Video: Top 10 defenders in California
A pair of hard-hitting brothers bookend this group of talented players.
Some of the finest and most famous NFL defenders played high school football in California.
Among them were Ronnie Lott of Eisenhower (Rialto)
, Junior Seau of Oceanside
, Mike Haynes of Marshall (Los Angeles)
, Willie McGinest of Long Beach Poly
, Richard Sherman of Dominguez (Compton)
, Clay Matthews III of Agoura
, Fred Dryer of Leuzinger (Lawndale)
Les Richter of Fresno
and Bobby Wagner of Colony (Ontario)
Here are 10 of the finest defenders heading into the 2019 season.
Top 10 rated defenders from California for 2019
10. Jonathan Flowe — Upland
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive end/linebacker led his team with 12 sacks to go along with 68 sacks last season as a sophomore. He's the No. 8 recruit overall from the state in the Class of 2021. Though older brother Justin gets most of the attention, Jonathan has 22 college offers, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Ohio State and all the Pac-12 schools. 9. Jaylin Davies — Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
The 5-11, 170-pound junior cornerback already has 16 college offers, but appears to be leaning toward UCLA, though Alabama, Auburn and Florida are other suitors. 8. Ethan Calvert — Oaks Christian (Westlake Village)
Another junior, the 6-3, 230-pound linebacker is fast enough to play strong safety, making him a very versatile prospect. 247Sports evaluation:
A big-framed kid who carries 230 pounds easily. Has older brothers playing at UCLA and Washington and is the best athlete in the family. Runs well, is highly instinctive, hits like a truck and plays with a mean streak.
7. Kourt Williams II — St. John Bosco (Bellflower)
The 6-1, 215-pound senior outside linebacker plays sideline to sideline, possessing superb speed (4.6-second in 40-yard-dash) and instinct. With 23 college offers, he's scheduled to make a commitment Wednesday. Ohio State appears at the top of his list.
6. Darion Green-Warren — Narbonne (Harbor City)
A Mater Dei transfer , the 6-foot, 187-pound senior cornerback has 24 college offers, including Penn State, USC, Oklahoma, Georgia and Michigan. He had five interceptions and 10 pass deflections in his two seasons at Mater Dei.
5. Jordan Banks — Narbonne
The 6-3, 243-pound senior had 61 tackles and 13 sacks last season for the Gauchos. He has 16 college offers, including Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma and Washington. 247Sports evaluation:
Has the frame to play inside linebacker but could easily bulk up and play more off the edge to take advantage of his natural pass-rushing ability … Played both inside and outside linebacker as well as rush end — and even as a three-tech as a junior. Flashes a quick first step, can get around the edge and has excellent closing speed. Plays with a relentless motor.
4. Raesjon Davis— Mater Dei
The 6-1, 220-pound junior outside linebacker was a big-play defender last season for the two-time defending CIF Open champions. He had 44 tackles and 7.5 sacks, but look for those numbers to possible double in 2019. He's the No. 22 recruit overall in the country from the Class of 2021. He currently has 19 college offers. 247Sports evaluation:
An every-down linebacker who does everything well. Extremely good in coverage and has shown the ability to run with running backs and receivers down the field. Is a very good pass rusher as well, and shows a great burst off the edge and excellent closing speed. 3. Korey Foreman — Centennial (Corona)
The 6-4, 245-pound outside linebacker is ranked the fifth best junior overall nationally because of his tremendous size, athleticism and instinct. He has 25 college offers, including Oregon, USC, UCLA, Alabama, Penn State, Georgia and Ohio State. 247Sports evaluation:
Has a prototype frame for a strong side rush end. ... He plays with advanced technique, uses his hands well and has the power to bull rush or long arm a tackle in to the quarterback or beat him off the edge with quickness.
2. Clark Phillips, III — La Habra
The 5-11, 178-pound senior cornerback had seven interceptions as a sophomore before quarterbacks decided not to throw his way in 2018, when he had two picks. The fourth-rated corner in the country has 36 offers throughout the land, but he's already committed to Ohio State. 247Sports evaluation:
Has a strong build and plays with a bulldog mentality. Doesn't have great length but makes up for it with a physical style of play and advanced technique … Has excellent ball skills and has really improved in his ability to make a play on the ball without interfering. An extremely competitive player who loves the challenge of taking on another team's best receiver. Is physical in the run game and does a nice job getting off blocks and making a tackle.1. Justin Flowe — Upland
The 6-2, 225-pound senior linebacker is rated the top player overall in the country by MaxPreps editor Zack Poff. He's ranked No. 3 by 247Sports. He resembles a rocket ship exploding from the second line of defense into the backfield. He hits with tremendous force and is extremely productive with 311 career tackles. He has 39 college offers, including Clemson, USC, Georgia, Arizona State and Oregon. He's the older brother of Jonathan, ranked 10th on this list. 247Sports evaluation:
He has a powerful lower body, and plays with maniacal effort and passion for the game. He has good straight-line speed and has worked hard to improve his lateral mobility and ability to drop and cover. He's a huge hitter and one of the most physical football players to come out of California in years. He's relentless in how he plays, refuses to stay blocked and does a great job in pursuit. He's tremendous getting in the backfield and making plays.