A Little This-N-That

It's time to play a little catch up with some opinions, some notes, and a Little This-N-That. Over the past forty-four years or so, JC Grid-Wire has tried to keep its readers current on all things related to JC football. We're going to keep that tradition alive with JC Grid-Wire PLUS. This piece looks back at JCs who were high school All-Americans, JCs in the pros, and more.


The top seven picks in the pre-season NJCAA poll are probably right on.

  • Dixie State
  • NW Mississippi
  • Georgia Military
  • Garden City
  • Tyler

We think that some of the teams listed lower will be better than anticipated, however.  Butler County (17) is loaded.  Coffeyville (11) will be real tough.  Northwest Mississippi may be too high in the number two spot.  What a dogfight they will have in Kansas with Garden City, BCCC, and Coffeyville fighting it out.  Northeastern Oklahoma (24) could be a darkhorse as they have a strong defense.  The same for Navarro (22) and maybe Hinds (18). 

The Georgia Military - Dixie clash in St. George, Utah on Aug. 31 should go a long way toward deciding the NJCAA and possibly the national titles,


The Ole Miss media guide lists Matt Grier, Itawamba, DB; L.P. Spence, N.E. Miss, LB; and Jason Armstead, Gulf Coast, WR/KR, as All-Star candidates.  Armstead finished 9th in the nation in kick returns last year with a 27.6 average.

Living in Seattle, Kevin (aka jckevin) has had the chance to watch ex-Coffeyville WR, Eddie Jackson, in informal 7-on-7 workouts at Husky Stadium. He is at least 6-4 and looks to be about 215 pounds. He is getting a lot of help from the other receives, especially future All-American Reggie Williams (6-4, 215). Jackson has a chance to get a little playing time this year. Ex-Grid-Wire All-American, Kai Ellis (DE; CCSF), has had trouble with his knees since arriving at Washington. It's unknown whether he'll play in 2002 or take a redshirt year.


Fred Smoot, Hinds, had a great rookie year with the Redskins.  He is agile, quick and confident and a great sideman for Champ Bailey, one of the best in the NFL.

Jason Sehorn, Shasta, had leg surgery in the offseason and has been limping through Giant workouts.  There are those who believe Jason will be a fine head coach one day.

Dale Carter, Ellsworth, should be more comfortable at CB for the New Orleans Saints.

Wonder what Torrance Marshall thinks about his old JC, Kemper Military, closing the doors?  Marshall will be a fixture at linebacker for the Packers for a long while.

Ex-Butler County DB, William Bartee, has made sufficient strides with the Chiefs to go from nickel back to a full-time starter.

A couple of former JCs, will be in the new Houston Texans defensive backfield this year.

Aaron Glenn, Navarro, comes over from the Jets and the team drafted Demarcus Faggins, also from Navarro.

Denver is thinking about shifting Mike Anderson, Mt. San Jacinto, to fullback.  Don't look for it to happen unless Terrell Davis is over the injury bug.

Another one of the top CBs in the NFL is Raven Chris McAlister, Mt. San Antonio.  They say he is big enough to play press coverage and smart enough to bait receivers in the zone.

Bengals WR, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cerritos,  does a weekly journal for the Sporting News every Monday in the offseason.

Look for Derrick Deese, El Camino, to shift from tackle back to guard for the 49rs.


It's fun to look at old SuperPrep magazines to see how they rated some of the guys who are now top JC prospects. Here are some tidbits from the Pre-season 1999 magazine:

These guys were rated by SuperPrep as the elite guys heading into their senior seasons of high school. The # represents their national ranking at the position:


#5 John Rattay (Pasadena CC)
They listed him as 6-3, 200 with a 4.7 forty. "John committed to Tennessee on 7/27 over Purdue. "This guy is the whole package," said one recruiting coordinator. "He can run and throw. Very athletic. He's a lefty," said another RC. Threw for 3,094 yards and 36 TDs as a junior for state champs.

Rattay went from Tennessee to Arizona (played some last year) and now to Pasadena CC.

He was in the same class with Brock Berlin (Florida signee; transferred to Miami I think), Jeff Smoker (Michigan State), Casey Clausen (Tennessee), and Chris Rix (Florida State).


#14 Gerard Jackson (Dodge City CC)
SuperPrep said, "Very powerful and strong (BPs 350). Says one RC, "A little like Dontae Walker (Miss. State) but just not as powerful. Has some wiggle." Rushed for 1,635 yards and 15 TDs on 242 carries as a junior. Committed to UCF on 6/15 but is still listening to other programs such as UF, FSU, SO CAR, MIA, SYRA, and GA."

Jackson led the Jayhawk Conference in rushing as a freshman last year.

#16 Tyson Thompson (Garden City)
SuperPrep listed him at 6-2, 195 with a 4.4 forty. They said, "Tyson set the Texas Class 5A single-game rushing record last year with 525 yards on 31 carries with seven TDs against Hurst Bell. Coaches cite speed, great vision, and confidence. "He thinks he can score every time he touches the ball," says coach Jim Bennett. He had 2,121 yards on the '98 season. Tyson is a FSU fan and listed the 'Noles as a fave along with Texas, Tenn., UCLA and Ohio State."

Thompson will share reps with Kay Jay Harris in Garden City's backfield.


#5 Willie Roberts (NE Oklahoma A&M)
SuperPrep listed him at 6-7, 230 and said, "Roberts' upper body strength needs some work (BPs 245) but his leg strength (500 SQ) and natural ability for the game should translate well at the college level. 'I'm not that fast but I run well and I run good routes.' Favors AUB slightly ove MIA, G-Tech, and FSU. All have offered as well as UF. Made 26 catches a season ago for 525 yards and 10 TDs.

Roberts will be one of NEO's top recruits this season, of not THE top recruit. Rumors are circulating that he committed to Oklahoma recently. We haven't researched it yet.


#6 Willie Dixon (CCSF)
SuperPrep listed Dixon at 5-11, 175 with a 4.4 forty. Here's what they said, "More than one college coach thinks Dixon is the finest WR in Calif. Caught 61 balls for 1,114 yards and 18 scores. Favors MIA ("I looked at their games on tape and I talked with coach Cease. He coached my high school coach, Keith Williams, and he is like Keith's uncle. If I go there, I'll have someone to watch over me.") slightly over FSU and UCLA and these three lead big over ARIZ and ORE. "I plan to double with track. All the same schools are recruiting me for track and they have said I can do both. I run a 10.4 100-meters and a 21.5 200-meters."

Dixon did sign with Miami out of high school, but left after a year. He's not one of the go-to guys at CCSF.

#28 James Taylor (Fort Scott CC; graduated last December)
Taylor played at Fort Scott where last year he was their go-to guy. A great talent who signed with Louisville in December.

In the next installment we'll run down more guys.


Running back Kay Jay Harris (6-0, 230), who played four years of minor league baseball, might just go from Garden City to the NFL. He's a do-it-all runner, who will go around or through defenders with his combination of size and speed.


It has been 32 years since College of the Canyons RB Clint McKinney became the first JC back to surpass 400 yards rushing in a single game.  He ripped off 419 yards in a 73-29 win over Mt. San Jacinto on 41 carries, breaking Sylvester Youngblood's mark of 305 at Pasadena a year earlier.  The same year Larry Battle, Reedley's will-‘o-the-wisp WR obliterated the JC scoring record by getting 204 points in nine games.  The 6-0, 175-pounder caught 80 passes for 1326 yards and 26 TDs and kicked conversions.  Against Cuesta in a 74-33 win, Battle caught 13 tosses for 254 yards, six touchdowns and a like number of PATs.  No wonder he is in the California Community College Hall of Fame in Visalia.


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