California 2008 Preseason Rankings: LBs

The linebacker class in California isn't as top-heavy as a year ago, but the depth is better, with Anthony McDonald the best in the middle, Maurice Simmons tops on the weakside and Donovan Carter leading the strongside...

A solid and deep group of linebackers roam the Golden State this year, led by McDonald in the middle and Simmons, Kaveinga and Stuckey on the outside. Larimore and Carter are two more strong prospects and Corona Centennial, with Magee, Lyons and Hardeman boast possibly the strongest group in the state.

MIDDLE LINEBACKERS:

1. Anthony McDonald, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame- Notre Dame
A big and disruptive force in the middle of the Knights defense, McDonald is one of the best middle linebackers in the country.

2. Patrick Larimore, Newhall (Calif.) Hart- UCLA
Larimore is at his best in run support, but can drop into coverage as well.

3. Ryan Panapa, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
Known more for their offense, the Seraphs defense is anchored by the productive and reliable Panapa, who loves to hit.

4. Zander Fabbri, Bakersfield (Calif.) Centennial- Arizona
One of the top three prospects in Central California this year, Fabbri is coming off an all-state junior season.

5. Kiko Alonso, Los Gatos (Calif.)
We loved Alonso at the San Francisco Scout.com Combine and he continued to have a strong summer for Los Gatos.

The Next 10 (in alphabetical order):

Brady Lukas, Anaheim (Calif.) Esperanza
Brandon Phillips, Redlands (Calif.)
Dallas Kelley, Norco (Calif.)
Ferras Albitar, Las Flores (Calif.) Tesoro
Joey Searson, Carlsbad (Calif.)
Jordan Haynes, Carmichael (Calif.) Jesuit
Justin McKillop, Saugus (Calif.)
Reece Ludwig, Laguna Hills (Calif.)
Reuben Willis, Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair
Ryan Rau, Folsom (Calif.)

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKERS:

1. Maurice Simmons, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez- USC
One of the best athletes in California, Simmons could even play safety in college.

2. Uona Kaveinga, Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger- UCLA
Kaveinga reminds many of NFL Pro Bowler Lofa Tatupu.

3. Dewitt Stuckey, Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln
The top linebacker in Northern California, Stuckey will also be Lincoln's top running back threat.

4. Brandon Magee, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Whether on the football field or the diamond, Magee loves to hit.

5. Damion Whittington, Norco (Calif.)
With Jordan Campbell at USC, this year will be Whittington's season to shine.

6. Mychal Kendricks, Fresno (Calif.) Hoover
After blowing up during the spring following an MVP performance at the Nike Camp, Kendricks is a hot commodity.

7. Earnie Sagiao, Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison
Sagiao will also play fullback again for the Chargers, but he loves linebacker and that is where colleges see him.

8. Quinton Greenlaw, Oxnard (Calif.) Rio Mesa
One of the fastest football players in the state of California, Greenlaw will anchor the Spartans defense with Malachi Lewis gone.

9. Brady Amack, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
Amack is the defensive leader for the Spartans, again one of the top teams in the state.

10. John Wright, Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North
Wright is tough to handle off the edge, evidenced by his 14 sacks a season ago.

The Next 5 (in alphabetical order:

Alex Castellanos, Mission Viejo (Calif.)
Chase Pinesett, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
David Allen, South Pasadena (Calif.)
Justin Meehan, Elk Grove (Calif.)
Maurice Mack, Imperial (Calif.)

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKERS:

1. Donovan Carter, Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham- UCLA
Carter is the heart and soul of the Patriots defense and looks to lead them to their second City Section title in a row.

2. Shelly Lyons, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Lyons teams with Magee and Hardeman to form one of the best linebacking trios in the state.

3. Josh Kaddu, Vacaville (Calif.)
One of the top linebackers in NorCal, Kaddu was the defensive leader of the Bulldogs' title-winning season.

4. Jerry Hardeman, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Was one of the most consistent performers for Centennial and will be one of the leaders on a stingy defense.

5. Ryan Otten, Loomis (Calif.) Del Oro
Has good size and may be best playing with his hand down in college. A productive player on one of NorCal's best teams.

The Next 10 (in alphabetical order):

Clark Steele, Quartz Hill (Calif.)
Dominic Bonetpels, Victorville (Calif.) Silverado
Kevin Ige, Chatsworth (Calif.)
Loren Powers, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
Marcus Nelson, Bakersfield (Calif.)
Mike Spagnola, Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon
Ryan McKillop, Saugus (Calif.)
Sam Mafi, Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary's
Sean Kurtz, Anaheim (Calif.) Canyon
Thomas Doupe, Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake


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