Sacramento, CA – The California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) is proud to announce six former California Community College student-athletes competing in Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and New England Patriots. On the Patriots roster is wide receiver Julian Edelman (College of San Mateo), cornerback Sterling Moore (Laney College), wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (Santa Monica College) and Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach, Dante Scarnecchia (Taft College). On the Giants side is defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (College of the Canyons) and defensive end Dave Tollefson (Los Medanos College).
These players and coaches may not all be household names but
they have all had impacts on getting their teams to the position they’re in, with the most recent big play coming from the Patriot’s Sterling Moore. Moore made the “Immaculate Deflection” as it’s being called, when he stripped a potential game-winning pass from the hands of Baltimore’s Lee Evans with 22 seconds remaining, saving the victory and sending New England to the Super Bowl.
This Super Bowl will be a rematch of four years ago between New England and New York but the matchup is new to four of these six participants as they have been added onto their respective rosters since that game. Tollefson and Scarnecchia are the exceptions. Tollefson has been with the Giants for five years now and Scarnecchia with the Patriots for a franchise record 28 years. This still remains each player’s most important game of their career and they will each play big roles in the outcome.
Julian Edelman has been as versatile as they come for New England contributing on offense
as a wide receiver and running back, defense as a back, and a regular on special teams as their punt returner. In the Patriots last game Edelman had two punt returns, a reception, one rushing attempt, and was asked to cover
Baltimore’s top receiver in Anquan Boldin, where he recorded two tackles. Edelman played for College of San Mateo in 2005 where he was a quarterback. He was among
the state leaders in passing and rushing yards and was named the Offensive Player of the Year for Region I. He passed for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushed for a
school-record 1,253 yards and 17 scores. He helped lead CSM to a Bulldog Bowl victory and an 8-3 overall record.
After one year at CSM, Edelman transferred to Kent State where he continued to play the quarterback position until he entered into the NFL in 2009. Now in his third year with the Patriots, the 25 year old Edelman will be entering the biggest game of his life against the New York Giants and most likely will be playing on both sides of the ball as well as on the special teams unit once again.
Sterling Moore is the Patriots rookie cornerback who just joined New England’s active roster in October, after being cut and re-signed multiple times. He has been moved from safety to corner for New England and has been making plays since,including one in the biggest game of the season. Moore saved the game winning touchdown, sending his team to the Super Bowl, when he swatted the ball from Baltimore’s Lee Evans grasp in the end zone. He also had two interceptions in the final game of the Patriots regular season off of the Bills’ Ryan Fitzpatrick, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Moore played for Laney College in 2008
participating in eight games and recording 24 tackles. He then transferred onto SMU. Moore was an undrafted rookie who was cut by the Oakland Raiders practice squad and quickly picked up by the Patriots where he has shined.
Chad Ochocinco is a name that many football fans are well aware of. Ochocinco has undoubtedly been a great receiver in the NFL since entering the league in 2001, but he is probably better known for his post touchdown celebrations throughout his career. He has also participated in many offseason activities such as Dancing with the Stars, his talk show on Versus with Terrell Owens, his appearances in the WWE, etc. While keeping busy with all of this and much more.
Chad Ochocinco set a number of franchise records during his tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals. These include most receiving yards in a season (1,440), most receiving yards all-time (10,783), most receptions (751), most touchdown receptions (66) and the list goes on. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl six times and was named an All-Pro on three occasions. Now at the end of his 11th year in the league, he is nearing the end of his career and has not had nearly as much production for the Patriots this year as many expected. He also missed last weekend’s AFC
Championship game due to the death of his father, but expects to return for the Super Bowl. If he does he will be a viable option for Tom Brady as defenses will have much of their focus on the New England tight ends.
Chad Ochocinco attended Santa Monica College in 1997 where he played alongside Steve Smith, the Carolina Panthers star wide receiver. After one year at SMC he transferred to Oregon State and into the NFL in 2001 where he was selected in the second round.
Dante Scarnecchia is the New England Patriot’s Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Line Coach. He is a 42-year coaching veteran and owns the longest coaching tenure in Patriots history, now in his 28th season on the New England sideline. Bill Belichick named him the Patriots assistant head coach in 2000. Scarnecchia played offensive guard for Taft College back in 1966-67 before transferring to California Western University.
Jason Pierre-Paul is in just his second year in the NFL but has already made
his presence felt. He was taken by the Giants in the 2010 NFL Draft with the
15th overall pick and was voted to his first Pro Bowl this year as well as being
named a Firstteam All-Pro. His size and athleticism makes him a threat to any team and he is already considered one of the best defensive ends in the league. In the 2011 regular season he recorded a team high 16.5 sacks and has amassed 16 tackles already in this postseason. He now enters the Super Bowl and will be one of the main obstacles for the Patriots offense.
Pierre-Paul played for the College of the Canyons in 2007 totaling 49 tackles, 14 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble recovery as a freshman. He earned First-team All-WSC honors and helped lead the Cougars to a win at the Western State Bowl. COC ended up losing in the Southern CA semifinals in double overtime, finishing the year with a 9-3 record.
Dave Tollefson has been a defensive end for the Giants since 2007, as well as contributing on their special teams unit. As a member of one of the most dominant D-lines in the NFL he is used sparingly behind such stars as Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul. With injuries to the Giants line this year, Tollefson had his first career start on September 11, filling in for the then injured Tuck. He has seen the most action of his career during the 2011 season recording five sacks and 21 tackles overall. This will be Tollefson’s second Super Bowl after seeing some playing time in Super Bowl XLII with the Giants, where they defeated the Patriots 17-14.
Tollefson played at Los Medanos College in 1999 and 2000. Due to a series of injuries from 2000-2003 he was not able to play football. In 2003 he began attending Northwest Missouri and in 2004 finally made it back onto the field. He had a great two years there setting a single season record and ranking 13th in the nation with 12.5 sacks his senior year. He was also the league’s Defensive MVP. He was picked in the 7th round of the 2006 draft by the Packers and spent time on both Green Bay’s and the Raider’s practice squads before settling in with the Giants.
The CCCAA would like to congratulate each of these players for their success to this point in their careers. Each of these former student-athletes mentioned came to a California Community College for one reason or another and took advantage of that opportunity. They have each grown from their experiences and are now playing on the biggest stage in football, the Super Bowl.