Excessive College Soccer: Former NFL working again CJ Anderson takes over the California program
On May 17, Anderson said he called the running back he replaced at Cal, Jahvid Best, to congratulate him on his hiring as a coach at nearby Saint Mary’s, Albany. Now Anderson joked that he is expecting a recall from Best following the announcement made by Monte Vista Sporting Director Andy Popper this week.
“I’m super excited and grateful for this opportunity to keep the tradition of a great school and program going,” Anderson told MaxPreps. “No matter where you go, what college you go to or what NFL team you play for, you want to know this story and take it further.”
Anderson played in the NFL for seven years and reached the Super Bowl three times, twice with the Broncos and once with the Rams. He spent his first five seasons with the Broncos and the last two years with the Panthers, Raiders, Rams and Lions.
File photo by Dennis Stiff
CJ Anderson rushed nearly 4,000 yards for four seasons at Bethel in Vallejo, California.
In Super Bowl L in 2016, Anderson stormed 90 yards and a touchdown, leading the Broncos to a 24-10 win over the Panthers. He ran for 3,497 yards and 22 touchdowns in his career and had 108 catches for 900 yards. He was a 2014 Pro Bowl selection.
Anderson worked as a research assistant at Cal last season, where he played two seasons that ended in 2012. He played on site as a preparatory athlete in Bethel (Vallejo) and at the junior college in Laney (Oakland).
All of that experience made him both a “wow” pick, Popper said, and an easy one, though it came after an exhaustive search.
“We are incredibly pleased to bring CJ with all of his wealth of experience not only as a player, but also in football,” said Popper. “He’s very enthusiastic, his smile and energy are infectious and he wants to be here. He wants to be a Mustang. It’s where he wanted to be.”
Popper said Anderson got off the ground and has already arranged team and parenting meetings while also putting together a coaching staff that includes his brother K’Lan.
The Mustangs will need all the help they can when playing in the rugged East Bay Athletic League, which includes the eternal national power De La Salle (Concord).
“I told the kids in a team meeting yesterday that I was hoping to bring a breath of fresh air,” said Anderson. “I’m not from this community. I come from a different place, but I’m a football junkie and I’m confident that we can all come together to learn the game, understand each other and unite as a team.”
Monte Vista went 0-6 during a shortened spring season but was in every game, losing four games by touchdown or less. The Mustangs are a enduring force in the Bay Area with seven championships in the North Coast Section, most recently in 2016 as current Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener and two-time All-Pac 12 first-team linebacker Nate Landman (Colorado) who led the way.
Other former celebrity Monte Vista soccer players include all-pro tight-end Zach Ertz and former National Prep Player of the Year, University of Miami and NFL quarterback Kyle Wright.