Team Preview: CCSF

Last year, CCSF head coach George Rush guided the Rams to the National Championship. This year, he's replacing his quarterback and several players along the offensive line, but he thinks he could have one of his most talented teams ever. Read on to find out coach Rush's thoughts on some of his top players as well as how far he thinks they can go…

"From a talent standpoint, we're as talented as any team I've ever had here," Rush, who has been at CCSF for over 13 years, noted. "Last year's team had the most chemistry I've ever had on my team, so with this team it's just a matter of can they get past all the individual stuff and become one offensive unit and one defensive unit and play together."

Rush and his staff are replacing the undisputed leader of the 2006 team, QB Jeremiah Masoli, who signed with Oregon in June, but he seems to feel pretty confident in the man he's chosen to replace the All-Conference signal-caller.

"Chris Forni is a guy we really like a lot," Rush said. "He's 6-3, 210 and he runs a 4.5 forty, so he's sorta your prototypical quarterback nowdays.

"He's got a live arm, he's mobile and he's a good leader. We've been really happy with his progress this summer and during camp, so we think he's got what it takes to step in and do a good job for us."

Behind or next to Forni, depending on the formation, will be two backs who Rush thinks can be dynamic playmakers in CCSF's spread-option attack.

"Andre Patterson is a guy who will be great for us this year," Rush noted. "He's 5-8, 180 and he's got enough power to run between the tackles and enough speed to get outside. We're going to use him in a lot of different ways. He can do it all.

"David Henderson is an incoming freshman who played locally here at Lincoln and he's physical for a guy his size (5-11, 200)."

Last year the Rams were loaded at the receiver position and this year Rush thinks they can be even better with even more weapons out wide.

"I really think our receiver unit is going to be one of our strong suits," Rush said. "We have a lot of guys we can throw out there and they can all do different things really well.

"Anthony Burrell is one of our top guys. He's 6-2, 180 and just a dynamic playmaker. Michael Hill is a sophomore and we like him a lot. Those guys are our returning guys.

"We have some great incoming freshman too. We like Darius Bright and Randel Washington and Daniel Cannon – who was all-everything on both sides of the ball last year in high school – Stacey Long is a 5-10, 175 pound speedster and Myles Gates who is 6-2, 190 is a big and physical guy.

"At tight end we have a guy by the name of Melvin Blue and he's big and really can run for a guy his size. We will split him out at times and put him on the end of the line to block, he's so versatile that he's a real weapon for us."

"They are all diverse and they can do a lot of things. We have more speed this year, overall we have it on our whole roster, but we have a lot of speed in our receivers this year, there is no doubt about that."

Along the line, Rush and his staff return only a couple of starters, but they have some talented freshman who they think can be pretty good down the road.

"We're have a chance to start three freshman, so it will be a work in progress for us, but we like our young guys a lot," Rush said. "Our left tackle is Dwayne Barton and he's by far our best guy up front. He's 6-5, 290 and he's a great athlete who can run or pass block for us really well.

"At center, Martin Faulk and Esram Pasqual battled it out in camp and we're still trying to figure out who's going to be in there full-time right now, but they are both smart and they both are going to be good.

"Our left guard is a battle between McManus Tago who is 6-1, 310 and Chris Tuck who is an athletic kid at 6-4, 280. Both are really good and both like to get after it.

"On the right side we have a freshman at both guard and tackle. Ryan Clanton is at guard and Gabriel Hampton is a huge kid at 6-7, 305 and he'll be at tackle. They are young, but they are going to be really good."

Defensively, the Rams are loaded, but it all starts up front and Rush couldn't be happier with the depth he's got going on heading into the season.

"We will rotate a lot of guys, but we have some really good players up front," Rush said. "Quantez Hunter is one of our defensive ends and he's explosive and really good.

"Edwin Herbert is at defensive tackle and he's already committed to Tennessee, so you know he has to be pretty good. Then our other guys are Mack Lafaele and David Angilau who transferred from BYU, so you know he's a pretty tough and strong guy and then at end we have a freshman by the name of Frank Gaines who is 6-1, 265 and he was the defensive player of the year in the San Diego area as a senior in high school last year and he'll battle with Mario Johnson who is a sophomore and really good against the run."

At linebacker, Josh Tatum is the headliner, but the Rams have three other linebackers who can fly to the ball.

"Everyone knows about Josh and he's going to be great this fall," Rush said. "I'm sure everyone knows his story (signed with USC and suffered an injury as a freshman) so they are pretty knowledgeable about what he can do.

"Joshua Robinson is a redshirt freshman who played at SMU last year and he's big and physical. He's 6-3, 240 and he can run and he really hits you when he gets to the ball.

"We also have Mike Tupai and Steve Inman as well at linebacker so we think we should be pretty good there with their speed, playmaking and tackling abilities."

In the secondary, Rush and his staff have some options and it starts at safety where they have two experienced players making the calls in the back third.

"Jarrell Harrison will start for us at free safety," Rush said. "He's got great range and he'll hit you. He's 6-2, 210 and he's really smart and then Eric Moore his a real physical guy at strong safety with his size (6-3.5, 215) and his instincts.

"At corner we have a few guys that we'll rotate with. Dejon Gomes is big and physical for a corner and then Devin Mays is a guy who is 5-11, 175 and he can play man or zone, it just depends on what we need from them.

"Then John Mark Henderson will play some safety for us and Randy Lee will rotate in at corner. He's 5-9, 185, but he is physical for a guy his size."

On special teams CCSF has Jenz Alvernik who will handle both the kicking and punting duties.

CCSF takes on Cabrillo at home to start the regular season on September 6th and then they head on the road for two straight weeks taking on Fresno and Sierra.

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