All-Time California JC Team (Offense)

Asking respected colleagues for their opinion, with input from noted JUCO historian Hank Ives, JCFootball.com presents an "All-time Two-year" alumni team from the Golden State. The only requirement is that the honoree participated in a least one junior college game for a team in California. This is a two-part piece and first we look at the offense.

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK

Warren Moon (6-3, 212)
West Los Angeles College

Hamilton HS (Los Angeles)
U. of Washington
Houston Oilers
Minnesota Vikings
Seattle Seahawks

Moon is truly a testimony to the resiliency and work ethic needed to succeed in the NFL.  A solid high school quarterback, Moon went on to West LA College where he continued to develop his passing skills, but the demand for a black quarterback with a strong arm was not high at the time.  Despite the racial taunts and pressure of being an unwanted commodity by many Washington fans, Moon led the Huskies to a Rose Bowl and he was named MVP in the game.  In spite of his success, the NFL was not to be his calling card.  Instead he led Edmonton of the CFL to five titles and there was no way to deny him his shot at the league any longer.  He became the first QB to pass for over 20,000 yards in both leagues and despite never playing past the divisional playoffs in the NFL, is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.

RUNNING BACKS

Orenthal James "O.J." Simpson (6-2, 212)
City College of San Francisco

Galileo HS (San Francisco)
USC
Buffalo Bills
San Francisco 49ers

Although the competition for a spot as a runner on this squad was fierce, it was relatively easy to pick "The Juice" as the number one back.  35 years after last strapping up as a collegian, Simpson is still the standard by which all college backs, JC and D-1, are measured against. 

As a youngster, O.J. ran with a bad crowd and got involved in petty crime.  Many knew of his athletic talents, but thought they would go to waste since "The Juice" struggled academically in high school.  O.J. had a decent prep career at Galileo, but it wasn't until a pep talk given to him by Giants' slugger Willie Mays that Simpson realized he needed to mature and harness his tremendous potential.  It was off to CCSF, where Simpson used his 9.4 100-yard speed and tremendous vision and cutback ability to become a JUCO sensation.

After two record-breaking seasons, Simpson enrolled at USC and helped set a world record in the 440-yard relay as a member of the track team.  In the fall, Simpson did not miss a beat, leading the Men of Troy to a perfect record and the national championship in '67.  His memorable 64-yard cutback run against cross-town rival UCLA for all the marbles (Conference championship, National Championship, Heismann Trophy, L.A. bragging rights) is considered the "Touchdown of the Century" in college football history.  A funny thing happened though; Simpson did not win the Heismann, as UCLA's Gary Beban did in a close finish. 

In '68 Simpson won by the largest margin in history and became the first pick of the '69 draft by the Bills, who for some ridiculous reason did not utilize his skills.  When they finally did, "The Juice" became the first back to break 2,000 yards in a season in '73 and was voted NFL player of the year in '72, '73, and '75 and to the Hall of Fame in ‘85. 

Hugh "The King" McElhenny (6-1, 195)
Compton College

Washington HS (Los Angeles)
U. of Washington
San Francisco 49ers
Minnesota Vikings
NY Giants
Detroit Lions

McElhenny was an open field blazer who was named the Cal Hi Sports State Player of the Year for 1947 at Washington High.  After a spectacular career at Compton, McElhenny excelled at Washington and still today is considered along with Napoleon "Nip" Kaufman (Lompoc) as one of the two greatest backs in Huskies history.  In the pros, he was the co-Rookie of the Year in 1952 (along with Ollie Matson) and "The King" was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1970.

FULLBACK

Joe "The Jet" Perry (6-0, 200)
Compton College

Jordan HS (Los Angeles)
San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Colts

Perry moved from the South to the Watts section of Los Angeles as a youngster and quickly built his reputation as a sandlot legend.  Perry excelled in football and track at Jordan High as the team won numerous state track championships.  He put Compton on the football map by scoring 22 touchdowns in a single season, but was called to military service before the season ended.  He was playing for a Naval Training Station team in Alameda, California where a 49er player spotted his supreme ability and the rest is history.  He used his 9.8 100-yard speed as a fullback in becoming the first NFL player to rush for consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and was labeled appropriately "The Jet".  He "landed" in Canton, Ohio and the Hall of Fame in 1969.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Keyshawn Johnson (6-4, 212)
West Los Angeles College

Dorsey HS (Los Angeles)
USC
NY Jets
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Keyshawn is the only receiver in the starting lineup and the thinking here is with "OJ", "The King", and the "The Jet", why would Moon pass much? In passing situations, two of the backs could be substituted for any of the all-purpose players and the team would have a potent passing offense. 

Johnson's athletic career has been well-chronicled in Student Sports Magazine over the last ten years and here is a recap:  As a youngster, Johnson bled Trojan red and dreamed of one day playing for the Men of Troy.  John Robinson's program was open and friendly to the surrounding community, and "Key" was a regular on the campus, shagging balls, stuffing envelopes and hustling programs.  Then Robinson moved on to the NFL and the program changed: the neighborhood worsened, Ted Tollner's practices were closed and many of the players Johnson hung with went to the NFL.  Johnson stopped going up to the campus and became a small-time hustler on the streets of South-Central. 

Johnson spent time in YA and went to three different high schools: Canoga Park, Palisades, and Dorsey.  He had athletic talent, but was kind of raw and uncoordinated in 10th and 11th grade.  His talents started to shine as a senior and he was named a 2nd team all-state selection at wide receiver, but Dorsey lost in a controversial semifinal game to archrival Banning.  "Key" then signed with Miami, but did not qualify academically to play for the ‘Canes. 

It was off to West LA, where a still immature Johnson only lasted four games before he was no longer part of the team.  Around this time, he was shot in the leg and his life seemed at the crossroads.  Johnson decided to make a change.  He enrolled at L.A. Valley, ran track and worked harder than he ever did before.  He would tell whoever listened that he was going to make it "to the league", but few took him seriously. 

When he went back to West LA for his sophomore year in '93, he had one of the finest seasons any JC wideout has ever had.  His play is now JC football lore, which includes scoring a touchdown against Pierce and jumping a fence to drink a soda from the concession stands and taking a slant 90 plus yards against Santa Barbara and running up a hill overlooking the Pacific ocean. 

It was off to his dream school, USC: "J-Rob" was back in charge and "Key" led the Trojans to their only Rose Bowl win in the ‘90's.  He became the number one pick of the '96 draft by the Jets, had his best pro years with "The Tuna" (Bill Parcells) in New York and is now a Super Bowl champion with the Tampa Bay Bucs.  Johnson's story is the epitome of junior college football and a testament to his belief in himself and never giving up in spite of the many obstacles.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Larry Allen (6-3, 325)
Butte College

Vintage HS (Napa)
Centennial HS (Compton)
Sonoma State
Dallas Cowboys

Allen was a second round choice of the Cowboys in '94 and the first player ever drafted out of Division II Sonoma State.  Although he is only one of two pros from the northern California school (Freddie Bradley of Moorpark College is the other), there was little doubt this two-time All-American would make an impact at the pro level.  Allen is one the best lineman and strongest man in pro ball today, able to bench-press over 700 pounds to the amazement of his rookie teammates.

Ron Yary (6-5, 260)
Cerritos College

Bellflower HS
USC
Minnesota Vikings
LA Rams

The easiest choice on this team is for Yary to play left tackle and guard Moon's blind side.  The first pick in the 1968 draft is the only Outland Trophy winner from a west coast college as he blocked for "The Juice" and helped lead the Men of Troy to the '67 national championship.  In a pro career that spanned 207 games, the natural tackle appeared in seven consecutive pro bowls during the 70's.

Bill Bain (6-4, 279)
San Diego City College

St. Paul HS (Santa Fe Springs)
U. of Colorado
USC
Green Bay Packers
Denver Broncos
LA Rams
NY Jets
NE Patriots

Although Bain is not a natural center, he plays that demanding position on this team and were sure he wont mind.  He was a 2nd round draft pick by the Packers in '75 and then spent two year with the Broncos.  He career then flourished with the Rams, as he played in a Super Bowl and blocked for Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson.

Derrick Deese (6-3, 285)
El Camino College

Culver City HS
USC
Seattle Seahawks
San Francisco 49ers

Undrafted after two solid years at USC, Deese became a mainstay of the 49er O-Line in the late 90's and continues his solid play for the organization today.

Max Montoya (6-5, 282)
Mount San Jacinto College

La Puente HS
UCLA
Cincinnati Bengals
LA Raiders

In a career spanning 223 games, this fan favorite appeared in two Super Bowls with the Bengals as the team utilized the talents of their two great Mexican-American lineman, Anthony Munoz and Montoya.  He played out the twilight of his career with the Los Angeles Raiders.

TIGHT END

Don Warren (6-4, 242)
Mount San Antonio College

Royal Oak HS (Covina)
San Diego State
Washington Redskins

Warren won three Super Bowls with the Redskins catching passes and blocking with "The Hogs." He would no doubt do plenty of blocking on this team, as "O.J." and "The King" would run hog-wild on even the stiffest defense.

NEXT UP: The Defense.

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