Justin Chiasson, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman
Kelvin Jackson, Sugar Land (Tex) Hightower
Nat Harrison, Fresno (Calif.) Edison
Jackson Powell, Newbury Park (Calif.)
Devon Rosa, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
Sean Avila, Anaheim (Calif.) Esperanza
Travis Johnson, Sunnyvale (Calif.) The King's Academy

Others of Note
Italia Crichton, Lakewood (Calif.)
Nick Alexander, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw
James Lopez, Oxnard (Calif.) Rio Mesa
Tevin Jackson, Bakersfield (Calif.)
Nate Ware, Visalia (Calif.) El Diamante
Ben Letcher, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Bryan Townsend, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)

UCLA needs linebackers and, luckily, this may be the best linebacker haul in a decade from California and UCLA won't really even need to leave the Golden State to land a few. They wouldn't mind leaving, though, if it meant grabbing the top defensive prospect in the West in Te'o, but BYU and USC are the teams to beat. Golper is heavily favoring UCLA. Simmons already is a commit to USC while Burfict may be shortly. Van Noy is right behind Chiasson as Nevada's top prospect. Clay and Fanua are two of NorCal's best. Franco, Davis, Barrett and Seals are even more SoCal standouts.

Manti Te'o, Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou
Todd Golper, Arcadia (Calif.)
Vontaze Burfict, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Marquis Simmons, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez
Kyle Van Noy, Reno (Nev.) McQueen
Michael Clay, San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep
Steven Fanua, Milpitas (Calif.)
Travis Brown, Clovis (Calif.) West
Robert Franco, San Pedro (Calif.)
John Michael Davis, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita
Jordan Barrett, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Brent Seals, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat
Nick Bruce, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
Isaiah Fleming, Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy
Chad Jones, Jackson (Miss.) Wingfield
Eric Martin, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde
Trevor Erno, Lakewood (Calif.)
Isaiah Bowens, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat

Others of Note
Wesley Bates, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
Simon Martinez, Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser
Jacob Driver, La Costa Canyon (Calif.)
Anthony Whitlow, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
J.R. Carr, Torrance (Calif.) South
Daniel Cox, Sacramento (Calif.) Christian Brothers
Matt Segi, Oceanside (Calif.)
Kevin Greene, San Francisco (Calif.) Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep
Robert Larivee, Chino Hills (Calif.) Ayala
Mark Haskell, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Anthony Larceval, La Mesa (Calif.) Helix
Chris Magee, Anaheim (Calif.) Canyon
Ace Ward, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Dexter Coward, Atwater (Calif.)
Jayson Allmond, Bloomington (Calif.)
Maurice Cox, Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North
Bryant Jones, Oxnard (Calif.)
Isaac Foster, Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger
Kevin Ayers, Lynwood (Calif.)
James Guerrero, Tulare (Calif.)
Pat Su'a, Bakersfield (Calif.) Highland
Dylan Reda, San Clemente (Calif.)

With five signees in the class of 2008, defensive back isn't the highest priority, but UCLA stills needs to keep the talent coming in, and with DeWayne Walker, you can bet he's going to go after some of the best. Pollard already committed to the Bruins and they'll go after Harris, another in a long line of stellar Edison DBs, who in fact, may be the best. Price is a UCLA legacy and Martin made an impact last fall with Anthony Dye. At safety, Hall, Metcalf and McDonald are already commits to USC, but UCLA signed three safeties last week, so that may not be a huge hole to fill.

Marlon Pollard, Valencia (Calif.)
Cliff Harris, Fresno (Calif.) Edison
Terrance Brown, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran
Usua Amanam, San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep

Sean Martin, Corona (Calif.) Santiago
Sheldon Price, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat
Ricky Marvray, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Rashaad Reynolds, San Fernando (Calif.)
Semaj Harris, Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger

Others of Note
Nat Berhe, Colton (Calif.)
Avery Patterson, Pittsburg (Calif.)
Isaiah Burton, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
Ronald McCrory, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
Bernard Bolden, Merced (Calif.)
Kenny Cavness, San Francisco (Calif.) Sacred Heart Prep
Cody Jackson, San Mateo (Calif.) Serra
J.B. Dock, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
Bijon Samoodi, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite
Oliver Johnson, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
Sean Murray, Corona (Calif.) Santiago
Dominique Jackson, Hayward (Calif.)
Blair Wishom, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
Kevin Cooper, Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd
Vincent Minor, Etiwanda (Calif.)
Leonard McConico, Venice (Calif.)
Ketwaun Frank, Elk Grove (Calif.)
Brooke Brooks, Elk Grove (Calif.)
Terhan O'Neal, North Hollywood (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake
Brian Easter, Fresno (Calif.) Central

Patrick Hall, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
T.J. McDonald, Fresno (Calif.) Edison
Jabari Carr, San Jose (Calif.) Oak Ridge
Marte Sears, Fresno (Calif.) McLane
Evan Heard, Covina (Calif.) South Hills
Leron Eaddy, Clarksville (Mary.) River Hill
Chris Metcalf, Compton (Calif.)
Nathan Fellner, Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West
Alex Mascarenas, Mission Viejo (Calif.)
Dijon Washington, Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger

Others of Note
Tommy Drachkovitch, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Lester White, Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North
Allen Huddleston, Merced (Calif.)
A.J. Cruz, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita
Randy Edwards, Oakland (Calif.) Tech
Justin Lilley, Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake

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