Sacramento, CA . . . The California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) is always happy to recognize their alumni when the opportunity arises and with Super Bowl 50 quickly approaching we're proud to announce five former California Community College student-athletes and two former coaches participating on the big stage between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
On the Broncos roster is their starting running back, CJ Anderson. Anderson is in his third year with Denver and the NFL, being named to the Pro Bowl last season. Out of high school he was led to Laney College due to insufficient grades preventing him from getting a DI scholarship. It was at Laney where he gained a new perspective on academics, eventually winding up at Cal where he earned his four-year degree. Anderson played at Laney during the 2009 & '10 seasons. His freshman year he earned All-Conference honors. During his sophomore campaign he was among the league leaders in virtually all statistical categories for a running back including total rushing yards, total touchdowns, points per game, total offense, all-purpose yards, rushing attempts, rushing yards and yards per carry. He was named to the All-America First Team.
Also with Denver is their Offensive Line Coach, Clancy Barone. Barone has been with the Broncos for six seasons and in the NFL for 12. He has a long history of being a tight end coach as well, including coaching the Broncos 2013 group headlined by first-time Pro Bowl selection Julius Thomas. Barone's coaching career began at American River College where he managed the offensive line from 1987-90, helping the team to a San Jose Bowl championship in '89.
On the Carolina Panther's side is rookie running back Cameron Artis-Payne. Artis-Payne was a 5th round pick and currently plays backup to veteran Jonathan Stewart. Although in a backup role, Artis-Payne has had some impactful games for the Panthers, mainly while Stewart has been hurt in the months of December and January. Artis-Payne played for Allan Hancock College during the 2011 and 2012 seasons and is the college's all-time leading rusher with 3,412 yards and 43 touchdowns. His freshman season he earned All-Conference and State honors, following that up with All-America First Team honors and being named CCCAA Offensive Player of the Year while leading the State in total yards, yards per game and TD's. Artis-Payne then moved onto Auburn where he continued his success earning All-Southeastern Conference status, leading the conference in yards and putting up the third most in Auburn history.
Also on the Panther's roster is rookie linebacker David Mayo. Mayo spent his one year in the CCCAA with Santa Monica College. In Mayo's freshman year he earned All-Pacific Conference honors while helping the Corsairs to a conference title and America Bowl berth. He then transferred to Texas State where he was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year his senior year, tying the conference record with 154 tackles and ranking second in the nation.
Next up is the Panther's guard, Amini Silatolu. Silatolu is in his fourth year with the Carolina Panthers after being selected in the second round (40th overall) during the 2012 draft. Silatolu has been plagued with injuries since entering the NFL and is currently on their injured reserve with an injured left knee. He spent two seasons with San Joaquin Delta College (2007-08) starting all 10 games at left tackle his sophomore year. He earned All-State and All-Valley Conference honors in addition to being named All-Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year. After his stint with Delta, Silatolu transferred to Midwestern State where he was the most dominant blocker at the NCAA Division ll level both seasons.
In addition to these players is Carolina's Assistant Special Teams Coach Russ Purnell. Purnell is in his first year with the Panthers and his 26th in the NFL. He has a Super Bowl pedigree in his time with the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLI. He has overseen many Pro Bowl punters and kickers in his time, including players such as Adam Vinatieri, Matt Stover, Craig Hentrich and more. Purnell attended Orange Coast College for two seasons (1966-67) where he played center for the Pirates. In 2011 Purnell was inducted into the CCC Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Lastly on the Panther's is Assistant Defensive Backs Coach Richard Rodgers. Rodgers has been in the NFL and with the Carolina coaching staff since 2012. Rodgers began his coaching career at Diablo Valley College from 1989-94.
In addition to those participating in the big game, there are some former CCC student-athletes, now ESPN personalities, who will be covering the championship game all week. Herm Edwards attended and played for Monterey Peninsula College where he was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. He worked his way into the NFL as a cornerback where he played for 10 seasons, making a Super Bowl appearance of his own with the Philadelphia Eagles. Edwards then moved onto a long coaching career in the league and is now an analyst for NFL Live. Keyshawn Johnson played two seasons at West Los Angeles College (1991 & '93) earning All-American honors his final year as a wide receiver with 55 receptions and 1,245 yards before transferring to USC. Johnson moved onto a long NFL career where he was a three-time pro bowler and earned a Super Bowl ring while in Tampa Bay. He now works alongside Edwards on occasion but is most frequently on Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown.
Some other notable CCCAA alumni who participated in the 2015 NFL postseason but fell by the wayside are Green Bay quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, out of Butte College, Seattle Seahawks Head Coach, Pete Carroll, a former College of Marin player, Seattle's Bruce Irvin, a Mt. San Antonio College alum, and New England Patriot's leading wide receiver Julian Edelman, a former College of San Mateo quarterback, just to name a few.
The CCCAA would like to congratulate each of these gentlemen for their tremendous success to this point in their careers. Each of these former student-athletes, coaches and analysts mentioned came into the California Community College system for one reason or another and took advantage of that opportunity. They have each grown from their experiences and are now performing on the biggest stage in football, the Super Bowl.
SUPER WOUNDED WARRIOR EVENT AT CSM ON FEB. 6:
Snoop Dogg, Rocky Bleier, Montel Williams, Dan Bunz, Chris Draft, Bill Romanowski, and Bill Ring are among the celebrities and NFL greats scheduled to participate in the exhibition contest between the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team and local NFL Alumni on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 12 noon at College of San Mateo.
Others include 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, Hall-of-Famers Jack Youngblood and Jackie Slater from the Rams, and Jerry Kramer -- a member of the first two Super Bowl champion teams for the Packers. Ring played for Carlmont High and CSM before his Super Bowl running back career with the 49ers.
Another special guest expected is X Factor Australia television singing contest winner Marisa Punzalan.
--For more information and tickets (just $10 but free to children and students) visit: wwaft.org or call 703.923.3000
About the CCCAA
The California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) is the governing body providing oversight of intercollegiate athletics within the California Community College System. The single largest educational system in the world, with attendance in excess of over 2.6 million students annually, the California Community College system serves one-third of all community college students in the United States. The CCCAA establishes the rules and regulations to administer the intercollegiate athletic activities of the nearly 27,000 student athletes attending California's community colleges. To view the latest news, information, and updates of all 24 CCCAA-sanctioned sports visit www.cccaasports.org.
California Community College Athletics
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