California Linebackers to Watch in 2002

In 2001, the were a number of outstanding performances by freshman linebackers in California. Now, with a season under their belts, these LBs have a chance to make a major impact as sophomores and set themselves up to be highly recruited. Here is a look at two linebackers to watch for in 2002, one from the North and one from the South.

Ryan Estes

Modesto Junior College

6-2, 215                       

Thomas Downey H.S.           

Modesto, California


Ryan Estes

As a senior at Thomas Downey High School, Ryan Estes had the potential to be a top recruit.  However, an early season stinger became a nagging injury throughout the season and he was only able to play three full games.  All of those games were played at fullback and he saw little, if any, time on defense.  Many universities that had been recruiting Ryan backed off of him, concerned by his nagging injuries.  He took an official visit to the University of Nevada, but the Wolfpack opted not to offer Ryan a scholarship in light of his health.  Thus, he enrolled at Modesto Junior College in his hometown.  Early on in the season, it appeared that history would repeat itself as he once again suffered from a series of stinger which resulted in his inablilty to feel the right side of his body.  He contemplated hanging up his pads and calling it a season, if not calling it a career.  However, his faith led him back to the field.  Ryan is a strong Christian;  his father, a pastor at the family's church.  With Ryan's season, and possibly his career in the balance, Ryan's dad and several other pastors prayed for his recovery and good health.  Miraculously, Ryan was back on the field the following week, hitting as hard as he ever had.  He never experienced any further pain or injury the rest of the season.  He completed one of the best freshman seasons a linebacker could possibly have, establishing himself as one of the best defensive players in Northern California, if not the state.  He hits like a linebacker, can play at the line of scrimmage like a defensive end, and runs like a defensive back and could probably line up at safety.  He also spends a lot of time in the weight room and this is evident in his body build.  During this Spring, the Modesto coaches hand timed the players in the 40-yard dash.  The test was done on a track with the athletes wearing track spikes.  Ryan was timed twice at 4.3-seconds!  One coach actually timed his forth at sub-4.3 during the testing.   He is a full qualifier and will be able to tramsfer mid-year.  Boise State wanted to scholarship Ryan this summer.  However, his dream is to play in the Pac 10.  He has received some interest from the University of Arizona, who also contemplated bringing Ryan in now.  More and more universities are becoming aware of Ryan everyday.  Watch for Ryan Estes to be among California's top linebackers in 2002.

Andrew Dorsey
Palomar College
6-2, 235
Fallbrook High School
Fallbrook, California

In 2001, Palomar College finished the season with the third ranked defense in the state en route to winning the Southern California championship and playing in the state championship game.  The Comets gave up a paltry 230 yards per game and only 63.6 yards per game on the ground.  Palomar's corps of linebackers played a big role in the team's defensive effort, led by two sophomores and one freshman.  The sophomores were University of Utah bound Ray Holdcraft and University of Hawaii bound Marco Chavez.  The third backer in the group was freshman Andrew Dorsey.  During the course of the season, Dorsey made a big impact from his position.  He great combination of foot speed and ability to hit with power made an impression with opposing coaches, enough so that Dorsey was named second team All-Conference (Holdcraft and Chavez both made first team).  Now, Andrew Dorsey will be the leader of the Comets' linebacking corps.  He has put himself in a great position to be reruited.  He will be able to transfer mid-year and is strong academically.  In a tough Mission Conference, watch for Andrew Dorsey to shine.

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