2009 California's Top Prospects: Defense

With Signing Day and the 2008 recruiting class in the books, it's time to start looking toward 2009 and California will be stocked with top defensive prospects, especially at linebacer. Here is an early look at the top defensive prospects from the Golden State...

With Signing Day for 2008 over, here is a very early look at the early list of some of the top defensive prospects from California.

Over the course of the spring, we figure more guys will emerge as well as into summer and obviously into the fall (look at a Herman Davidson, who didn't even start until his senior year and ended up as a four-star safety with offers from all over).

The defensive line will not have the star power of 2007 when Da'John Harris and Brian Price were five-star prospects, but there are some solid prospects, including Nuckles, Asuega, Harrison, Brown and Powell.

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

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
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.)

This may be the best linebacker haul in a decade from California. Simmons already is a commit to USC while Burfict may be shortly. Golper is heavily favoring two in-state schools in Stanford and UCLA. Clay and Fanua are two of NorCal's best. Franco, Davis, Barrett and Seals are even more SoCal standouts.

Vontaze Burfict, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Marquis Simmons, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez
Todd Golper, Arcadia (Calif.)
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
Eric Martin, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde
Trevor Erno, Lakewood (Calif.)
Isaiah Bowens, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat
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.)
Kevin Ayers, Lynwood (Calif.)
Jayson Allmond, Bloomington (Calif.)
Maurice Cox, Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North
Bryant Jones, Oxnard (Calif.)
Isaac Foster, Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger
James Guerrero, Tulare (Calif.)
Noah Lyche, Camarillo (Calif.)
Pat Su'a, Bakersfield (Calif.) Highland
Dylan Reda, San Clemente (Calif.)

DEFENSIVE BACKS The secondary is another solid group of prospects from California. USC already has verbals from Hall, McDonald and Metcalf while UCLA has one in Pollard. Harris, though, may be the best defensive back in the West, another stellar prospect from Edison.

Cliff Harris, Fresno (Calif.) Edison
Marlon Pollard, Valencia (Calif.)
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
Nat Berhe, Colton (Calif.)
Avery Patterson, Pittsburg (Calif.)
Isaiah Burton, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
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
Alex Clark, Camarillo (Calif.)
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
Chris Metcalf, Compton (Calif.)
Nathan Fellner, Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West
Alex Mascarenas, Mission Viejo (Calif.)
Dijon Washington, Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger
Tommy Drachkovitch, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Lester White, Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North
Evan Heard, Covina (Calif.) South Hills
Allen Huddleston, Merced (Calif.)
A.J. Cruz, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita
Randy Edwards, Oakland (Calif.) Tech
Justin Lilley, Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake

Note: Again, this is a very early list of players who've emerged as prospects in the early going, that we've seen at various camps or combines, and are being heavily recruited.

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