Linebacker’s transfer from Santa Rosa pays dividends
After starting the second half of last season at linebacker for Santa Rosa Junior College, Paul Ferrari decided to transfer to the City College of San Francisco.
It was a bold move that had the potential to better his career down the road. But it immediately left him on the bottom of the depth chart at CCSF.
It’s easy to say now that he’s back on top.
After a standout career at Novato High School, Ferrari had the opportunity to walk-on to Colorado’s footballteam, but declined the offer in hopes of starting for Santa Rosa immediately. After two seasons (one a grayshirt year that did not count against his eligibility) in which things never quite panned out like he had imagined, Ferrari pinned his hopes on CCSF and its storied tradition.
"When Paul first got here, he was our third-string linebacker," said CCSF defensive coordinator Anthony Feliciano. "He took a big risk by transferring from Santa Rosa, where he was starting, to here, where he would have to start from the bottom up. But he just kept making plays in practice and really stood out in our spring game and we just felt like we had to start the guy because we didn’t want to keep him off the field."
"I really felt like I wasn’t getting a whole lot of respect at Santa Rosa," said Ferrari, whose 34 tackles rank him second on the Rams. "I wanted to come to CCSF because I knew about the tradition here and the success guys have at the next level that play here."
By transferring to CCSF in the spring, a semester before football starts, Ferrari was able to get a chance to catch up on the Rams’ playbook early, as well as enjoy the first-rate facilities the school has to offer.
"I just spent the offseason getting bigger and really working on my strength and conditioning," said Ferrari, whose Rams defeated College of San Mateo last week to improve to
7-0. "The extra weight I put on really helped — now I feel more comfortable with my size and speed."
Ferrari’s size and speed will surely be tested this weekend as the Rams face another team with an unblemished record — Foothill College, which enters the contest 7-0.
"Because of our history, we know every team is going to be gunning for us," said the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Ferrari. "This week definitely won’t be different. You know, even though they’re undefeated we try not to change our gameplan too much for one team. We really try to study film on our own squad, to see what we can do to improve. Still, it definitely motivates you to play as hard as you can when you know you’re getting every team’s best shot."
On the line will be first place in the NorCal Conference standings as well as the No. 1 ranking in the California Community College Football Coaches Association, with CCSF currently holding the No. 2 spot and Foothill at No. 3.
"It’s going to be a great game," said Ferrari, who has earned interest from Division I colleges like UNLV and Oregon. "I can’t wait to get out there and play."
The task on Saturday will be difficult for the Rams, but they certainly feel more confident about their chances with players like Ferrari lining up for them.
"Paul works hard, is a smart football player, has great football speed, and is very coachable," said Feliciano. "He’s a great team player. We really don’t ever want to take him off the field when he’s playing for us."