We move to California in the next part of looking at the best recruits to come out of the Pac-12 states during the Internet recruiting coverage era and the Golden State gets a little tricky. Putting together the Top 10 recruits to ever come out of California would be a very impressive list, but since the state is so large in both geography and population, we have broken it up into five major regions/cities - greater Sacramento, Bay Area, Central Valley, greater Los Angeles and greater San Diego.
We are now moving to the San Diego area which we are pretty much grouping as anything in the area from Oceanside and South of that even though we know some of the outlying cities are a stretch.
1. Dillon Baxter Class of 2010 RB San Diego - Mission Bay - USC
Baxter was billed as the next Reggie Bush, only better when he was high school as he was a flashy all-around running back that was rated as maybe the best back in the country in 2010. Baxter ended up following in Bush's footsteps and signed with USC over Michigan and Oregon, further hyping his impending college career. Unfortunately Baxter flamed out spectacularly at USC without really playing and eventually dropped down to the NAIA level before getting out of football.
2. Reggie Bush Class of 2003 RB La Mesa - Helix - USC
Bush shockingly wasn't the top-rated back in the country, though he was highly-regarded and had one of the most jaw-dropping high school highlight films ever. Bush was rumored to be leaning towards Washington, Notre Dame and Texas at different times, but ultimately signed with the Trojans. As we all know, Bush went on to win the Heisman, national championships and give them back eventually.
3. Kenny Stills Class of 2010 WR Encinatas - La Costa Canyon - Oklahoma
Stills was the perfect package at receiver with size, speed and skills and was rated as a five-star prospect by Scout. Stills clearly wanted to get away as he chose Oklahoma over Florida, Michigan and Tennessee. Stills started from his freshman year at Oklahoma and was a standout his entire career before leaving a year early for the NFL and going in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
4. Brennan Clay Class of 2010 RB San Diego - Scripps Ranch - Oklahoma
A small, big play running back, Clay was also a five-star Scout prospect and one of the most coveted running backs in the nation. Like Stills, Clay also ended up signing with Oklahoma, in a great year in San Diego for the Sooners. Clay has been part of the Sooner running back rotation his entire career and has the chance for a breakout season in 2013.
5. Jason Forcier Class of 2005 QB San Diego - St. Augustine - Michigan
It seemed like there was an athletic, highly-rated Forcier coming out of San Diego every year in the 2000s and Jason was probably the best of the bunch coming out of high school. Michigan beat out Arizona State for the eldest Forcier's signature. Forcier played a bit early in his career at Michigan but transferred to Stanford where he was never able to establish himself either.
6. Tate Forcier Class of 2009 QB San Diego - Scripps Ranch - Michigan
Tate may have been the smallest of the Forcier's but he may have been the most athletic and had a great arm. Tate got it down to Penn State and Michigan, before following in his eldest brother's footsteps and going to Ann Arbor. Tate started as a freshman at Michigan, but lost his job and ended up transferring to San Jose State.
7. Chris Forcier Class of 2007 QB San Diego - St. Augustine - UCLA
Chris may have actually been the most athletic of the Forciers, as a he ran a reported 4.4 and was one of the best dual-threat quarterback prospects in the country. The only Forcier not to go to Michigan, Chris stayed on the West Coast and ended up signing with UCLA. Chris played a tiny bit at UCLA, but ended up finishing his career at Furman.
8. Leon Hall Class of 2003 CB Vista - Michigan
Maybe the best cornerback to ever come out of the San Diego area, Hall was a blazer that ran a 4.3/4.4 range 40 and had excellent ball skills for a high school corner. Hall considered Oregon and Washington, but seemed to want to get off the West Coast and ended up choosing Michigan over Colorado. Hall was immediately a standout at Michigan and ended up being an All-American before going onto a still going, excellent NFL career with the Bengals.
9. Tony Jefferson Class of 2010 LB Chula Vista - Eastlake - Oklahoma
A dynamic, two-way player that was a stud at running back and linebacker, Jefferson was one of the top-rated pure athlete prospects in his class. Jefferson had an intense recruitment that ended with him signing with Oklahoma over Michigan, USC and Arizona. Jefferson ended up playing safety at Oklahoma and was an All-American as a junior and then declared for the draft but went undrafted.
10. Stefan McClure Class of 2011 CB Vista - Cal
McClure was one of the top cornerbacks in his class and was an outright playmaker that was great at playing the ball in the air. McClure never officially visited Berkeley, but chose the Bears over Boise State, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon State and Washington. McClure is expected to compete for a starting spot in 2013.
Tyler Gaffney Class of 2009 FB San Diego - Cathedral Catholic - Stanford
Erik Magnuson Class of 2012 T Encinatas - La Costa Canyon - Michigan
Tyrell Robinson Class of 2013 LB San Diego - Lincoln - Oregon
Darius Savage Class of 2006 DT San Diego - Morse - UCLA
Derek Shaw Class of 2005 QB Oceanside - Arizona State