West 2009 Preseason Rankings: LBs

Todd Golper

UCLA has a commitment from one of the top linebackers on the West Coast and they are still in the mix for a handful of others in the preseason linebacker rankings...

Few of the linebacker classes to come out of the West have been as good as this one, with the premier middle backer (Burfict) and strongside backer (Te'o)  in the country both calling the West 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. Kyle Van Noy, Reno (Nev.) McQueen
The top athlete and most versatile prospect in Nevada, Van Noy could play as many as four different positions in college.

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

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

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

6. Robert Franco, San Pedro (Calif.)
A big hitter who loves to play physically through the whistle, could also be a fullback in college.

7. Daniel Cox, Sacramento (Calif.) Christian Brothers
Has played mostly with his hand down in high school but will get a chance to play linebacker this fall, where he's projected to play in college.

8. Nick Bruce, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
Like Franco, this City Section product is always around the action and is usually ending the plays.

9. Marcel Seely, Mukilteo (Wash.) Samiak
If he can show he's all the way back from the knee injury that robbed him of his junior year, expect him to make a big move up this chart.

10. Matthew Bahar, Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester
At his best playing defensive end making tackles in the backfield, size and athleticism will put him at linebacker.

Other Weakside Linebackers to Watch (in alphabetical order):
A.J. Ropati, Carson (Calif.)
Ace Ward, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Andre Barrington, Federal Way (Wash.)
Anthony Whitlow, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Austin Gumucio, Grantsville (Utah)
Benson Mayowa, Inglewood (Calif.)
Brant Botill, Corcoran (Calif.)
Chandler Gayton, Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea
J.R. Carr, Torrance (Calif.) South
Jared Williams, Los Angeles (Calif.) Washington
Jonathan Holmes, Los Angeles (Calif.) Washington
Lawrence Larivee, Chino Hills (Calif.) Ayala
Justin Ruffino, Napa (Calif.)
Kawehi Sablan, Kanehoe (Hawaii) Castle
Lilio Nobriaga, Las Vegas (Nev.) Palo Verde
Michael Ruffino, Napa (Calif.)
Nate Ware, Visalia (Calif.) El Diamante
Noah Lyche, Camarillo (Calif.)
Paul Ena, Kenmore (Wash.) Inglemoor
Wesley Bates, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
 

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. Bo Lokombo, British Columbia
Was the top prospect in Oregon but a move to Canada makes him the Great White North's top prospect

4. Eric Martin, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde
Was the top linebacker at the Los Angeles UnderArmour/Scout.com Combine.

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

6. Allen Mooney, Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea- Boise State
Don't let his size fool you; Mooney will still take a head off.

7. L.T. Filiaga, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham
The best linebacker in a great year for the Beehive State.

8. Darren Markle, Meridian (Idaho) Mountain View- Washington State
The top defensive prospect this class from Idaho, is a weight room fanatic.

9. Sam Foster, Esparto (Calif.)
His performance at the UnderArmour/Scout.com Combine in Oakland was one of the best.

10. Tony Heard, Edmonds (Wash.) Edmonds-Woodway
Can play on either side of the ball, but his future is on defense.

Other Middle Linebackers to Watch (in alphabetical order):
Anthony Elliott, Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West
Bryan Townsend, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)
Caleb Crim, Fruitland (Idaho)
Chad Lopati, Kapolei (Wash.)
Conrad Scheidt, Honolulu (Hawaii) Kamehameha
Daniel Burgess, Napa (Calif.)
Daniel Garcia, Oxnard (Calif.) Santa Clara
Dylan Reda, San Clemente (Calif.)
Isaac Foster, Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger
Jacob Driver, Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon- San Diego State
Jake Pele, Auburn (Wash.) Riverside
Kade Andrus, Highland (Utah) Lone Peack
Marquis Andrews, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw
Patrick Jarin, Chula Vista (Calif.) Eastlake
Shawn Reed, Kailua (Hawaii) Kalaheo
Simione Vehikite, Kapolei (Hawaii)
T.J. Alofipo, Las Vegas (Nev.) Silverado)- Hawaii
 

Strongside Linebackers

1. Manti Te'o, Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou
May be the best recruit to ever come from the Islands.

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

3. Jordan Barrett, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Has been overshadowed by teammates the past few years but now it's his defense.

4. Isaiah Bowens, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat- UCLA
Loves to hit and "end plays".  May miss part of the season with a broken leg.

5. Kevin Greene, San Francisco (Calif.) Sacred Heart Cathederal
Few players have the upside of this longtime basketball player who's only entering his second year of football.

6. Damien Proby, Las Vegas (Nev.) Cheyenne
In a strong year for defenders in Nevada, he's one of their top linebackers.

7. Maurice Cox, Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North
Good sideline-to-sideline player who packs a wallop.

8. Nat Harrison, Fresno (Calif) Edison
Harrison is an intriguing prospect since he plays primarily tight end and defensive end, but likely will end up playing strongside in college.

9. Gabe Linehan, Banks (Ore.)- Boise State
Good athlete and great bloodlines will be a boost for the Broncos.

10. Garrison Goodman, Danville (Calif.) San Ramon Valley
At a school known for its offense, Goodman spearheads the defending CIF-NCS champion defense.

Other Strongside Linebackers to Watch (in alphabetical order):
Ben Letcher, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Bryson Lloyd, Santa Barbara (Calif.)
Devon Rosa, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
Eric Dairy, Compton (Calif.)
James Randall, Compton (Calif.)
Khalil Bass, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Lange Nelson, Palos Verdes (Calif.) Peninsula
Michael Santini, San Jose (Calif.) Leland
Mike Arakelian, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran
Ryan Macken, Truckee (Calif.)
Sekope Kaufusi, Woodside (Calif.)

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