BigO Tyres

Preseason All-NorCal Football 2023 | Linebackers & Defensive Backs Preseason All-NorCal Football 2023 | Linebackers & Defensive Backs
With The 2023 Season Just A Day Away In The Sac-Joaquin Section, Our Preseason All-NorCal List Spotlights Linebackers & DBs • PRESEASON ALL-NORCAL LIST... Preseason All-NorCal Football 2023 | Linebackers & Defensive Backs

With The 2023 Season Just A Day Away In The Sac-Joaquin Section, Our Preseason All-NorCal List Spotlights Linebackers & DBs •

PRESEASON ALL-NORCAL LIST SCHEDULE: Quarterbacks/Running Backs | Receivers & Tight Ends | Offensive & Defensive Linemen
PICTURED UP TOP: Folsom Linebacker Theo Greule, left. (David Gershon photo)

Our 2023 Preseason All-NorCal Football roster wraps up by highlighting the best of the second and last lines of defense.

It’s a deep group of linebackers, headlined by the returning SportStars NorCal Defensive Player of the Year, Jabari Mann of Serra-San Mateo. The Padres have two other linebackers on this list AND a safety, just in case you were wondering why they’re NorCal’s No. 1 ranked team to open the season. Let’s get to the list!


SEFO AKUILA (Tennyson-Hayward) | Sr.

6-foot-3, 227-pounder is another returning talent for the Lancers; counts Arizona, BYU among his scholarship offers.

MARLEY ALAPATI (Serra-San Mateo) | Sr.

Army commit joined Jabari Mann, Danny Niu to form one of California’s top linebacking units in 2022; the bad news for opponents—they’re all back (and all on this list) in 2023.

DREW CUNNINGHAM (De La Salle-Concord) | Sr.

Second team All-EBAL selection in 2022 returns as one of the defensive leaders for the Spartans this year.

FRANK CUSANO (Granite Bay) | Sr.

Preseason All-NorCal Football, Frank Cusano, Granite Bay
(David Gershon photo)

Washington State commit recorded 11 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss for the Grizzlies in 2022. He also ranked third on the team with 434 receiving yards.


Follow SportStars on Twitter & Instagram | Like us on Facebook | Subscribe!

THEO GREULE (Folsom) | Jr.

Made an immediate impact and landed multiple postseason honors after recording 75 tackles and 5.5 sacks as a sophomore.

MARCO JONES (San Ramon Valley-Danville) | Jr.

149 tackles as a sophomore put Jones on everyone’s radar, including Alabama; returns to lead the defense for a Wolves team seeking another CIF bowl berth.

DANNY NIU (Serra-San Mateo) | Sr.

Another star in a unit full of them returns as one of NorCal’s elite playmakers at linebacker as well as a key contributor in the offensive backfield.

JABARI MANN (Serra-San Mateo) | Sr.

Jabari Mann, Serra, Football
(Chace Bryson photo)

2022 NorCal Defensive Player of the Year recorded 87 tackles with five sacks and an INT as a junior.

ETENE PRITCHARD (Pittsburg) | Jr.

Whether dropping into coverage or supporting the run defense, Pritchard made an impact for the Pirates at all three levels in 2022.

JOHN STOWERS (Overfelt-San Jose) | Sr.

San Jose State commit recorded an otherworldly 192 tackles to go with 16 sacks as a junior in 2022; also rushed for 672 yards.


MICAH AVERY (El Cerrito) | Sr.

Preseason All-NorCal Team, Micah Avery
(Chace Bryson photo)

A standout on both sides of the ball at Clayton Valley-Concord, Avery will play a major role for the Gauchos both at defensive back and as a primary running back.

JOSEPH BEY (Serra-San Mateo) | Sr.

If an opponent somehow manages to escape the Padres’ front seven, they’ll almost surely find the 2022 WCAL Defensive Back of the Year waiting; another star on the Serra defense.

BROOKLYN CHEEK (Central Catholic-Modesto) | Sr.

6-foot-2, 180-pound Cal commit stands out on both sides of the ball as a ball-hawking defender and a primary target for QB Tyler Wentworth. 

OMARI GAYLES (St. Mary’s-Stockton) | Sr.

All-NorCal choice did a bit of everything for the Rams in 2022 with 96 tackles, four interceptions, five fumble recoveries and four blocked kicks.

JOHNATHAN GUERRERO (De La Salle-Concord) | Sr.

Another returning All-NorCal selection grabbed a team-best seven interceptions along with a pick-six, sack, and 25 tackles as a junior.

JADYN HUDSON (Pittsburg) | Jr.

Jadyn Hudson, Pittsburg, Football
(Chace Bryson photo)

Long regarded as one of NorCal’s top recruits, Hudson enters his junior year with Georgia and Michigan among his 27 offers. 

KAMANI JACKSON (El Cerrito) | Sr.

Talented playmaker showed up in the season’s biggest moments in 2022, grabbing the game-sealing interception in the Gauchos’ NCS title win over Windsor.

JADEN JEFFERSON (De La Salle-Concord) | So.

Only special talents see the field as a freshman for the Spartans, and Jefferson earned second team All-EBAL honors along the way.

KINGSTON LOPA (Grant-Sacramento) | Sr.

Preseason All-NorCal Football, Kingston Lopa, Grant
(Ike Dodson photo)

Oregon commit returns to lead an uber-talented defensive backfield but also stands out as a team leader for the 2022 bowl champs.

KAYO PATU (Capital Christian-Sacramento) | Sr.

Two-way standout for the Cougars will be a key senior leader as well as playmaker before heading to Arizona next fall.

PHOENIX ROSE (Whitney-Rocklin) | Sr.

Highly sought after playmaker in the defensive backfield gives coach Zac McNally one of the SJS’s top options in pass defense.

ROBERT SANTIAGO (De La Salle-Concord) | Jr.

Another heralded playmaker in the secondary for the Spartans enters his junior season with Miami and Oklahoma among his offers.

BARON TAYLOR (Inderkum-Sacramento) | Sr.

First team All-Metro selection by the Sacramento Bee recorded seven interceptions and 11 pass breakups as a junior.

RJ WHITTEN (Folsom) | Sr.

Will step into the role of senior leader for the Bulldogs no matter if he’s in the defensive backfield or playing closer to the line as a hybrid linebacker

Avatar photo

Ben Enos

Ben Enos is a freelance journalist who has previously worked for Bay Area News Group and within the University of California Athletics Department.

No comments so far.

Be first to leave comment below.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *