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 Sacramento area which we are pretty much grouping as anything in the Sacramento metro area and surrounding cities.
1. Shaquille Thompson Class of 2012 S Sacramento - Grant - Washington
An incredible all-around athlete, Thompson was a star running back and defensive back at Grant and was one of the top recruits in the nation at any position. Thompson committed to Cal early, following in the footsteps of his older brother Syd'Quan, but ended up signing with Washington in a very surprising move. Thompson moved to linebacker as a freshman at Washington and had a standout season.
2. Eddie Vanderdoes Class of 2013 DT Auburn -Placer - UCLA
Vanderdoes was far and away the top defensive lineman prospect out West in his class and arguably the best defensive tackle in the country. Vanderdoes had a very strange recruitment where he signed with Notre Dame over USC, UCLA and Washington but quickly changed his mind and is now transferring to UCLA but will have to sit out a year.
3. Viliami Moala Class of 2011 DT Sacramento - Grant - Cal
The West Coast doesn't regularly produce big time defensive tackles like Moala, who was a massive rock in the middle coming out of Sacramento at 6'3 340 with great quickness for his size. Moala considered some other Pac-12 schools like USC and Washington, but ultimately decided to stay home and signed with Cal. Moala has played a bit early in his career at Cal and the Bears hope that he will continue to progress.
4. Arik Armstead Class of 2012 T Elk Grove - Pleasant Grove - Oregon
Armstead was once considered the best overall prospect of 2012 and though that wavered a bit, he was still regarded as a huge prospect with a sky-high ceiling as a 6'9 lineman with great athleticism and size. Armstead committed to USC at one point, but opened up his recruitment again after his older brother decided to transfer from the Trojans and ended up signing with the Ducks right before signing day. Armstead played extensively on the defensive line for the Ducks in 2012 and though he is still a bit raw, has huge amounts of potential.
5. Armond Armstead Class of 2008 DT Elk Grove - Pleasant Grove - USC
Arik's older brother was a physical freak at 6'6 290 that could run a sub-five second 40 and was one of the best big athletes in the country in 2008. Armstead locked into USC early and ended up signing with the Trojans. Armstead was putting together a solid college career when a heart attack caused him to move onto the CFL and now the NFL with the Patriots starting in 2013.
6. Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick Class of 2012 TE Rocklin - Whitney - USC
A big athlete that brought his basketball skills to the position, Cope-Fitzpatrick was the top tight end on the West Coast in 2012. Cope-Fitzpatrick considered Colorado, Oregon and UCLA before choosing the Trojans. Cope-Fitzpatrick made a couple of catches as a freshman.
7. Jake Rodrigues Class of 2012 QB Rocklin - Whitney - Oregon
Cope-Fitzpatrick's quarterback was a great dual-threat prospect that excelled at making throws on the run with a huge arm. An ideal fit for Oregon's offense, Rodrigues committed the Ducks early. Rodrigues redshirted in 2012 and is expected to backup Marcus Mariota in 2013.
8. Terrance Pritchett Class of 2007 LB Sacramento - Grant - Oregon
Big and athletic with outstanding tackling skills, Pritchett was one of the most coveted inside linebackers in the entire country in the Class of 2007. Pritchett looked to stay out West and after visiting Arizona and Colorado, signed with Oregon. Pritchett ran into off-the-field trouble early in his Oregon career and ended up leaving the program.
9. Syd'Quan Thompson Class of 2005 S Sacramento - Grant - Cal
A speedster with great physicality for his size, Thompson could have been a cornerback or safety and his toughness made him one of the top defensive backs in the country in 2005. Thompson visited Oklahoma and ended up staying near home and signing with the Bears. Thompson had a great career with the Bears and ended up playing in the NFL for the Broncos.
10. Taylor Dever Class of 2007 T Grass Valley - Nevada - Notre Dame
Dever could really move for a guy with his outstanding size and it made him an ideal tackle prospect and one of the best lineman prospects on the West Coast. Dever visited Washington and considered West Coast schools, but couldn't turn down an offer from Notre Dame. Dever had a great career at Notre Dame, starting his last two years with the Irish.
James Montgomery Class of 2006 RB Rancho Cordova - Cal
Jordan Rigsbee Class of 2011 G Chico - Pleasant Valley - Cal
Tyler Rigsbee Class of 2008 T Chico - Pleasant Valley - Cal
Marcus Rios Class of 2012 CB Elk Grove - Consumes Oak - UCLA
James Sample Class of 2011 S Sacramento - Grant - Washington