By Ray Hamill — Never underestimate the importance of a local community college football program.
This past year, three former H-DNL offensive linemen played at the Division-I college level, and two of them got their start at a JC program.
And they’re not alone.
The country’s community college programs — and in particular those here in California — serve as a fantastic farm system for the four-year programs, preparing young players for the jump.
Not every high school football player is ready to play at a four-year program right out of high school, but many could go on to play at that level within a year or two.
And that’s exactly where JC programs come in.
There are also education and monetary considerations, with community colleges providing the platform for students whose grades still need work at a very affordable price.
And on top of that, not every high school graduate is ready to leave home, even if others can’t wait to do so.
And that’s exactly why having a football program at College of the Redwoods is so important.
The school suspended the team last summer for budgetary reasons, but announced last month that CR president Dr. Keith Flamer is looking into the possibility of bringing it back for 2022.
Larry Allen, arguably the greatest lineman in the history of the NFL, got his college start at a JC (Butte College) after he was academically ineligible to play D-1 football.
What if he didn’t have that opportunity back in the 1990s?
Former H-DNL stars Isaak Gutierrez and Bryce Petersen each also got their start at the JC level in recent years, before moving on to the D-I level, where both are coming off impressive seasons.
Here’s hoping the Corsairs realize just how important the program is to the local players and that they make the right decision in the coming months.
The North Coast needs CR football.