Former Laney College running back stars for Broncos
Maybe the second time will be a charm for Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson.
Two years ago, Anderson was forced to navigate a sea of college navy, action green and wolf gray confetti on the field at East Rutherford, N.J., after his Broncos suffered through a 43-8 decimation at hands of the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Now the former Laney College running back gets another chance at a Super Bowl ring, and those chances don’t come around very often.
For those of you who just returned from North Korea, the Broncos are playing the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Feb. 7, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Anderson, who was an undrafted rookie out of Cal in 2014, shares the running back duties with Ronnie Hillman (863 yards), Denver’s leading rusher. Anderson gained 720 yards (with five touchdowns) during the regular season.
Before Anderson went to Cal, and after he graduated from Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo, he came to play at Laney in 2009-2010.
The 5-foot-8, 190-pound running back didn’t play much for the Eagles as a freshman in 2009, but Anderson certainly came on as a sophomore in 2010.
He ran for 1,524 yards and scored 16 touchdowns for the 5-5 Eagles that season and had 11 runs of 30 yards or more.
Anderson isn’t the all-time leading rusher at Laney; Frank Summers, who had short stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, and Buffalo Bills, has that honor. Anderson finished his career with 2,247 yards rushing, just 40 fewer yards than Summers.
The reason: Anderson didn’t play the fourth quarter in a couple of blowout victories and also suffered some minor injuries that kept him out.
When Cal running back Shane Vereen decided to leave school and turn pro, Anderson was offered a scholarship.
He wasn’t the main “go-to” back at Berkeley, but he made enough of an impression and a couple of scintillating runs, including a 74-yard catch-and run against Arizona State in 2011.
After finishing at Cal, it was time for him to try the NFL.
Anderson signed as a free agent with the Broncos on April 27, 2013, and through talent, hard work and some luck, he made it as an NFL All-Pro running back.
And now he is back in the Super Bowl before his hometown fans.