JC Alums in the League (Part 3)

A big thank you to Tim Murphy for his series on JC alums playing in The League. This is part 3 of the series, which starts with the Kansas City Chiefs. PHOTO: Former Coffeyville Red Raven, Kerry Reed, who went on to star at Michigan State. Now he's trying to make a name for himself with the Dolphins.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kendrell Bell -  LB - Middle Georgia - Georgia

Middle Georgia ranked 1st in the NJCAA in defense back in 98, and Bell was a huge factor in that rating. He went on to collect 4 interceptions and make 158 tackles for the Bulldogs. As a rookie playing for the Steelers, Bell garnered the NFL Rookie of the Year Award, and was also named to the Pro Bowl. Bell works with his wife in Operation Breakthrough, an organization that helps young girls, and also is involved in many kids camps.

Alfonso Boone - DT - Central State - Mt. SAC

Boone started out at NAIA school Central State in Ohio before they ended the football program. He made a wise choice going to Walnut California and playing for the Mounties and was named 1999 Mission Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He had 31 sacks in his two years there, and Hank named him as a 1st Team All JC Grid-Wire player. Boone is a starter for the Chiefs, and can play either Defensive Tackle position.

Tyrone Brackenridge - CB - Washington State - Chaffey

Tyrone comes from an athletic family. Father Lyle played Minor League baseball, and brother Jaquwan played football at Idaho. I remember Brackenridge as being a leader on the field who was smart and wasn't afraid to stick his nose in there. After collecting 5 interceptions, 2 taken to the house for Chaffey, he went on to WSU and was named a Pac-10 Honorable Mention Player. He is the 2nd team LCB for the Chiefs

Nate Harris - LB - Louisville - Dodge City

Harris was a JC Gridwire All American at Dodge City after leading the Conquistadors with 84 tackles. At Louisville, he helped in the rejuvenation of the Cardinal program with 131 tackles as they surprised the college football world with a 21-4 record while he was there. At 6'0, 230 lbs, Harris does not have the physical size of your prototype Middle Linebacker, but his big heart has made him an integral part of the Chief system as a 2nd team backup, and ferocious special teams guy.


Miami Dolphins

Reagan Mauia - FB - Hawaii - San Joaquin Delta

Reagan was an All Conference Nose Guard at Delta, but after he got to Hawaii, the coaches saw that it was all but impossible to bring the 270 pounder down. He was just the kind of surprise the Warriors needed in their pass happy offense, and it was like having an extra O lineman back there to block. And to top it off, the guy averaged 5 yards a pop running the ball. Those skills have earned Reagan a starting job for the Dolphins.

Cameron Worrell - S - Fresno State - Fresno City

Cameron starts at Safety for the Dolphins. Worrell walked on for the Bulldogs after one year at Fresno City. He wasn't even a football player until his High School baseball coach moved over to football his Junior year. The coach actually snookered him into playing football when he made a bet that if Worrell could run a 4.7 forty, he'd have to play. The coach told him he ran a 4.67. He lied, he didn't break 4.7, but he got him to play. Since Cameron is playing in the NFL now, that's one white lie he probably didn't mind. He had 106 tackles his Senior season and was a 1st Team All WAC player.

Keith Traylor - DT- Central State - Coffeyville

Traylor used to be the size of a 5th wheeler in his college days and the first 3 seasons in the NFL, when he was a 260 lb Linebacker. But the good life in the NFL has turned him into a Tractor “Traylor" at 340 lbs and a move to the D-Line. But despite the fact that he got so much bigger, and he's been in the league since 1991, he has more sacks in his last 30 games than his first 190. He has started most of the games he's played in his career, and at 38 years old, is still a valuable commodity both on the field and in the locker room.

Derrick Pope - LB - Alabama - Garden City

Pope is a stud as evidenced by his winning the LeRoy Headhunter Award at 'Bama, for the best tackler on the team. At Garden City he was a 2nd Team All American Juco player, and a 1st team All Jayhawk selection. He was also the Regional Defensive MVP and had over 250 tackles and 16 sacks in his illustrious JC career. At Bama he was selected as Captain and was an All-SEC player. He has started about half of the games in this, his 4th season.

Paul Soliai - DT - Utah - Coffeyville

Paul was a 2 time All Jayhawk Player as well as an All American his sophomore season. He was a 2nd team All Mountain West player at Utah. One of eight kids, his mother played softball for San Francisco State.

John Denny - LS - BYU - Ricks College

Denny has found a job with the Dolphins as the Long Snapper.  He started 29 of his 32 games for BYU as a Defensive End, and that has made him a valuable tackler on punts. In High School, he garnered National Student Athlete Honors and has played the violin since he was 5 years old. He contributes to the Dolphins annual Turkey give away, and helped out with Hurricane Wilma relief.

Rob Ninkovich - DE - Purdue - Joliet

A key player with Joliet, Ninkovich had 71 tackles, 16 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, a recovery and an interception while playing for the Boilermakers. Originally signed by the Saints just last year, he was traded to the Dolphins and plays a backup role.
Cory Lekkerkerker - OT - Cal Davis - Chaffey

After transferring from Chaffey, where he was a 2nd team All Foothill player, he won the Jim Ferrier Award as transfer of the year. He also was a 1st team All Great West Conference player. Cory is a reserve in this, his third season, but he plays in a lot of different packages as an extra blocker, and is a valuable backup.

Abraham Wright - LB - Colorado - NEO

His Senior season, Wright led the Big-12 and was 2nd in the nation with 11.5 sacks. At NEO he had 8 QB sacks and 14 tackles for a loss. The man will get into your backfield in a hurry.

Kerry Reed - WR - Michigan State - Coffeyville

Reed was just activated from the practice squad last month. After transferring from Coffeyville, he was an Honorable Mention All-Big 10 player his Senior season. He had 95 receptions for 10 TDs and 1213 yards in his two years with the Spartans.

Julius Wilson - OT - Alabama Birmingham - Southwest Mississippi

Wilson started most of the three seasons at Birmingham after one season in the JC ranks. He is currently on the practice squad. He signed just this year as an undrafted free agent. He holds a degree in History.


Minnesota Vikings

Bryant McKinnie - OT - Miami - Lackawanna

Even amongst the tall trees of NFL players, you can't miss the 6'8, 335 lb. behemoth. But the guy is definitely not your typical Big and Tall Men's shopper. In 1998 McKinnie was named both a 1st team All NJCAA, and JC Gridwire All American. At Miami the accolades became even bigger as he not only was a 1st team All American, but was the winner of the Outland Trophy as well. In fact, even as an Offensive Lineman, he ended up 8th in the Heisman Trophy voting. Amazingly, McKinnie did not allow a single sack in his High School or College career! He did not forget his days at Lackawanna, and donated a complete weight room to the JC. He is also active in Toys for Tots, the United Way, and the African American Adoption Agency.

Pat Williams - DT - Texas A&M - Navarro

Not many NFL tackles are better at stuffing the run and he has only gotten better with age. In 2006, he earned his first Pro Bowl appearance, and has been a starter for 5 straight seasons. It took a while for Williams to garner a starting position for the Aggies, but when he emerged he ended up a 2nd team all SWAC player his Junior year. At Navarro, he was a 2 time All American in 92 and 93, and was athletic enough to play on the basketball team. He plays an active role in the community hosting football camps and working with Law Enforcement to help mentor young children. While playing at Buffalo, he earned the Ed Block Courage award, voted on by his teammates, for displaying a commitment to the principles of courage and leadership.

Robert Ferguson - WR - Texas A&M - Tyler

Ferguson was an All American DB at Tyler before moving on the A&M. The Aggies moved him over to receiver his Junior year, and all he did was lead the SWAC in receiving with 58 catches and was also named Conference Newcomer of the Year. He did so well, the Aggies only had his services for one season as he entered the draft before his Senior season. Ferguson has started and played backup, and has fought off some injuries over his 6 plus years in the league. But when he is healthy, he has a nose for the end zone getting there about once every 10 catches. He has also been a valuable special teams player.


New England Patriots

Troy Brown - WR - Marshall - Less-McCrae

When people think of the Patriots, they may first think Tom Brady, but Brown has been a fixture in Foxboro since 1993. Before being drafted by them, he was the most dangerous player in Div 1AA ball scoring a TD every eight times he touched the ball, and became the NCAA's all time leading kickoff returner. As a Patriot, Brown is their all time leading receiver with over 557 career receptions and well over 6,000 yards, and is also their all time leading punt returner. He is so versatile, he has been used as a nickel back on defense and is the only player in franchise history to record a reception and an interception in the same game. He has been named captain of the team every year since 2000. When one thinks Patriots, Troy Brown should be who you should think of.

C.J. Jones - WR - Iowa - Garden City

After two All American seasons at Garden City, Jones moved on to Iowa and started as a receiver and kick returner. In fact, he still holds the Orange Bowl record with 101 yard kickoff return against Southern Cal. It's been a long road to arguably the NFL's best organization. He originally was picked up by Cleveland and waived, and played some seasons in the NFL Europe league.

Antoine Spann - CB - Louisiana Lafayette - Mississippi Gulf Coast  

At Gulf Coast, Spann was an All Mississippi player and MVP of the league's All Star game. At Lafayette he led the team with 4 interceptions, and also served as a return man. Originally signed by the Giants, he played in NFL Europe for the Fire before making the practice squad for the Pats, and then moving up to the official roster.


New Orleans Saints

Fred Thomas - CB - Tennessee-Martin - Northwest Mississippi

Thomas was two way performer at Northwest Miss, and actually became an All American as a receiver, when he averaged a whopping 26.8 yards per catch. At Tennessee Martin, he had 4 picks and 68 tackles, and returned 12 kickoffs for over 22 yards per return. In 2002, he was a Sports Illustrated All Pro player and Ed Block Courage Award recipient after he recorded 5 interceptions while wearing a cast on his left hand. Over the last seven seasons, no Oiler has more interceptions, or has knocked down more passes than Thomas. During the off season, Thomas organizes groups in his native Mississippi to help do chores for the elderly.

Kendrick Clancy - DT - Mississippi - East Central Mississippi

Clancy is a solid vet who was picked up by New Orleans last year, and is the backup at Nose Guard. At Mississippi, he was an All Conference 1st team selection and 3rd team All American. At East Central he had 191 tackles and 17 sacks and was an garnered All South Division Honors.


New York Giants

Jeremy Shockey - TE - Miami - NEO

Everyone knows who the brash and talented Tight End is, but not many know he started in the Juco ranks. We all know his competitiveness, but how many would guess he was an honor roll student in High School back in Oklahoma? In 2002, he was the 1st round 14th pick by the Giants, and has made the person who made that choice look good. Coming into this season, he already has 24 TDs and over two miles in yardage. He already has 3 Pro Bowls under his belt.

Jeff  Feagles - P - Miami - Scottsdale

When you think punters, there aren't many with a more storied history than Feagle. He has been in the NFL as long as many of you JC players have been alive! He holds the NFL record for consecutive games at close to 300 straight. Longevity isn't his only asset, the guy has been one of the most consistent punters in the NFL for almost 2 decades now, and holds most of the league records. After starring at Scottsdale, he punted for the National Champion Hurricanes way back in 1987. Feagle is very active in charities like Katrina relief, but is most active in the fight against Muscular Dystrophy.

Brandon Jacobs - Auburn, Southern Illinois - Coffeyville

The days of 265 lb linemen are gone, and the days of 265 lb RBs are here. Jacobs starred at Coffeyville, then went to Auburn where the Tigers enjoyed the best set of Running Backs in the country. It was a little too crowded back there with Cadillac Williams (Tampa Bay)  and Ronnie Brown (Dolphins), so Brandon transferred to Southern Illinois so he could play immediately. “I got what I wanted at Southern Illinois, a chance to play." The Giants are glad to have him for short yardage situations, but now he is emerging as a top tier runner. He is averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Not a ypc average you'd expect from a guy that size.

Michael Johnson - S - Arizona - Tyler

Johnson may be a backup, but it's behind the talented Gibril Wilson. At Arizona, it took him about half the season before he took over the starting job as a Junior. In his Senior year, leg injuries hurt his game. Still he earned a 2nd team All PAC-10 award. At Tyler he played Corner and Safety, and was an NJCAA All American, as well as the Southwest Conference's Defensive Player of the Year. Brother Reggie Brown played at Texas A&M and had a short stint with the Lions.

Deke Bake - DE - Texas Tech - Fresno City

I first saw Deke in Fresno and was impressed with his physical play. He was a lanky kid, but played like a man among boys. I thought to myself that with a little weight on him, he could be a force on the next level. Bake did start to gain pounds and had a fine career for the Red Raiders when they were playing well on both sides of the ball, not just the offensive side. He's up to 270 lbs now, and has earned a spot on the Practice Squad.

New York Jets

Drew Coleman - CB - TCU - Trinity Valley

Coleman has nailed down the Left Corner job in his second season with the Jets. With the Horned Frogs, he had 5 career interceptions. Drew played on the other side of the ball at Trinity, being named the Southwest Conference Player of the Year in 2002. He was a triple threat there running the ball, catching passes, and returning kicks. Drew has been active with the United Way Hometown Huddle and Generation Jets Academy.

Brett Ratliff - QB - Utah - Butte

Brett holds the career TD record at Butte with 41 TDs. He starred for the Utes, throwing for over 2,300 yards and 23 TDs, and rushing for 260 more yards. Brett is on the practice squad, waiting for his chance to make the full time roster.

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