The Rams Reload in Preparation for 2002

Following five consecutive trips to the California State Championship game and three straight state championships, the City College of San Francisco Rams appear to have the talent to pick up right where they left off. Although the Rams only return two starters on offense and three starters on defense, many sophomores who played a back-up roll in 2001 will be counted on to lead the team. Here's an early look at the 2002 City College of San Francisco Rams.

On offense, the Rams' only returning starters are on the offensive line.  Big offensive tackle Dan Christian (6-6, 340, Terra Nova High School, Pacifica, CA) returns to anchor the O-line after starting for the Rams all season long in 2001.  "What he has for a big man is an uncanny ability to run," said CCSF head coach George Rush.  Christian sat out the 2000 season but worked out with the team, improving drastically as the year went on.  Now, Christian will be counted to be the main man on the line. 


Dan Christian


Fellow sophomores Adrian Limbrick (6-4, 285, Lincoln High School, San Diego, CA) and Eugene Nivens (6-4, 330, McClymonds High School, Oakland, CA) saw a considerable amount of playing time on the line in 2001.  Limbrick's season was cut short due to an injury and Matt Salazar (Eastern Washington signee) finished the season at the tackle position opposite Christian.  Nivens played behind two outstanding sophomore guards but is expected to start in 2002. 


Two sophomores who were relative unknowns in 2001 are expected to work their way into starting positions on the line.  Daly Tipoti (6-3, 280, McKinley High School, Hawaii), the younger brother of former CCSF O-tackle and soon-to-be University of Washington tackle Francisco Tipoti, is likely to start at guard.  Ramon Spears (6-1, 260, Jefferson High School, Daly City, CA) is a likely starter at center.


Although the "Fearsome Foursome" corps of receivers has moved on, the Rams have two receivers who will likely be on everyone's "Hot List" this season.  Former University of Miami signee Willie Dixon (6-1, 185, Brookside Christian High School, Stockton, CA) was a spot player in 2001 behind the starting sophomores but will be one of the state's best in 2002.  Similarly, Robert Johnson (6-0, 180, East Bakersfield High School, Bakersfield, CA), who made a name for himself as an All-Golden Gate Conference punt returner in 2001, will be a go to receiver in 2002 after seeing spot time at wide out in 2001. 


Robert Johnson


Robert Johnson

Willie Dixon


Although a number of backs are in the running to succeed Texas Tech bound Johnnie Mack, a likely candidate is Jermaine Shephard (6-2, 220, Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco, CA).  This big back saw some playing time behind Mack in 2001 and looks for 2002 to be a break out year.


At the quarterback position, three candidates are battling it out in Spring ball.  Grayshirt freshman Jason Swanson (6-1, 185, Lincoln High School, San Diego, CA) spent the 2001 season with the team, as did Jonathan Emelo (5-11, 170, Jefferson High School, Daly City, CA).  Sophomore Donald Roberson (6-4, 192, Cordova High School, Rancho Cordova, CA) transferred to CCSF after playing last season at American River College.  Swanson appears to be the best athlete in the group, but it's a long way until the season begins.


On defense, remember the name Chijoke Onyenegecha.  The 6-3, 195-pound cornerback out of El Cerrito High School across the San Francisco bay may be the most highly recruited defensive back in the country next year.  He runs well (10.4-one hundred meters) can redirect very well, has great hips….You name it, he's got it.  Stick the name in your pocket for the 2005 NFL Draft.


Chiojke Onyenegecha

Chijoke Onyenegecha


Joining CJ will be two sophomores who played back-up roles in 2001 but will be major players this season.  Nayo Mouton-Fuentes (6-3, 190, Riordan High School, San Francisco, CA) will likely start at free safety, following in the footsteps of Oregon State bound Lawrence Turner.  When Mouton-Fuentes saw the field in 2001, he made a big impact.  It will surely be felt even more in 2002.  Fellow Riordan graduate Mark Walker (6-1, 180) and Maurice Potter (6-0, 200, South San Francisco HS) are also likely candidates for starting positions in the secondary in 2002.  Potter sat out the 2001 season.


At linebacker, the Rams have some big shoes to fill in those of University of Oklahoma bound Lance Mitchell and Pasha Jackson.  One early favorite is Tipeti Paini (6-1, 220, Riordan High School, San Francisco, CA), who started five games in 2001 after an injury to sophomore Corey Martin.  Paini did very well with his opportunity and looks to lead the linebacking corps in 2002. 


On the D-line, the Rams return a group of sophomores that should cause opponents' offenses a number of problems.  Chauncey Clark (6-2, 220, Lakeland High School, Lakeland, Florida) made a name for himself in 2001 as one of the quickest defensive ends in the state.  Although he is undersized by the traditional Division I definition of "prototype D-end", he will still likely be a major recruit with his outstanding quickness.  He recorded 21 sacks in 2001.


Chauncey Clark

Chauncey Clark


Fellow sophomores Tommie Pratt (6-3, 255, Oak Grove High School, San Jose, CA) and Jessie Fa'amausili (6-4, 280, Jefferson High School, Daly City, CA) are expect to help anchor the Rams' D-line.  Pratt started the majority of the 2001 season.  Fa'amausili saw some playing time in a D-line that rotated a number of players in 2001. 


I'll be the first to admit that its early and a number of things can happen between now and September.  But as an outsider looking in, it appears that the Rams have what it takes to pick up right where they left off in 2001.  We'll keep on eye on CCSF through the Spring and Summer and see how things shake down come next Fall.

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