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July 19, 2004They don't call it the Golden State for nothing. California is home to a gold mine of blue-chip recruits and the class of 2005 is no different.
Highlighted by North Hollywood, Calif., five-star running back Marlon Lucky, The California Top 100 is where you can find the best of the best in the West and a few sleepers that are just starting to emerge on the national recruiting scene.
Lucky, who is 5-foot-11 ? and 202 pounds, is the total package at running back. Not only does he have the ideal size and speed, he always manages to come up big in key games. Lucky rushed for 1,778 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior, and he also averaged 15.6 yards a catch.
"Marlon is a winner," North Hollywood coach Brad Ratcliff said. "When the game is on the line, he's money."
Behind Lucky at No. 2 in the state is Rey Maualuga, the talented linebacker from Eureka, Calif.
Maualuga, who is 6-2 and 235 pounds, is being recruited by everybody in the nation. He's already lined up two official visits - to Nebraska on September 3 and Oklahoma on September 17. Arizona, LSU, Notre Dame and USC are his other top teams.
USC-bound quarterback Mark Sanchez of Mission Viejo is the state's No. 3 player. He's followed up by Long Beach Poly receiver DeSean Jackson and Rancho Cucamonga defensive end Averell Spicer.
There are already 18 players from the top 100 that have made commitments. UCLA has pledges from three players, followed by Oregon State, Ohio State, USC and Arizona, who all have two commitments apiece.