California 2009 Final Rankings: LBs

Corona Centennial linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Fresno Clovis West linebacker Travis Brown top the list of the top linebackers in the Golden State in the class of 2009...

Few of the linebacker classes to come out of the Golden State have been as good as this one, with the premier middle backer (Burfict) in the country calling California home.

Weakside Linebackers

1. Marquis Simmons, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez- USC
The final, and arguably the best, of the Simmons' family who have been a linebacker staple in California

2. John Michael Davis, Los Flores (Calif.) Tesoro- Boise State
Another gifted athlete who could play any of the linebacker spots.

3. Michael Clay, San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep- Oregon
His speed and athleticism outside enables him to play well in space and excel in coverage

4. Trevor Erno, Lakewood (Calif.)- Arizona
The always-tough Moore League's top defensive prospect is a tackling machine.

5. Taniela Maka, Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan- UCLA
Missed part of his senior year with injury, but when active, made several big hits.

Other Weakside Linebackers (in alphabetical order):
Ace Ward, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Anthony Whitlow, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Brant Botill, Corcoran (Calif.)
Daniel Cox, Sacramento (Calif.) Christian Brothers
James Randall, Compton (Calif.)
Lawrence Larivee, Chino Hills (Calif.) Ayala
Michael Santini, San Jose (Calif.) Leland- Cal Poly
Nick Bruce, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
Robert Franco, San Pedro (Calif.)

Middle Linebackers

1. Vontaze Burfict, Corona (Calif.) Centennial- USC
Big, physical, strong, nasty.  A prototypical middle backer.

2. Todd Golper, Arcadia (Calif.)- UCLA
May be one of the smartest linebackers around, a true leader on the field who tackles everything.

3. Eric Martin, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde- Nebraska
An all-state selection, Martin was the best linebacker at the L.A. Combine.

4. Tim Tucker, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne- Washington
Senior year was his coming out party, as he emerged as the City Section's top senior linebacker.

5. Sam Foster, Esparto (Calif.)- Nevada
The top college  prospect from the CIF-Northern Section.

Other Middle Linebackers (in alphabetical order):
Dylan Reda, San Clemente (Calif.)- Ohio
George Daily-Lyles, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly- Hawaii
Jacob Driver, Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon- San Diego State
Pat Su'a, Bakersfield (Calif.) Highland- Fresno State
Patrick Jarin, Chula Vista (Calif.) Eastlake- Army
Scott Graves, Los Flores (Calif.) Tesoro

Strongside Linebackers

1. Travis Brown, Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West- Fresno State
The son of the Fresno State defensive coordinator, he's a football junkie who's been a rock for the Eagles defense.

2. Steven Fanua, Milpitas (Calif.)- California
Few defenders in the West have racked up the kind of tackles that Fanua has the last few years.

3. Isaiah Bowens, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat- UCLA
Missed much of senior year with a leg injury, but racked up eight sacks in limited action.

4. Jordan Barrett, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame- UNLV
Helped lead the Knights to a unbeaten regular season as the anchor of their defense.

5. Nat Harrison, Fresno (Calif) Edison
Has played tight end and defensive end but college future is at strongside linebacker.

6. Sekope Kaufusi, Woodside (Calif.)- Washington State
His hair reminds of Troy Polamalu, his play has the same style of aggression.

Other Strongside Linebackers  (in alphabetical order):
Aaron Howse, Sacramento (Calif.) Sheldon
Ben Letcher, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Bryson Lloyd, Santa Barbara (Calif.)
Erik Akre, Granite Bay (Calif.)
Garrison Goodman, Danville (Calif.) San Ramon Valley
Ibe Nduka, Etiwanda (Calif.)- Fresno State
James Randall, Compton (Calif.)
Khalil Bass, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Matthew Bahar, Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester
Maurice Cox, Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North
Mike Arakelian, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran
Ryan Macken, Truckee (Calif.)

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